This 2-ingredient Basil Oil is super easy to make and tastes like summer. Basil oil packs one of my favorite sun-kissed ingredients into a bottle for you to use in the middle of winter, or right now! If you’re wondering how to make basil oil you’ll love this simple recipe.
What is Basil?
An incredibly fragrant herb that is part of the mint family, basil grows like a weed. In the mountain climate of Colorado, this herb is an annual that needs to be replanted each year. Basil is a nutrient dense plant used in both herbal medicine and numerous culinary traditions, including Italian and Asian cooking. Customarily used as the main ingredient in pesto, it’s also the perfect seasoning for meat, fish, pasta, and egg dishes.
What to do with Basil?
Sometimes my garden is overflowing with basil and I have more on hand than I can use. What to do with that bounty of basil? Take it to the neighbors? No, they have too much as well. The answer? Learn how to make basil oil.
How to Make Basil Oil
I tried making basil oil three ways –using whole, chopped, and minced basil leaves. The best outcome was with the leaves left in tact. Those that were cut began to degrade in the oil as they marinated. It makes sense if you think about it, like an apple that has been sliced, the flesh starts to oxidize and turn brown. You’ll notice that this recipes calls for more oil than it yields. That’s because you’ll lose some of the oil in the leaves while marinating.
- 12 ounces olive oil
- 2 ounces basil, 1 packed cup
- Remove basil leaves from stem
- Place oil in pint mason jar
- Carefully stuff basil into mason jar
- Close with lid
- Store on a sunny windowsill for 1 day
- Use a funnel to strain oil and a spoon to smash last bits of oil out of leaves
- Discard basil leaves
- Transfer oil to a decorative jar
- Refrigerate for up to 6 months
Health Benefits of Basil
Basil is one of the healthiest herbs you’ll find. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin K and is packed with robust antioxidants that reduce inflammation. The phytochemicals in this super food herb are cancer preventative. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties likely explain the use of basil as a defacto preservative in the culinary traditions of warmer climates such as South East Asia. Basil is simply a wonder-food that you need to include in your diet because it tastes good and is good for you!
Healthy Basil Recipes
The word basil comes from the Greek basileus, meaning king. Some people consider basil the king of herbs. I love the stuff. Here are some of my easy basil recipes for you!