I have been playing with new ways to use my garden veggies and herbs this summer. The garden has been hugely productive and I have been able to try a ton of new recipes – some were great, others – meh – but isn’t that the process for everything?
One of my favorite things to play with this summer has been my herbs. I recently found a method to preserve herbs in oil for long term storage that will infuse the oil with a lovely and robust flavor. Imagine the dressings, the chicken and fish dishes, the dipping with garlic and bread! YUM!
But for oil infusions using the cold infusion method, it takes time to infuse the flavor into the oils before you can really enjoy them. Not being one to delay gratification too much, I tried a heat infusion method that I really liked. It was super simple and will last for a couple of weeks if stored in an air tight jar in your fridge. Don’t store these long term or on the counter as they could develop botulism – nobody needs a trip to the ER during a pandemic. If you want to store them long term, use this method.
I used a 3 quart pot with approximately 8 ounces of olive oil in it for this recipe. I like a milder flavor to my olive oil, so I use an extra virgin flavor. You can use a more robust flavor, or even another oil or blend. I tend to like to use olive oil for the heart healthy benefits – and because it pairs well with so many things I cook. It is rare that I use oil, so I don’t feel bad about using a quality olive oil rather than corn or canola oil in the vast majority of my dishes.
I had my oil on low heat – I didn’t want to fry the herbs and get a burnt flavor infused into the oil. After your oil has heated sufficiently, drop in your herbs and garlic (I opted for fresh sliced cloves) and allow the herbs to infuse into the oil. I left mine in for about 10 minutes and it proved to be a VERY strong flavor. Let it cool to room temperature and strain. The easiest way to catch all the little bits is to use a coffee filter in a funnel. While really good on the salmon I cooked, a little went a long way. If you plan to use it with bread dipping spices, you may not want it quite this strong.
This scallion, garlic, and basil blend was super easy and really packed in some healthy flavor to my salmon. I can’t wait to use it on chicken. Be sure to store this in the refrigerator as it will not keep on the counter. It should last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Do you have a favorite herb blend in oil?
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