Start a small pot of water to boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Remove the basil leaves from the stem and wash them; measure out 1 packed cup of leaves (make sure to pack the cup full for the best flavour). Once the water is boiling, add the basil and boil for 1 minute. Immediately turn off the heat, remove the basil and plunge it into the ice bath. Once the leaves are cool, remove them from the water and squeeze out as much excess water as possible, then dry them with a paper towel. (At this point the leaves will have wilted and reduced to a very small handful.)
Place the blanched basil, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender or in the cup for an immersion blender; blend until fully combined. Taste, and add additional salt if desired. Pour into a sealable container. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
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