Basil Oil

We are living in challenging times. Even apart from COVID-19, Second Middle Age is inevitably a time of loss of parents, mentors, and friends. At times like this when I am not in the right frame of mind for critical thinking, I take solace in my garden and kitchen. I offer the following recipe that combines the delicious flavor of fresh Basil with Garlic Olive Oil.


1/2 tsp salt

2+ Cups of fresh basil leaves (washed) 

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 – 3 minced garlic cloves


  1. Blanche basil leaves in boiling water for approximately one minute. (The cooking water retains the flavor of basil and can be used for making tea or saved for soup stock.) 
  2. Submerge the blanched basil leaves immediately in an ice water bath.  
  3. Remove the cooled, blanched basil leaves from their ice water bath onto a kitchen towel to dry.  They don’t have to be completely dry, just mostly dry.  (The ice-bath water is great for a refreshing basil-scented drink.)
  4. Mince garlic and blend with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt before adding the basil leaves. 
Fresh basil is the star in this easy recipe that brings the flavor of summer to your table; uses limited only by your imagination.  (We have not added it to ice cream yet.)

Store Basil Oil in small jars in the refrigerator. I am not sure how long it will stay fresh – that has never been an issue. Yield: app. 1.5 cups.

Published by skfinston

Born February 21, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan; enjoying 2nd Middle Age in Zichron Yaakov, Israel. After a misspent youth in the US Foreign Service (postings in London, Tel Aviv and Manila), I moved to the Semi-private Sector, working for a leading trade association in Washington DC before launching my own company Finston Consulting in 2005. Over the last 15+ years I have worked with innovative companies ranging from Fortune-100 to start up, as well as NGOs, and governments, including service as a cleared advisor (Secret level) to the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative (IPR, Tariff/Trade Facilitation). As a graduate of the University of Michigan, my degrees include a Bachelors of Science (Philosophy, High Honors), Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy. After law school I clerked at the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit before joining the U.S. Foreign Service (TSI-CodeWord Clearance). I am a member of the Illinois and US Supreme Court Bar.

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