Basil and Garlic Infused Olive Oil
1 glass bottle or mason jar
2 cloves garlic (optional)
Approx 1 cup basil
3 cups olive oil
Peel the garlic and smash it with a heavy chef’s knife. Tear the basil, bruising the leaves to release the essential oils. Stuff the basil and the garlic into the bottle or mason jar. Pour the olive oil into a heat-proof pot or dish and place over a low flame. Heat the oil until very warm, but not bubbling. You’ll know it’s getting close when the oil’s texture appears to “thin”… you’ll sort of see “swirls” in the oil as this happens. DO NOT let it boil!
Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a sterilized bottle or jar and discard the garlic. Use within 24 hours. (Or store in a sterilized container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
NOTE: some recipes suggest storing in a cool, dry place for up to a week THEN refrigerating if infusing with garlic, to avoid botulism. others say to refrigerate right away. i chose the conservative route choosing to refrigerate right away and use quickly. if anyone knows the definitive answer on making homemade infused oils, please share!!
Adapted from http://www.bostonfoodandwhine.com/2010/07/25/how-to-make-basil-infused-olive-oil/ and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/garlic-infused-oil-and-dipping-sauce-recipe/index.html
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