During the summer and lovely tomato season, I also grow basil...I try to grow a huge amount...
I fell in love with basil infused olive oil. Now, I have read all the warnings about being careful with it as it can get bacteria etc....but if one is careful, it is fabulous.
In short, take some basil and be sure you wash it very well and dry it extra well, then break it (to release the oils) into a jar. Add garlic if you wish.
Then heat the olive oil, not to boiling, just until the oil starts to get very warm, and pour that into the jar. ( Do not let the oil boil!) Instructions vary on the length of time to keep the leaves in there, but all agree to keep it in a dark cool place...Then strain it out and enjoy the oil.
In fact, this oil is the base for the best bruschetta!
I have come up with yummy bruschetta topping....use a tablespoon to two tablespoons of the oil in a bowl. Chop tomatoes very fine and throw into the bowl. Chop fresh garlic and basil and throw that in (to your taste) and then salt and pepper.
I have played all summer with the recipe sometimes it is nice to use onions finely chopped too, but not too much and garlic makes it taste best.. Once it is mixed place the bowl covered into the fridge for about an hour or so.
Before you need the bruschetta, cut a baguette in half lengthwise. Open and use some of the basil oil on the bread and spread it out. Place on a cookie sheet and toast it. At 375, it toasts in about 5-7 mins, but watch it, be careful, too toasty and it really makes it hard to eat.....
Once it is toasted and cooled, place spoonfuls of the now very chilled tomato mix on it and spread it out. Then slice your baguette and enjoy!
This is a simple simple yummy dinner for a hot night or great hors d'oeuvres!
Here is a picture of last nights platter we shared with friends. Even if you have to buy the tomatoes, it is pretty yummy...