You could use plain olive oil when you cook, but why not live a little – reach for hot pepper oil or truffle oil to kick it up a notch!
Step 1: Start with a high-quality olive oil.
Here are a few we like:
“The Honest Olive Oil,” a range of imported premium, yet affordable cooking oils and specialty food products, family-owned from the ’60s by two Greek immigrants who launched a grocery market in Astoria, Queens, New York.
The Early Harvest Olive Oil is the freshest flourish of a beautiful olive grove in the mid-range of price.
On the higher end- price wise – is a smooth and grassy extra virgin olive oil made with early-harvest Arbequina and Arbosana olives grown on small family farms in California’s Central Coast. Olives are cold-pressed by a master miller within 90 minutes of harvest for freshness and flavor.
Step 2: Let’s finish this!
Blanch your herbs (fresh only) in boiling water for 2 minutes to bring up their delicious smells. Then run them under cold water, and chop ’em up (you can can leave chili peppers, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs whole to make it purty.) Allow the herbs to dry completely – we mean all the way – this will extend the life of your oil and make sure you don’t get icky bateria up in therrre. Then fill around 1/4 of the jar or bottle with your herbs and fill the rest with olive oil (or sunflower, sesame, and macadamia oil) and seal that shit up. It’s best to use jars with rubber stoppers that seal tight as can be. Let the oils set in the fridge for a few days, and then eat ’em. And these aren’t only delicious – they make amazing gifts if you use sweet bottles.
Step 3: Experiment
Mixing together savory herbs like thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, and bay leaves is a divine combo for roasting or stir-fries or sautés. Other must try herbs: sorrel, lemon thyme, sweet basil, parsley, chili peppers, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin etc – basically try them all (in mixtures that you are fond of.) Fresh herbs will get you a way superior flavor, but dry herbs are okay in a pinch. If you choose to use fresh mushrooms, garlic, or ginger in your oils – you should use them almost immediately, as they go off much quicker than dry/ fresh herbs do.