Where Greeks use infused olive oil
Greeks have been infusing their olive oil with various ingredients for centuries. The tradition originated as an ingenious method of preserving herbs, tomatoes and vegetables and the outcome soon became a popular way of adding flavor to olive oil.
The great part is that infused olive oil is extremely versatile! It can be used to dress salads, potatoes and pasta dishes. It can be brushed on bread before grilling, and is excellent for marinating fish, poultry and red meat dishes. It is also a great-tasting dip, with a variety of flavors suiting a variety of foods.
The most popular herbs used to infuse olive oil are basil, rosemary and sage, but care must be taken to remove all moisture from any leaves before they are added to oil to avoid the cultivating of bacteria and mildew, which would inevitably spoil both the oil and the herbs. These herbs are very light and only add hints of complementary and fresh flavors, rather than overpowering the dish.
Chili flakes and peppercorns are also oil infusing favorites, as they add not only a depth of flavor to the olive oil, but also a level of heat which can’t be gained through any other method of oil preparation. Chili infused olive oil is an excellent base for meat marinades to bring out a more intense flavor.
Sun dried tomatoes give body to olive oil. These are delicious to eat as they are, since the tomatoes have been marinated in the oil. The taste is quite intense and slightly salty, and in this case a little goes a long way. They are fantastic for salads or pasta dishes, but also for breads and meat dishes.
So if regular olive oil isn't adding enough flavor to your meals or if you want to try something new; flavored, infused olive oils would be well worth a try!