CHICOPEE, Mass. (August 6, 2015, Mass Appeal TV, NBC affiliate) Infusing your oils and vinegars with fresh herbs will add an extra layer of flavor to your dishes! Leslie Cerier, shares information from one of her cookbooks, ‘Going Wild in the Kitchen’ to show us how easy they are to make.
MIX AND MATCH
Arugula, basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lemon thyme, marjoram, mints, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon, and thyme.
Spices: Chili peppers, garlic, ginger, vanilla beans ( soft)
Bee balm, calendula, chive flowers, chrysanthemums, dandelion flowers, Johnny-jump-ups, lavender, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, red clover, rose petals, violets, and wild mustard (for vinegar only)
For Oils: Lemons, limes, sun-dried tomatoes.
For Vinegars: Apricots, blueberries, elderberries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, lemons, limes, figs, cranberries, wild and domestic black cherries and plums, pomegranates.
For both oil and vinegar: Dandelion greens, nettles, wild horseradish (garlic mustard)
For Vinegar only: Burdock, dandelion greens, motherwort, yellow dock root, white pine needles, pinion pine needles
Orange, tangelo, tangerine, lemon, lime
ADD A SPLASH OF COLOR
RED – Raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, wild cherries, black cherries
GOLDEN – Ginger, Dandelion flowers, pine needles
BLUE – Blueberries
BLACK – Black figs
PURPLE – Elderberries
AMBER – Pears
MAGENTA – Purple basil
TAN – Burdock
PINK – Chive blossoms
LAVENDER – Lavender flowers
BROWN – Mushrooms
GREEN – Nettles
Infusing Oils & Vinegar Tips
- Use a clean dry glass jar with a lid.
- When using strong-flavored ingredients like mint, tarragon, or chilies, fill one-third of the jar with these ingredients and two-thirds with oil.
- When using fresh ingredients—herbs, spices, edible flowers, fruits, mushrooms—fill the jar about an inch from the top, and cover completely with oil (extra virgin or light olive oil is recommended).
- When using dried mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes, fill the jar only halfway with these ingredients, as they will absorb the oil and expand, eventually filling the jar. As the ingredients steep and expand, you will have to continue adding oil to keep them covered.
- Before screwing on the lid, try to eliminate any air holes by pressing the plant ingredients down gently with a butter knife.
- Once you have finished preparing the jar, label it with the contents, including the type of oil, and the date it was prepared. Also include the date it will be ready to use—two to six weeks later.
- Place the jar on a small plate and set it on a windowsill. After two weeks, check the flavor of the oil, and continue checking it once a week after that.
- When the oil is ready and has been strained into a clean bottle or jar, add a label with the type of oil and the date.
- Store in a cool dry place, where it will keep for at least a year.