Thursday, August 5, 2010

What’s not to love about summer herbs?

This year we have been blessed with basil and mint. So much so, I’ve been new and different ways to utilize them.

Last night, I made basil infused olive oil. It’s not as fancy than it sounds, but it is delicious. For sauces, pasta, salad dressing, brush on french bread slices and make crostini— a little surprise in about anything!

Basil Infused Olive Oil
You will need:
Good quality olive oil
Clean canning jars (pint or quart depending on how much you make)
Good handful of washed basil leaves
About a pint to a quart of olive oil
Blender or Coctail shaker. Or bowl and strainer...
Coffee filter

Two methods:
Blender— In a blender blend olive oil and basil. Strain through a coffee filter and store in canning jar. Will last about 11 days in the fridge. Freeze for longer keeping. The left over basil puree can be used for pesto.

Muddled(preferred)— In my cocktail shaker I muddled the basil and with a handle of a wooden spoon. Muddling releases the natural oils and aromas of the basil into the oil. Giving it a deep, rich flavor. And used the attached strainer to strain the oil into jars. Will last about 11 days in the fridge. Freeze for longer keeping. The muddled leaves can then be food processed for pesto.
And I’ll shut up about my cold soon. But it’s still hanging on. So I made Mint tea last night. And proceeded to drink the whole pot of it. With just a touch of organic sugar.

Then my husband made me some Mint tea with honey and lemon. It didn’t make my cold go away but it did make me feel warm and cozy inside. Which is good.
Mint Tea with Honey and Lemon
A generous handful of mint leaves
Tea pot
Boiling water
Honey to taste
Half a lemon’s juice

In a tea pot, place a bed of clean mint leaves. Pour over boiling water, steep for 3-10 minutes. The longer you steep the more flavour you’ll get. Add add the lemon juice to he pot. Pour into mug and use about a tsp of honey per cup of tea.
Ok, so mint tea is not inventive. But it’s refreshing and delicious.

Do you have any good ideas for herbs in excess?

*Basil photo by aaron_01m

*Mint photo by Trulybeautiful *Helen*


britni @ Antika Moda said...

Yum! Basil, olive oil & Mint tea...what else do you need in life?! lol. You have a lovely blog, I'm a new follower :)

Valarie said...

What a great idea, to infuse basil into the olive oil. I always think of pesto when I think of basil. I'm going to make some of this tomorrow. Is there nothing better than mint tea in the summer? I think not. Thanks for these great recipes.

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