(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Photographer: David Silverman
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
CLEVELAND - It is the middle of winter. The skies are gray. It is cold. There is snow on the ground. You need a break. You might not be able to travel to a sun-drenched, happy place, but you can create one in your kitchen. All you need are a few basic ingredients and a taste for the Mediterranean to make herb-infused olive oil at home.
What you will need:
1 Quart Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Few Ounces Dried Herbs (Any herb or combination of herbs you prefer like oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.), preferably on the stem
That is it. Not a long ingredient list, right?
To start, pour your oil into a medium saucepan. Gently heat the oil, but be careful not to heat it above 115 degrees F. Place half of your herbs in the oil. Immediately turn off the heat and let the herbs steep for at least 20 minutes.
Next, strain the oil through a fine sieve and into a container. You can use any spare bottle, jar, or even plastic container. Then, add the rest of your herbs to the oil, and cork it or close it.
The longer you wait to use your infused oil, the more intense the herb flavor will be. One note of caution, make sure you use only dried herbs. Fresh herbs hold water, and water can harbor botulism and other bacteria. The same goes for garlic, lemon, and other fresh vegetables and fruits.
If you do want to add those, keep the oil refrigerated and use it within a week.
Need some ideas for how to use the oil?
Of course, you can use it to make dressings and vinaigrettes. You can also use it as a bread dip. It is also great on toast or crostini. Just sprinkle a little on a slice of bread and put it under the broiler or in the toaster oven. Use it to cook with. It will add zest to scrambled eggs. Toss it with a little parmesan cheese and pasta. Use it as a finishing sauce on roasted meat, chicken, and fish. There are plenty of ways to use it, and to add a little Mediterranean summer to your winter.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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