Thursday, August 20, 2009

Basil, Basil, Basil!

So at the beginning of the summer, I planted myself some little basil plants...and as the following pictures will explain, I now have myself some little basil trees! I've been making tons of hummus every week with the fresh basil and other fresh herbs, but I just can't seem to use enough to make a dent! In an attempt to find other ways to use up the basil, I decided to make me some basil oil.

Hummus, cucumber and basil oil open face sandwich
I've never really made herb oils before, but I've seen them made so I just kind of "wung" it and this is what came about. I know the "proper" way to make basil oil is to strain it a bunch of times until you just have a clean, basil flavored oil with no bits of basil, but I wasn't patient enough to go through with that.

Basil oil

Basil Oil
Makes about 1/3 of a cup

2 or 3 hand-fulls of fresh basil leaves
1/3 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Using a blender or food processor, blend the heck of the basil and oil for a few minutes and then strain once or twice through a fine mesh sieve.

Hummus with fresh Herbs

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 or 5 cloves roasted garlic
Up to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
A hand-full of fresh herbs, such as: basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Cold water to reach desired consistency

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water. Process until mixed, and then slowly add the water in small installments until the desired consistency is reached.

I have been perfecting the above hummus recipe for about a year now, and I've finally come up the a recipe that I just absolutely bought hummus just doesn't cut it any more!! And to push the idea of affordability, making your own hummus is much cheaper than buying it!

Even more basil!
My hopes are to continue making basil infused recipes such as more hummus of course, some pesto, and just about anything else I can come up with. Enjoy!!

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