Which camp do you consider yours when it comes to eating fat? Moderation matters, harmless propaganda victim so eat all you want, or type determines comfort: saturated versus unsaturated? Olive oil seems to have a protective barrier around it keeping it immune to the ongoing debate. Olive oil survives all criticisms and presents itself as the rich sweetheart.
Olive oil spotlights in salad dressings, meat marinades, sauces, drizzling on roasted vegetables or pasta, and even baking showing up in recipes old and new. Cakes, cookies, muffins, really any recipe calling for butter can with a little tweaking substitute in olive oil.
It’s a faultless addition of Mediterranean flavor. Even better (because we always want better) herb infused olive oil can elevate taste to compound intensities.
The transformation while easy requires some planning ahead, about 4 weeks. Once done, though, it will keep a long time in your pantry, unless you use it up right away in a cake.
I love making herb infused oils best of all herbal preparations. Placing dried herbs in a clean jar, covering with organic olive oil, infusing for 4-6 weeks is effortless alchemy. It’s important to use dried herbs versus fresh because the water content in fresh herbs could introduce bacteria and we don’t want that, obviously. Lightly heating oil helps maximize the infusion. I bought a yogurt maker when my children were toddlers and information on probiotics and gut bacteria was just emerging. But my children rejected homemade yogurt for fruity, sugary store bought brands that sadly had not much benefit. I got discouraged and put the yogurt maker away. Many times I looked at it and thought I should donate it. Now I’m so relieved I never did. It’s the perfect tool for long, slow oil infusions.
The only downside to oils is the need to plan ahead. Baking and planning make beautiful partners, though. It’s not always convenient to think a month ahead, but I have found that baking in stages helps and if there is always something in the works in my kitchen somehow that makes everything feel a little brighter.