Seasonal local food recipe No.192 – Jekka’s basil oil Ⓥ

This particular herb-infused oil is a favourite of  Jekka McVicar, owner of Jekka’s Herb Farm near Bristol which hosts the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK.

Basil oil is delicious used in salad dressings and marinades. You can also try swapping the basil for lemon balm, fennel leaves or sweet marjoram.

Jekka says: “As soon as you open the bottle on a cold winter’s day the aroma alone wafts hot summer through the kitchen.” Her recipe comes via the excellent West Country FoodLover magazine (complimentary copies go into Camel CSA’s veg boxes every month).

Preparation time: 30 minutes (spread over a month!)

250ml mild olive oil
One good handful of fresh basil leaves

Tear the leaves into a bowl. Pour over the olive oil so they are well immersed and below the surface of the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm position – a sunny windowsill is ideal. Stir weekly, keeping the leaves immersed.

After a month, strain the oil through unbleached coffee filters, Place a few basil leaves for both identification and decoration in a clear, sterile bottle. Pour in the oil, seal and place in a cupboard.

  • More about basil and how to make a lemon basil cocktail on Jekka’s blog
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