I’m a big fan of olive oil. Not only do I use it for most of my cooking, it’s my favorite condiment aside from salt and pepper (what can I say? I’m a traditionalist). I love tossing pasta in olive oil, dipping bread in olive oil and drizzling olive oil over vegetables. I can’t get enough. I recently bought a little sprayer that allows me to spray olive oil on cookie sheets, into pans, and onto my popcorn in a thin, even layer.
It didn’t occur to me until I was visiting a friend’s house a few months ago just how easy it is to create your own flavored oils. Here’s what you do:
1) Take something delicious like sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, lemon rind, chiles, basil and basically anything else you can think of.
2) Stick in in a jar of olive oil and leave it there.
That’s it! You can let it sit for a few days and then strain it, but why not just let it float around in there, making your olive oil beautiful and exotic looking (though if you’re not going to use it within a week or two, pressure can it).
I put some purple basil and a clove of garlic in a jar of olive oil a few months ago and forgot about it until I pulled it out from behind a bunch of other jars as I was tidying up the kitchen this week. I cut up a baguette and used the oil for dipping. It was delicious– spiciness from the garlic and the green-ness of the basil was the perfect combination.