I have embarked on a new culinary adventure, making flavored olive oil and vinegar. I found the process to be quite simple and can add so much to whatever I am cooking.
Step 1– wash and dry thoroughly one and half cups lightly crushed basil, mint, tarragon, dill or cilantro. place herbs in a wide-mouthed glass jar. the drying part of this process is an important one, as mold will form if any water is left on the herbs.
Step 2– pour in 1 cup canola oil, olive oil, apple-cider or wine vinegar. put in cool, dark place for 2 weeks. swirl every day to keep leaves moist. make sure the oil or vinegar is covering all of the herbs and they are not peaking over the top.
Step 3– decant the oil and vinegar into a sealable bottle through a funnel lined with several layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to catch the herbs.
Step 4– press leaves gently to get all liquid. cap the bottle, store oil in the refrigerator up to a month or vinegar in a dark cupboard indefinitely.
Other flavor ideas:
Rosemary-orange (oil or vinegar):1/4 cup fresh rosemary and the zest from 4 oranges
Jalapeno (oil or vinegar): 5 whole peppers, stems removed
Pineapple-mint (vinegar): one and a half peeled, cut up pineapple and 1/2 cup packed, lightly crushed mint
Peppered strawberry (vinegar): 2 tsp whole black peppercorns and 1 cup sliced strawberries
Ginger-apple (vinegar): 3 slices fresh ginger and 1 cup chopped apple