With fresh herbs in abundance at this time of year, a quick, flavorful way to use them is to make an oil. Use a flavored oil to drizzle on grilled seafood, poultry, or meats. It also adds terrific flavor when used for making mayonnaise, vinaigrette and dressings, pesto. Toss with pasta or saute vegetables to flavor, or drizzle over grilled or roasted vegetables. Choose an herb to suit your ingredients or mood. Use basil, dill, mint, parsley fennel greens, cilantro, chives, or tarragon. Stored in the refrigerator, the oil will keep for about 1 week.
1/2 cup tightly packed leaves of herb of choice
1 cup olive oil
Fine Grain Sea Salt, to taste
Place the herbs in a blender or food processor with the oil. Puree the mixture. Place a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and add the oil-herb mixture. Allow to drip and try not to press on the herbs or the oil will be cloudy. Place the oil in an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
You may use the herbs leftover in the strainer for pesto, mixed into butter, or to toss with cooked vegetables.
Black Peppercorn and Lemon
Orange, tangerine, grapefruit, or lime zest may be used instead of the lemon zest. This oil adds a nice gentle kick to seafood, poultry, vegetables. Stored in the refrigerator, the oil will keep for about 1 week.
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1 cup olive oil
Place the zest and pepper in a jar. Add the oil, cover the jar, and refrigerate the jar. Let the oil sit for 1 day before using, to allow flavors to infuse. After 1 day, shake the oil and strain if you like. Otherwise, let the lemon and pepper settle and spoon off the oil to use.
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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