Month of October: “David Tanis Market Cooking” Recipe: Green Basil Oil

“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.” W.S Merwin

David Tanis, former head chef at Alice Water’s infamous Chez Panisse in Berkeley is in my humble opinion a culinary giant. I cherish his recipes. There is not one that has ever disappointed or misled me. In “Market Cooking” the premise is very simple: buy and cook the freshest produce in season. Since I am working with this book in October I have to forfeit so many delicious looking possibilities made with radishes, asparagus, leeks and peas but that is fine because there are many other vegetables to choose from that are still being harvested. Right now we have a few lingering summer flavors so I am starting with the most amazing basil oil. Abby and I adored basil. Over the years I lived near her we would always make tons of pesto from our homegrown basil. It was like a pesto factory and we packaged our little bundles into freezable pouches. This oil is just as delicious and makes a wonderful addition to a spring vegetable soup or fresh piece of white fish. Of course a slice of tomato always works too.

Pick the leaves from a fine bunch of basil about 2 handfuls and about 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley. Puree in a food processor (or use a mortar and pestle or blender) with 1 garlic clove, about 3/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt until you have a bright green, not very thick sauce. It doesn’t hold an emulsion so stir before using. Makes about 1 cup.

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