You can purchase basil-infused olive oil, but it's so easy to make that it's worth your time if you truly love fresh basil at its peak.
This infused oil makes wonderful use of the fresh flavor and aroma of fresh summer basil, especially at the height of the season. Thanks to Cal Stamenov, Executive Chef at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, for this recipe.
In a large saucepan, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with the salt.
Add the basil and cook for 15 seconds. Drain through a sieve and immediately plunge the basil into an ice water bath. When cool, drain again and squeeze all the water from the basil with your hands.
Place the basil and the oil in a blender and pulse a few times to break up the herbs. Then blend for 2 minutes to purée.
Strain the infused oil through cheesecloth or paper coffee filters.
Transfer to a sterilized glass bottle or jar and cover. The oil will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.