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Fast Flavor: Herb-Infused Oil

herb infused oil Often the simplest things can make the biggest differences in a recipe. A dash of cocoa powder in mole sauce or a clove of garlic in mashed potatoes elevate the dish from everyday to gourmet.

Such is the case with herb-infused oil.

Start with a high quality oil, such as extra virgin olive oil. Add a handful or two of fresh herbs and heat the oil gently for a few minutes. In that time, the herbs give over their flavor to the oil. Cool, strain out the herbs, and add a luxurious layer of flavor to salad dressing, sauces, or any recipe needing an herbal boost.

I used the pictured rosemary and sage oil to make a white bean dip. If I had used the herbs raw, the texture of the dip might have suffered, it would have turned an off-green color, and the pungent herbs could have overwhelmed the eater. Instead, the autumn-flavored oil heightened the spread from something mundane to a distinctive accompaniment to a crudite plate.

Fast flavor, short post. Try it!