This is a great way to have basil/Parmesan on hand year-round. The mixture is stored in the refrigerator and keeps for quite a long time. As olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator, it needs about 15 minutes or so to come to room temperature for serving. If adding to a hot dish, then you can scoop it out straight from the fridge.
The quantities are fairly loose–the important thing is the ratio of herb to cheese: 2 to 1. The amount used will depend on how firmly you press the mixture into the jar(s).
To sterilize a jar or jars, wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water, rinse, then fill jar(s) with boiling water. Pour boiling water over lids in a bowl. Let sit for a bit, then drain and air dry before filling.
jar(s)–half pint, or pint
2 c tightly packed basil leaves, washed and well dried
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Finely mince the basil. Mix with grated Parmesan in a bowl.
2. Put a sprinkling of salt and pepper in the bottom of a prepared jar. Put a couple of tablespoons of the basil/Parmesan mixture over this. Press down until compact; perhaps to half the original volume. Add another fine layer of salt and pepper, then another couple of tablespoons of the basil/Parmesan mixture. Press down again, as before.
3. Continue the layering until the jar is nearly full. You want to leave some headspace for the olive oil. You may have to stop and prepare more basil and grate more Parmesan to fill the jar. Top with a layer of olive oil. Store in the refrigerator.
4. Add to soups, salad dressings, spoon over steamed veggies, over grains, use as a pasta sauce…