Olive oil and grapeseed oil, delicious as they can be on their own, become even more mouth-pleasing and versatile when infused with herbs and spices. You can find many varieties of commercially-made infused oils on the market, or you can make your own for a fragment of the cost.
Why bother? Well, there's not a meal in the day that can't be made a little more fragrant and flavorful with infused oils:
For a light breakfast, toast your favorite bread, add cheese and drizzle with herb-and-garlic infused oil.
For lunch, sprinkle infused oil on salads or drizzle atop a hot or cold soup.
For dinner, roast potatoes and chicken with a drizzle of chili and garlic oil.
Got the munchies? You can also drizzle flavored oils on pizza, hot bread, mashed potatoes, sliced tomatoes and popcorn.
You can whip up a quick dipping oil with a few ingredients you may already have in the pantry. One of our favorite snacks, and always a hit when we sample it at our Napa shop, is about as simple as 1-2-3:
Mix equal amounts of extra-virgin olive oil and Zhug (our spicy Red Sea blend).
Let stand five minutes.
Adjust the amounts of olive oil and spices to your taste and consistency preferences.
Seasoned oils grow even more flavorful when you give them time to mellow. This recipe from Ronit includes instructions for both hot and cold infusion methods:
Get the recipe: Italian Style Infused Oil