Last week I shared a delicious fresh herb whole wheat bread recipe with you and mentioned that I’m working on getting as much use as I can from my remaining fresh herbs before summer drifts away.
My quest began a dusting off of some forgotten “to-do’s” from summers past, and I’m so glad I finally got around to making one of the simplest, and tastiest herb-flavored treats out there: fresh herb infused olive oil.
I love the piney flavor and sturdy structure of rosemary. And, since it’s a common herb in Italian cuisine, it makes the perfect flavor to accompany a hot loaf of crusty Italian bread. Serve alongside a plate of homemade lasagna, and you have a meal to please any Italian food lover.
Once the rosemary is totally dry, measure 1 cup of olive oil into a saucepan, add the rosemary, and turn on the heat. You want the heat to be very low. If you see any bubbling or simmering, it’s too hot. Keep it very low for 20-30 minutes. You will know it’s working by the delicious smell it produces as the oil heats and the rosemary releases its fragrance into the oil.
I used two generous sprigs for my oil, and it was quite strong. Some people liked it, others didn’t. If you want a milder oil, add just one sprig.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week. I’m already considering how I can use our leftover oil. Maybe in a loaf of bread? How about the oil I’d use to fry the coating on a batch of Chicken Parmesan? Perhaps I could use it to flavor homemade croutons before toasting in the oven or mix it into pasta salad.