vegetable oils can be infused with herbs, spices or other aromatic
ingredients (except garlic) to give them a distinctive flavor and color.
The simplest way to make infused oils is just to stick whole herbs on the
stem into a bottle of oil and let it stand for a couple of weeks, until
the oil takes on the taste of the herb. Chopping or pureeing the herb, or
heating the oil, speeds up the process so that the oil can be used sooner.
heating the oil, as for dried mushroom oil, helps to extract maximum
flavor from the ingredient. Heat woody herbs such as thyme, rosemary and
marjoram without losing flavor, but the flavor of fragile herbs such as
basil and parsley (any herb that doesn't dehydrate well) is destroyed by
oils can be used in any sauce in which you'd use a plain vegetable or
olive oil (such as vinaigrettes or mayonnaises), or as flavoring or sauces
in themselves, drizzled over foods instead of a sauce, Infused oils can
also be used for gentle sautéing, as for breaded foods, when the heat
isn't so high that it would destroy the flavor of the oil.
washed and dried basil leaves in a food processor with just enough extra
virgin olive oil to get the mixture to turn around.
the mixture for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the
processor bowl with a rubber spatula every 20 seconds or so. Transfer to
additional extra virgin olive oil to cover the pureed basil leaves
the bowl with plastic wrap and let infuse overnight at room temperature.
the oil through a fine-mesh sieve or a strainer lined with a triple
layer of cheesecloth.
Transfer to glass bottles. Store at room temperature up to a month.