I love all aspects of the taste of olive oil: whether natural, aromatic or infused. I'm sure you feel the same way. Whilst natural olive oil is the taste of family tradition, an aromatic or infused oil completely transforms the flavor of your dishes.
I have my own recipes for infused olive oils and have spent time perfecting them over the years. My family loves it when I use these infusions in my cooking. I would love for you to experience the satisfaction of discovering and improving your own infused olive oil recipes, so I want to share with you how to flavor olive oil for when you want to add a Gourmet touch to your dishes.
The best way to falvor olive oil
When I started teaching myself the art of adding flavor to olive oil, I confused the distinction between aromatic oil and infused oil. I quickly learned the difference. Creating aromatic olive oil involves adding the spices to raw oil and leaving it to marinate for at least two weeks. Flavoring olive oil is something very different. This is how to do it:
Add one cup of olive oil to a pan, and to that add the ingredients you want to infuse it with. Such as: garlic, pepper, thyme or chili peppers. Heat it on low heat so that the chemistry takes place without burning the added ingredients or the oil itself. It is essential to have a kitchen thermometer nearby so you can measure the temperature of the oil. Once it reaches 140ºF (60ºC), take it off the heat and leave it for an hour to infuse.
Once you have done this, strain the olive oil and pour it into a glass bottle. It's then ready for you to enjoy with the dish of your choice.
Possible olive oil flavors
To choose what you want to flavor your olive oil with, it is important that you know what you want to use the oil for. Preparing a special oil for salads is not the same as preparing an oil for pizzas.
Olive oil infused with garlic, pepper and bay leaf is a good place to start because this works with any dish: red meat, white meat, fish, pasta and any savory dish that you'd like to enhance.
If you wish to prepare an Italian recipe, infuse extra virgin olive oil with basil, garlic and salt to produce a delicious and consistent infused oil. Another option is to infuse your oil with oregano, bay leaf and salt.
For salads it is best to infuse your oil with lemon zest.
I recommend you try various ingredients to make your infused olive oil, until you find the perfect match for your dishes.