Lemon and basil is a match made in heaven… and in an olive oil? Even better. I just love how the lemon zest in the recipe turns the oil an even deeper, vibrant shade of yellow. They say you can’t bottle up sunshine, but this is pretty damn close. Right?!
This oil is so, so versatile. It can be drizzled over fish, over pasta dishes and used as a light, refreshing salad dressing.
To really flavour the oil, the basil and lemon zest are best left to infuse in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before transferring into bottles.
I recently used this oil over some roasted cod and cherry tomatoes, and my word it was good. It would also make an ideal homemade gift (if you can avoid the temptation of keeping it for yourself.) You can find suitable glass bottles in most good cookware stores, mine were picked up from Lakeland.
- 250ml good quality olive oil
- 2 bunches of fresh basil
- zest of 2 lemons
- Peel the zest off the lemons into long thin strips. Meanwhile, gently warm the olive oil in a pan, but do not boil. Once warmed through, add the zest and heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and add the basil, stirring gently until mixed in. Now allow the oil to cool completely.
- Transfer to a clean container and cover with cling film. Refrigerate, and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Strain the zest and basil from the oil. Using a funnel, pour the oil into a sterilised, dry, and sealable glass bottle. It is important that the bottle is completely dry before adding the oil, as any moisture will spoil it.
- Seal and feep the oil in the fridge. Use within 3-4 weeks. The oil can be used straight away, but is at it’s peak 1-2 weeks into infusion. Makes up one 250ml glass bottle.