May 15, 2009

Pantry: Flavored Olive Oil

Flavored Oil Mise en Place

Flavored oils are excellent additions to the home pantry--they're a quick way to add flavor to any dish. They are also quite simple to make. All you need is a good extra virgin olive oil, the flavor components you want to include, and a clean bottle to age them in.

I started with a late 2007 harvest blended extra virgin olive oil from Fanucchi Oils. It's a very nice oil, well balanced, with a grassy flavor accented with apple and a hint of citrus. This oil pairs well with rosemary, and because it doesn't have a strong pepper component in the flavor, pink peppercorns add a touch of sweet pepperiness.

Wash and thoroughly air dry 3-4 spears of organic rosemary. Put them into a sterile, bone-dry glass bottle that holds 2 cups or so. Add two tablespoons of pink peppercorns, and then pour two cups of the oil into the bottle. Seal the bottle and put it in a cool, dark place for a one to three weeks.

The peppercorns tend to float, so you'll probably want to strain the oil before using. If you're going to give it as a gift, you'll want to put some fresh rosemary into the gift bottle to make a prettier picture.

Use it any time you want to add some rosemary and pepper flavor. Vary the flavoring elements and proportions to suit your taste. Just remember that a flavored oil will only last about 3 months, so don't make too much at once.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Gareth, you speak to the Mediterranean lover in me, I love olive oil. Flavoring it sounds pretty good. I'm thinking some garlic & thyme now... Oh wait, you *did* flavor olive oil with garlic before, I just see it above now on possibly related posts link. Okay, so have you used it yet? Before I did, but I chopped up more garlic cloves. Came out more acidic than I'd enjoy that time, but maybe less garlic would do for it's nicely pungent with small amount too, anyway.

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  2. Thanks! That link was to some other blog; I have no control over that. But I read it and it looks like it's about right. I would use either whole raw cloves, or would either roast or confit the garlic first. With confit you'd need a lot of garlic but the flavor would be good and non-acidic.

    In any case, if you make flavored oil with garlic, I'd love to know how it comes out.

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