I would like to know when making basil olive oil do you strain out the basil? I made a double batch and would like it to last,

After blanching the basil and throwing it into the food processor with olive oil it produced a beautiful color green but there were lots of bits in the oil. I wouldn't be asking this because I love basil but i thought that with all the little bits it might spoil quickly?

Fran McGinty


ChefDaddy April 9, 2011
Fran- I don't blanch in water. I just make sure everything is very clean and dry and put in direct contact with oil and heat to the 180-200F range and try to get it to a sweet spot and let it go and check up on it often. Storing your oil in the fridge will also make it cloudy, but it may be the cheese cloth. Also, you will not get any color as you did with the basil. If your looking for a full herb flavor this is you're oil. If you want to make it colorful as well you could use this recipe and then do your basil oil using you're new infused oil. Good luck!
Fran M. April 9, 2011
Chef daddy. I did not know I needed to rinse my cheese cloth. My oil is a little cloudy I guess that is the reason.Thank you for that lesson. I can't wait to try yours. I will go to the store to get a thermometer today! This sounds delicious. Thanks a bunch for sharing that. So do I do the 30 second blanch with the herbs first as I did with the Basil?
ChefDaddy April 9, 2011
Fran-For doing other oils is going to require heat. I do a Thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic oil that I use for most saute-ing at home. It requires a significant amount of herbs and garlic (50%-50%) mix of herbs and olive oil. Extraction happens between the temps of 180-200F ( use a thermometer). Stuff a pot full of herbs fill with oil and heat to temp. range and keep it there. Keep tasting your oil ( by taking small samples to cool and taste) until you have the flavor you want. And strain.... Also, you need to rinse new cheese cloth. Put some in a bowl of water and ringe out into the bowl to see how cloudy the water gets. But, when using to strain oils you must ring it out and air dry a little. You do not want to introduce any moisture as this can cuase bacteria. Storing in the fridge is a good idea, but I don't.
Fran M. April 9, 2011
thank you to all of you for your help. I also used a cheese cloth, I didn't rinse it though I used a new piece. I also opted to keep it in the refrigerator so when I went to use it last night it was a little solid. But the taste was incredible compared to the stuff I got at the specialty store and for 1/3 of the price. Thank you to you all. Can this method be used also for Herbes de Provence, or Thyme, and Rosemary Oils? Thirty second boil and then shock and then process with your oil and strain? I would love to make other oils. The homemade taste is so much better. I wanted to blanch a fresh piece of tuna in a flavored oil I was thinking the basil would be too mild of a flavor. What do you think? I love all of you and your Idea's and your recipes. Thank you.
ChefDaddy April 9, 2011
Yes, Strain! To avoid the growth of bacteria in infused oils you must have 100% removel of anything that may leach moisture into the oil. I first strain using a fine sieve and then through thoroughly rinsed and folded cheese cloth in the same sieve! And don't do too much! Only make what you can use in a weeks time. I don't store infused oils for any length of time. Good luck!
Sadassa_Ulna April 9, 2011
About herbs in oil:

"Garlic, vegetable or herb in oil mixtures may support the growth of C. botulinum bacteria. For safety reasons, they should be made fresh. Leftovers should be frozen, refrigerated for use within 10 days, or discarded."

StacyG April 9, 2011
You could make some pesto with that left over basil. It's great to have on hand to either use on it's own in pasta dishes or to season a tomato based pasta sauce for a quick meal. I have even made a pesto like sauce without pinons when i didn't have any nuts on hand. The basil will last a little longer once made into pesto.
Fran M. April 8, 2011
Thank you Lori- I did strain the oil, I never made it homemade before. It was great on broiled Salmon for dinner, It was too cold to grill. Now I have all this good basil that I want to use for something... I have a couple of Ideas a polish, Italian fusion perogy? Or Basil chocolate with pine nuts? I hate to throw that out. It still has great flavor.
lorigoldsby April 8, 2011
I always strain my cilantro or basil oils with a fine mesh seive into a glass measuring cup, then I can easily pour it thru a small funnel into the container I am storing it in.
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