- For the basil-infused oil
- 1 cup green basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 1/2 cup cold-pressed virgin olive oil
- For the salad
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 cup sliced goat\\\'s-milk feta
- 3 T caper berries
- 2 T pumpkin seeds, roasted
- purple basil leaves, to garnish
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the basil-infused oil:
Prepare an ice bath with chilled water and ice cubes. Submerge 1 cup fresh basil leaves briefly in boiling water and remove using a slotted spoon before immediately plunging the leaves into the ice bath.
Dry the blanched leaves on kitchen paper, then add, along with the olive oil, to a blender and blend until the leaves are finely chopped.
Tip the contents of the blender into an oil filter over a jug and leave until the oil has dripped through the filter and you are left with clear, emerald green basil-infused oil.
Use this oil within 2 weeks.
To make the salad:
Arrange the watermelon, feta, caper berries and pumpkin seeds on four plates. Scatter the extra green and purple basil leaves over. Dress the salads with basil-infused oil just before serving and season to taste.
Mariana Esterhuizen is the owner-chef of Marianas Home Deli and Bistro in Stanford. You can call her on (028) 341 0272 if you have any queries about this recipe.