Basil-Infused Olive Oil Recipe

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Basil-Infused Olive Oil Recipe

This oil forms Infused Olive Oilthe basis of the simple but flavorful tomato sauce featured in Andrew Carmellini’s book Urban Italian. Yield: 1 1⁄4 cups infused oil.

Ingredients:

1 head garlic
1 1⁄4 cups olive oil
1 cup packed basil leaves, washed, with stems still on
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Cut the top off the garlic head so the skin stays on but the tops of the cloves are exposed. Combine garlic, oil, basil and red pepper flakes in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. As soon as you hear the basil crackle, take the mixture off the heat and set aside.

At this point, Carmellini strains everything out of the oil and pours it into a bunch of tomatoes (5 pounds) simmering with salt (1 teaspoon). The oil is wonderful that way, but you can also leave everything in and serve the oil by itself as a dip. Or, purée the whole mixture to use as a condiment.

If you don’t strain the oil, refrigerate the surplus, because infused oils can support the growth of botulism. Use within 3 days.

Want the important basics on olive oil? Check out All About Olive Oil: Cooking, Tasting and Buying.

Photo by Tim Nauman: Use this infused oil as a condiment, a dip for bread, or an ingredient in other recipes.