Basil Oil


Going Wild in the Kitchen

Published by Square One Publishers

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Basil oil has become a staple in my kitchen. I use it to marinate sun-dried tomatoes, roast vegetables, and flavor salad dressings be sure to try it with Cherry Vinegar. I also drizzle it over pasta with a little salt and fresh garlic for a quick meal that’s loved by kids of all ages.

Cooking Methodcanning, preserving



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Textureherby

Type of DishCondiments


  • 4 cups ripped basil leaves
  • 3½ cups extra virgin olive oil


  1. Loosely pack the basil in a clean quart jar, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Add enough oil to cover (still allowing an inch of space). Using a butter knife, gently press down the basil to eliminate any air pockets.

  2. Put the cap on the jar, and add a label that includes the contents, date prepared, and approximate date the oil will be ready (2 to 6 weeks from the preparation date).

  3. Place the jar on a small plate and set on a windowsill. After 2 weeks, taste the oil. If stronger flavor is desired, let it continue to steep. Continue to check once a week.

  4. When the oil is ready, pour it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a bowl, wide-mouth jar, or measuring cup. Before discarding the strained basil leaves (or saving for later use), either squeeze them with your hands (with or without the cheesecloth) or press them against the strainer with the back of a spoon to get every last drop of oil.

  5. Transfer the oil to a clean bottle or jar with a lid or cork, and label it with the type of oil and date. Store in a cool dry place, where it will keep for at least a year.

  6. For A Change:

  7. • Add a bay leaf or chili pepper for added flavor interest.


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