Food Lovers’ Fridays: I’m a big fan of bringing classical cooking methods and recipes into the home kitchen. Today’s post is part of a series meant to highlight those traditional techniques and recipes that can be used in or adapted to paleo cooking.
The Husband and I are pretty comfortable with our lack of hipster cred, despite living in the city “where young people go to retire.” We’re at a different stage now: somewhat shocked to be “the grown ups” in the family, still getting that urge to call our parents to come fix it when something goes wrong (though we usually don’t), but overall, we’ve settled more or less comfortably into a fairly traditional kids/house/dog lifestyle. Hubs has even gone to the dad joke, more than once.
However, today’s Food Lover’s Friday is about herb infused oils, which makes me want to learn all of the hot new slang, so that I can impress upon you the awesomeness of this technique.
For one, it’s dead easy. Two, it is incredibly quick. Three, this much flavor will seriously up your dinner game. Fr fr.
Now that I’ve embarrassed my children (Hey, kids! Get off the internet! KThxBai. <3, Yr Mom), let’s get down to business. Infused oils are simple, elegant, and bring a whole new world of flavor to your table. Use them as the base for your salad dressings, drizzle them into soup, splash some on roasted veggies, mix them with sour cream for dipping sauce — basically, anywhere you need a shot of fresh herbal flavor. Thinking ahead to the holidays (I know, I know, but I’ve been seeing decorations in the stores since August), flavored oils are a great gift. It’s something people rarely think to make for themselves, but love to get.
I grow a mix of perennial herbs all over our garden — these plants are gorgeous and can take all sorts of neglect. When I make infused oils, my homegrown herbs are mostly what I use, since they are there. I like putting in a bit of this and a pinch of that, but you can always buy mixes if you don’t feel confident making up your own. Mixed herbs are incredibly easy to find at your grocery store or spice shop (Savory Spice Shop is incredibly convenient for me, so that’s where I tend to go). Just make sure wherever you buy your spices does a brisk business: you don’t want to make your oil with spices that are too old (ha, see what I did there? Old spice? Ahem).
I almost always use olive oil as the base, simply because I always have it on hand, but do try other oils like sesame or macadamia nut; they will add another interesting flavor note to the mix. Keep these in the fridge for the best flavor, and use within a month.
- 1 cup olive or other oil
- Fresh herbs (for this batch I used 2 sprigs of rosemary, approximately 5" long)
- Wash and dry the herbs; they must be absolutely bone dry.
- In a small saucepan, combine the herbs and oil. Over medium-low heat, warm the herbs for approximately 5-10 minutes, or until their flavor has suffused the oil. Remove from heat. When cool, strain the solids from the oil. Pour the oil into the container of your choice and refrigerate immediately. Use within one month.