KP 024| How to Make Basil (Herb) Oil

Flavor infused oils are a great way to add colorful contrasts and interesting tastes to a dish, especially as a last minute garnish. When making your own oils infused with the essence of a fresh green herb, you'll be walking a fine line between extracting the most flavor and color, and completely breaking down the chlorophyll molecules which will give an off taste and appearance.

In this video I demonstrate a great method for extracting both color and flavor using basil, yet this technique will work for any green herb including parsley, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, mint and marjoram, just to name a few.

The standard ratio used in this video is:

  • 3 parts neutral flavored oil (canola) to...
  • 1 part blanched basil leafs and stems

It is always preferable to use a neutrally flavored oil that will not overpower the fresh flavor of the herb being used.

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There are 10 Comments

Nesty's picture

Hi Chef Jacob,

Nice video.

May I ask what is the shelf life of the herb extracted oil in general? thanks

jacob burton's picture

Hi Nesty,

This oil will last a few weeks at least if you keep it refrigerated. After that, it won't be dangerous to use but it will start to slowly loose its flavor.

Jongomez12's picture

Hi Chef,
  I was just wondering if it would be ideal to use the basil oil if I were making a basil mayonnaise?

jacob burton's picture

Basil oil would be a nice addition to basil mayonnaise. If using a blender, I would still add some blanched basil with the eggs and blend them together for a few seconds before adding the basil oil.

Phisher's picture

Do you recommend freezing this oil ? Is there any reason not to?

Phisher's picture

Hello Jacob - thanks for the quick reply!

As I had picked a huge bunch of Thai Basil a day ago, last night I set up your video on the ipad and set about to make the oil.  Couldn't wait for the 24- 48 hr infusion in the fridge so I decanted and filtered this morning.  Had some on bread with homegrown tomatoes  and a drop of sticky balsalmic today. I must say this recipe is a winner - the flavour is amazing.  It is by far the most elaborate that I found but the result is certainly worth it.  Thanks very much - will see how the freezing goes. I will also try it with some purple basil - the colour should be really good - I expect. 



sue pogson's picture

Hey - I just made this and it looked exactly like yours!!  I ams so excited - now off to try with red basil.... What dishes to you recommend using it with please?

jacob burton's picture

@ Sue,

Use this oil as a garnish for any dish that would benefit from a basil flavor; roasted chicken, pizza, pasta, etc.