Extra virgin olive oil
Mix with variations of the following ingredients:
- Lemon rind
- Red pepper flakes
- Whole peppercorns
- Dried hot peppers
- Dried or fresh dried herbs (such as rosemary or thyme)
- Dried tomatoes
Infused oils can add a wonderful touch to any dish. Simply mix your ingredients of choice in with the olive oil. While some people swear that it’s fine to leave your olive oil out on the counter for a week or so, it is recommended that if you don’t plan to use it all in one meal be quick to refrigerate infused olive oil and use it within 3 to 5 days. For this reason, you may want to make small batches at a time.
One key tip is to make sure that whatever you are adding to the oil contains no water or moisture. Moisture is a carrier for bacteria. So all rinds, cloves or herbs must be dry before you mix them in. You can dry fresh herbs in a food dehydrator or place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit for one to two hours. As they cook, leave the oven door open a crack.
Another option for removing moisture is to preserve the ingredients you’re adding in a brine or vinegar.