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Friday, October 12, 2007

Caprese Salad with Basil Oil


I have two basil plants in my i eat a lot of basil and a LOT of caprese salads...


* fresh buffalo mozzarella
* vine ripened tomatoes ("early girl" tomatoes are my favorite if they are in season, usually around September)
* fresh basil leaves
* sea salt (to taste)
* balsamic vinegar (any vinegar made from Modena, Italy is a good bet as they make the most quality balsamics around...)


Basil oil is a perfect compliment to this salad and fairly easy to make. Blend 1 cup of basil leaves (packed tightly) with about 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper (to taste). Then just strain out the solids using either a cheese cloth or a splatter guard (used for protection when frying). I place a bowl under the splatter guard and pour some of the liquid through the splatter guard and use a spoon to press out the basil solids and collect the green oil into the bowl. Note: flavored oils that you infuse yourself have a fairly short shelf life and it is best when stored in the refrigerator and used within 2-3 days wheras commercial infused oils will last much longer.

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