Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Farm Fresh Tomatoes with Basil Oil

We are in the thick of CSA season here at the Wendy See Wendy Do house!  Every Monday evening a beautiful bounty of fresh and delicious organic tomatoes, onions, greens and herbs arrives at our door courtesy of a local Wisconsin farm. 

This is the second season we are enjoying the harvests of Tomato Mountain Farm through their CSA program.  CSA stands for "community supported agriculture" and is a network of people who pledge to support a local farm and in return get a portion of the harvest.  Which means weekly, fresh deliveries of kale, chard, onions and loads of tomatoes.  
This week - our delivery included ripe and red slicer, Juliet and sun gold tomatoes.  Once you see them you want to devour them right away.  One of my favorite ways to serve tomatoes comes right from my own "urban" garden - homemade basil oil.

Now I am not going to pretend to be some pro urban gardener.  I live in Chicago which means I have a limited season to say the least.  However I am pretty proud of my back deck garden which features sweet and purple basil, heirloom mint (cut from my grandmother's garden in Pennsylvania) and lots of hot peppers.
So basil oil.... so simple and so delicious.  Don't go out and buy the stale stuff at the store.  It would be like eating dried basil over fresh basil.  You cannot compare!!  Fresh basil oil has the lovely, luscious quality of olive oil with the fresh and sweet flavor of basil.    

Basil Oil 
Makes 3/4 cup

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and create an ice bath on large bowl.
  2. Once water comes to boil, add basil leaves and blanch for 30 seconds then transfer basil to ice bath.
  3. Dry basil leaves (I use my salad spinner) then add to food processor with olive oil and blend. 
  4. Strain basil/oil mixture through a fine sieve into a container.  Oil can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.  Serve over freshly sliced tomatoes with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

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