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July 16, 2021
Do you want tastier and more aromatic foods?

If the answer is yes -which I think it will be…- all you have to do is take a look at the following lines and get in the kitchen to prepare three very easy recipes that can take the taste and aroma of your food to the next level!

Where does it all start? From olive oil!

This is our main ingredient. We need a “plain” olive oil which we are actually going to alter both in terms of its final aroma and its final taste. So, our goal is to create our own flavor-infused olive oil!

How can we do that?

By using our favorite herbs! Here, we have many alternatives. To be precise, they are as many as you can imagine. They can include from fresh or dried herbs, to spices, saffron, mastic, even coffee! Each ingredient can be used alone or combined with others. As for fresh herbs, before using them, we should wash them under running water, carefully pat them dry with paper towels, and let them dry overnight so that no trace of moisture is left on them, as moisture can lead to bacterial growth.

So, lets take a look at the process

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil along with the spices until their aromas are released. The olive oil should reach a temperature of 60οC (140ο F). Allow the olive oil to cool completely and then, use a funnel to transfer it to your bottles or jars. At this point, we should mention that your bottles or jars should be clean and completely dry. If you want, you can put in the bottle -along with the olive oil- the spices that you have used (it is not necessary, since their aromas have already been infused to the oil). If you decide to put them in, make sure that if they are fresh herbs, they are completely covered by the oil, since their tips can become moldy otherwise. Seal the bottles and store them in a cool, dry place for about a month (if you have fresh herbs in the bottle), or for as long as you want if you have kept only the oil in the bottle. This is one of the two processes for the preparation of our flavor-infused oil. The second is the following:

Wash and dry your fresh herbs as described above. If you want, press them a little with your hands in order to help them release their aromas, or if you have chosen several spices, lightly crush them with a mortar and pestle. Put the herbs-spices in the clean, dry bottles and fill them with olive oil, making sure they are completely covered. Seal the bottles well and leave them in a cool, dry place for at least 10 days to 2 weeks, until the olive oil starts to take on the aromas of the herbs and spices. In fact, at this point, you can try the olive oil every few days to see how aromatic you want it. When its taste and aroma are to your taste, strain your oil if you want and transfer it back to the bottles where you can store it until you use it all.

We prepared it. And now, where do we use it?

The flavor-infused olive oil can be used everywhere in our cooking. For example, we can enhance the taste and aroma of our freshly cut salad or grilled vegetables with it, or make our pasta even more delicious, or drizzle our mashed potatoes, rice, and even our meat with it.

Below, you will find 3 unique recipes for flavor-infused olive oils. We can prepare it in the kitchen of our home in just 5 minutes and store it in our cupboard - ready to be used whenever we need it!

Αρωματικό ελαιόλαδο από τον Άκη ΠετρετζίκηCHILI-INFUSED OLIVE OIL

Yields: 500 ml | Hands-on time: 5’ | Waiting time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 1

  • 3 chili peppers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 500 g olive oil

Cut the chili peppers and the garlic into thin slices, and put them in a bowl. Pour the olive oil into a saucepan, transfer it over low heat, and let your oil reach a temperature of 60οC (140ο F). Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the olive oil into the bowl with the chili pepper and the garlic. Stir and allow the oil to cool completely. Transfer the oil with the chili peppers and the garlic into bottles. Let the oil absorb the aromas from the chili and garlic for 3 hours, strain it, and transfer it into bottles which you seal well and store in a cool, dry place.

SAFFRON-INFUSED OLIVE OIL

Yields: 500 ml | Hands-on time: 5’ | Waiting time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 1

  • 1 g saffron powder
  • 500 g olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns

Add the saffron, the olive oil, and the pink peppercorns into a saucepan over low heat, and let your oil reach a temperature of 60οC (140ο F), for 3-4 minutes. Make sure that the oil’s temperature does not rise a lot as the saffron will burn. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the olive oil cool completely. Transfer to bottles and let the oil absorb the aromas from the saffron and the pepper for at least 3 hours. Strain the olive oil and transfer it into bottles which you seal well and store in a cool, dry place.

ROSEMARY-INFUSED OLIVE OIL

Yields: 500 ml | Hands-on time: 5’ | Waiting time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 1

  • 500 g olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary

Add the olive oil and the 3 rosemary sprigs into a saucepan over low heat, and let your oil reach a temperature of 60οC (140ο F). Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the olive oil cool completely and the rosemary release its aromas. Add the rest of the sprigs, transfer the olive oil to a bottle, and let it absorb the aromas for at least 3 hours. At this point, you should make sure that the rosemary is completely covered by the olive oil. Strain the oil and transfer it back into the bottle, seal it well and store it in a cool, dry place.

Cooking Tip: The longer you leave the olive oil with the ingredients in the bottle, the more intense will be the taste and the aroma of your oil.

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