Rosemary, Garlic and Basil-Infused Olive Oil
A few months back, Mark Bittman published a pithy piece in the New York Times, explaining how to create your own infused oils. These flavorful oils are available in your trendy, neighborhood gourmet shop – for a price. Making your own infused oils is fun and inexpensive, especially if you are growing your own crop of herbs. Simply bring a cup of good olive oil and a healthy handful of your favorite herbs, spices and/or aromatics to a very gently boil, and let it cook for a few minutes. After cooling, pour the mixture into your vessel of choice and store refrigerated for about 2 weeks. You can strain out the herbs, if you prefer, but I happen to like how they float gracefully in the celadon sea of oil.
Tiny pots of rosemary and basil growing in my window served as the inspiration for my oil. While the oil simmered, the kitchen swelled with the herbs' heady aromas, tempered with a piquant garlic low note. I plan on using my infused oil to flavor salad dressings, soups, pastas and baked potatoes.
Here are some ingredient ideas for infused oils. Don't forget, you can mix and match:
- Spanish paprika
- Black or pink peppercorns
- Your favorite fresh herbs: Basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, chives, etc
- Garlic or shallots
- Dried hot peppers
What combination will you make?