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Entries in Basil Oglio Fra Diavlo (1)

Wednesday
Aug242011

Basil Oglio Fra Diavlo (Basil Olive Oil)

My dilemma with basil stems from the fact that I can't grow anything.  Most recipes call for just a few torn leaves or a chiffonade.  So when I buy fresh basil I end up with a big bunch and a very short shelf life.  I have this dilemma with most fresh herbs, but at least I solved the basil problem.

Olio fria diavlo

1 bunch basil (about 2 cups)
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

  • Wash and dry the basil (I use my salad spinner), and cut the ends off of the stems. 
  • Put the basil in a non-reactive bowl and with a scissors, cut into fine pieces.  Not pesto size since you are going to strain it out later, but small enough that you are exposing a lot of the leaves and stems to the oil.
  • Add the hot pepper flakes and then the oil, making sure you use enough to cover the stems completely. 
  • Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator for two days before using.

  • Let come to room temperature
  • Using a fine sieve, strain the oil out into another bowl, pressing against the solids to extract as much oil as possible.  (I discard the stems, but I once had a friend who watched me straining them and then ate them like a salad.) 
  • Keep this oil stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, spooning out as you need it. 

I've posted some of my favorite uses for this oil, but for now, just dunk some great bread in it. 

Grill the bread and rub it with garlic for a classic touch.