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Garlic Basil Oil

Cookbook

Going Wild in the Kitchen

Published by Square One Publishers

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This fragrant oil always reminds me of fresh hot pizza. It’s one of my kitchen staples, and once you see how easy it is to make, I’m betting it will become one of yours, too. With this oil on hand, there’s no need to peel garlic or chop basil. A healthy splash gives flavorful interest to croutons, soups, dressings, marinades, sautés, and eggs. Or simply sprinkle some on warm pasta for a quick meal.

About2 cups

Cooking Methodcanning, preserving

CostInexpensive

Easy

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 Texturegarlicky, herby, savory

Type of DishCondiments

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped garlic scapes (stems and blossoms)
  • 1½ cups ripped basil leaves
  • 1 cup calendula flower heads (9 or 10)
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place ½ cup of garlic scapes in the bottom of a clean quart jar. Top with ½ cup of basil and ½ cup of calendula flowers, ripping up their petals and daisy-like centers as you add them. Continue layering the remaining scapes, basil, and calendula, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the jar. Add enough oil to cover (still I allowing an inch of space).

  2. Using a butter knife, gently press down the ingredients to eliminate any air pockets. 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 ingredients (or saving for later use), 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. • Instead of garlic scapes, use garlic cloves, garlic chives, or garlic chive flowers.

  8. • Use sun-dried tomatoes or mushrooms instead of calendula flowers.

  9. • Add a chili pepper for a “spark” of flavor.

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