Growing up with a grandfather who was a professional chef, I learned at a young age that being Italian means 3 things:
1. Cook with olive oil, NEVER with butter.
2. Learn the art of ‘al dente.‘
3. We drink red wine, we cook with white.
I go through olive oil like gasoline for my car; a ‘fill up’ is needed almost once every week. Whenever I’m at the grocery store, I feel I could spend hours perusing the shelves for the perfect olio di oliva e aceto balsamico. The endless rows of options: cold pressed, organic, extra-virgin, infused, imported–ah, it’s speaking my language! (If you live in the Phoenix area and have ever witnessed an eclectically-dressed girl reading the labels with her best Sofia Loren Italian accent out loud to herself –it was probably me). I hate to admit it, but it’s becoming a favorite pastime of mine, this hunt for the perfect olive oil.
After almost trying out every olive oil the grocery store has to offer, I decided to take it a step further. I decided to do-it-myself and make my own rosemary infused olive oil. After all, why not? Grandpa Frank would be so proud…
DIY Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
1 cleaned, empty glass container (I went to World Market and found a set of 2 oil dispenser jars for only $3.99! Each holding 19.3 oz).
1 bunch fresh rosemary (Air dry the rosemary for 1 day prior to using- I even took a hair dryer to it to help remove any excess moisture!)
20 oz olive oil, equal parts oil to container (I would suggest possibly using a little more olive oil–just in case of any spillage!)
1. Heat up the olive oil and 2-3 springs of rosemary in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes on medium heat. If you would like more rosemary flavor or are doubling/tripling the recipe, add extra rosemary springs to your taste. *Safety note, if the oil starts to smoke, take it off the heat immediately.
2. Meanwhile, place 1-2 air dried rosemary springs in the cleaned, empty glass container. Set aside.
3. Remove the oil from the heat and let it cool until room temperature.
4. After oil is cooled, use a liquid funnel to transfer the cooled oil into the glass container. Be careful of spillage!
5. Cork your newly infused olive oil.
6. Step back and pat yourself on the back for being so crafty.
Also by Alexandra Sirocky: Quinoa Stuffed Portobello
Related: Basic Guide to Cooking Oils
Photo: Jenni Field via Flickr