Tuesday, October 2, 2012

basil oil/calendula oil





Basil oil was made. It is so good I can't even believe it. We had it last night as a dipping oil for some stale-ish sourdough bread and this chicken/butternut squash stew. I poured some of the basil oil right into my stew, too, it's that good. It would be a nice base for other herbs to make different kinds of dipping oils but I like it plain basil like this. We don't eat much bread but with these in the freezer, that might have to change.

Calendula oil was made. Just a little bit, enough for a batch of healing skin salve. I always leave just-picked calendula flowers outside in a basket for a day or so to give the little bugs time to leave -- and they usually do. This also dries out some of the moisture from the petals, good to do when making any fresh plant oil. Then I filled the little jar with the flowers and again with olive oil, and capped/labeled it. After 4-6 weeks, it'll be strained and ready for its next life as a salve or creme. In case you do this, fresh plant infusions should be kept in a dark, cool place on a plate in case they ooze.

This morning I sat at the sewing table and couldn't do anything but play with thread. I'm thinking I just need to take care of the garden now.

Basil Oil

Pick 5 cups of basil tops and leaves. You can wash and dry them (thoroughly) but I didn't. Put 2 1/2 cups olive oil in a pan over low heat. Add the basil and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Allow to cool and then pour everything into a blender or food processor -- whirl for about a minute. Refrigerate for 2 days. Bring to room temperature and strain into small containers for freezing. Can be used as a marinade, dressing, dipping oil, etc.

Also posted at Food Renegade.


9 comments:

Judy said...

oh yummm, Peggy: that sounds delicious! thanks for sharing your recipe

xo

Jeannie said...

I bet the oil smells wonderful! Like you, I just want to be outside. We are having a beautiful Indian Summer and I know that these sunny, warm days are a gift. Have fun in the garden!

deanna7trees said...

love your threadplay. nice broom.

Deb G said...

Ice cube trays work great for freezing the basil oil, other things like that. It really is good! I didn't manage to grow any calendula this so I cheated and bought some dried at the co-op. Next year!

Ms. said...

I so want to make pesto--but have to get to the market Friday or Saturday. I never grow enough for this Winter treat--It's still RAINING here bless it's heart. But I am weary of it. Maybe I'll still get calendula if the sun ever shines again.

Chris said...

That tiny broom calls to me, Peggy: Can you please tell me what you made it from? I can visualize so many uses for it (Energy sweeping!).

Peggy said...

Judy, I'm thinking it would be good with other herbs, too, like parsley or tarragon...

Jeannie, it does smell wonderful -- another one I want to dump over my head!

Thank you, Deanna, I like that word -- threadplay!

Deb, thanks for the tip, I keep thinking of using the ice cube tray but always forget!

Michelle, hope you get to make that basil!

Peggy said...

Chris, I like knowing the photo inspired you -- I use the little broom in a similar way -- right now it represents gentle change. The Goddess Oya brings change, usually fast and furious -- and while I'm working with her, I feel like I need to reinforce that I prefer change of a gentler nature.

I didn't make it, only adorned it with threads -- it was a gift many years ago from my little daughter, probably from a craft store...

Nancy said...

I like that little broom too :) And want to be the neighbor of all of you that love to cook yummy stuff!
Deb~ I read somewhere the idea of putting coffee in ice cube trays and using the cubes when you make iced coffee. I don't drink coffee, but the guy tried it and was pleased with the outcome...cubes melt and you get More flavor, not watered down coffee! Now we have a stained ice cube tray :)