Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Oil Recipe
Photography by William Hereford
Homemade basil oil elevates this overtly simple salad.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, such as ‘Rutgers,’ scored and cut into wedges
1 medium-size sweet onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
12 basil sprigs
Coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Basil Oil
To make the Basil Oil: In a small bowl, prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Using metal tongs, add 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves to boiling water, pressing down to submerge them. Remove basil as soon as it wilts and turns bright green, about 4 seconds; transfer basil to reserved ice-water bath and steep until chilled, about 1 minute. Drain basil and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a blender, combine basil and ½ cup olive oil; purée on high speed until mixture is smooth and bright green. Place a small, very fine-mesh strainer over a soup bowl and pour the basil purée into strainer. Allow oil to drip through mesh for 5 to 6 hours (don’t press down on the purée, as oil will get murky). Discard pulp and pour basil oil into an airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Makes ½ cup)
Arrange tomatoes and onions on a serving platter. Scatter basil over top and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle Basil Oil over top. Serve immediately.