In India, we love to make basil and mint chutney, which involves blending the leaves together with water, salt, green chillies, and lemon juice. The antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that these wonderful herbs bestow are a blessing, in addition to their fabulous taste.
But recently, I discovered the pleasure of making herb-flavored vegetable oil. It’s ready in a jiffy, and does wonders in enhancing the flavor and nutritional benefits of everyday food.
Here is the recipe:
- 3 cups mint leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 ½ cups canola oil
- Coarse salt to taste
- 1 or 2 green chillies (optional)
Clean, wash, and finely chop the leaves. Blanch them in rapidly boiling water for about 20 seconds, and immerse into an ice bath.
Blend them with the green chillies and oil in a blender. Strain through a cheesecloth and pour the herbalicious oil into a clean glass jar.
Tip: Dont discard the herb solids: you can add them to stew or soup for extra flavor. I tossed them into a bowl of freshly cooked basmati rice, and was rewarded with a divine aroma.
5 exciting ways to use this oil
Toss cooked pasta in this oil, along with finely chopped garlic and salt. Simple and delicious!
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan and stir-fry vegetables in it.
Drizzle it over grilled tomatoes and soups.
Instead of the usual rosemary sprigs, try roasting potatoes tossed in this minty oil.
Fill baked mushroom caps with this oil, minced garlic, and season to taste.