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The art of infusion

Sniff, swirl, sip & taste! Infused extra virgin olive oil is delicious and breathes a new life into dishes, hot or cold!

Infusion is the process in which various ingredients are allowed to sit on the oil, and slowly release its natural flavors. The resulting infused oil bursts with flavor, color, amazing aromas and health benefits. Greeks have been infusing olive oil for centuries, their traditions originating as an ingenious way of preserving vegetables, and herbs, and later on adding them into the olive oils for infusing. What can be so special about infusing olive oils and using them? The best part of using infused olive oil is that, it is versatile. Infused oils not only add a flavor and depth to your dishes, but the heat gained in infusing olive oils with ingredients like pepper, and chilli cannot be obtained through any other method.

Ever tried infusing olive oils? What do you think are the requirements? A sunny window, some ingredients, olive oil and a little time? Is that all you need? No, absolutely not! You just can’t drop a few pods of garlic, or a handful of basil leaves into the oil and call it a day. Infusing olive oil is more an art than a science and has to be done religiously. Care has to be taken that the ingredients used for infusing are organic, so that one does not end up having chemicals in their oil. Infusing process needs to be done meticulously to make sure that the ingredients add a complimentary note of flavour, and do not overpower the dish.

Extra virgin olive oil is a secret weapon for helping in weight loss. Adding the oil as a part of regular diet will delay the onset of diabetes. Antioxidants present in the oil and which can be felt from its peppery and bitter notes bestows it with prodigious health virtues. Rosemary, chilli, basil and garlic are some popular herbs for infusing olive oils. Birds eye chilli and peppercorns make a fantastic addition to add heat in the dishes. Brush it over shrimp and grilled veggies, or drizzle atop soups and summer salads for an extra zing. Try olive oil infused with sun dried tomatoes. They are not only healthy, but their taste is intense, delicious and a bit salty too. Full bodied oil with peppery notes are used for dipping and dressing, while milder versions are for sauteing. Oil with buttery tones pair with delicate dishes like fish.

BAKED BRIE                                                         PESTO

Infused extra virgin olive oils make a fantastic addition to salads, pasta dishes, or to add an extra punch to grilled meat or veggies by drizzling the oil. Or simply enjoy its aroma and flavor with a chunk of crusty bread. Make fresh summer pesto. Pick fresh basil from your garden and grind it in a mortar with garlic cloves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Store in jars and relish its flavor; mix it into dips, top it over baked brie and mix in salad dressings. They add savory accents to summer salads and hydrating cold soups.

Extra virgin olive oils are more stable comparatively over other oils and does not go rancid quickly. However, just make sure not to leave it in sunlight or near the stove. Olive oil, just like vampires; hate light!

Infused olive oil looks great on kitchen shelves and also make an impressive gift. Heart friendly olive oil infused with natural ingredients – what can be better? So, if you think regular olive oils are not enough to add that extra flavour you are seeking for in your dishes, then infused olive oils are worth a try. Delicious and incredibly healthy. Bon appétit!

 

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