Every year I plant plenty of basil so I can pick it all summer to flavor omelettes, toss into salads and layer over sliced tomatoes.
Before the leaves begin to fall, I make pesto sauce to freeze. In the rainy days of midwinter, a plate of linguini slathered in pesto sauce warms my soul!
Another great way to savor the flavor and fragrance of basil all year long is to make infused olive oil. (I also like to make rosemary infused olive oil.) Here’s how:
Decide how much end product you want and use an appropriate sized pot. Wash and damp dry fresh basil on the stem and set aside (even for a large amount of oil, you will only need 4-5 stems). Pour olive oil into pot, add peeled garlic cloves — more or less depending on the quantity you are making and how much you enjoy garlic! Put pot on burner over medium high heat. When the cloves begin to fritter, add the basil and allow oil to come to a light boil. If you need to cover the pot to reduce spatters, be sure to keep it ajar enough so moisture can escape. When things look adequately toasted, turn off heat, allow oil to cool, sieve into serving (or gifting) containers and store in a cellar or refrigerator. Use it just as you would use plain olive oil and most of all — enjoy!