May 15, 2009
Pantry: Flavored Olive Oil
by Gareth Mark
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.