The wet summer has probably led even the most minimalist herb garden to explode over the past few weeks. The good news is that, without a lot of effort, you can turn your kitchen into a Dean and Deluca by combining your surplus herbs with olive oil.
Infused olive oils are primarily used in dressings and marinades,
particularly on fish, or simply as a finishing touch on a dish that is
finished cooking. Infused oils may seem fancy and complicated (an opened bottle will only last for about a week), but the reality is that to make one, you just need a bit of time and a lot of herbs. Odds are you have an abundance of basil and are getting sick of pesto, so let's start there.
Once Upon a Plate has a quick recipe that requires only a pot, bowl, strainer and blender. If you're a visual learner, here's a video walk-through.
After that, you've probably still got basil left and need a drink after
standing beside a hot burner for five minutes.
Vodka can also be easily
infused with an herb or spices -- that's the theme behind the
restaurant Infused in Shawnee.
Vodka infusions are even easier than oils. Garlic and basil can be infused into vodka as a nice, spicy base for a Bloody Mary. However, please avoid the temptation to mix your Skittles with vodka. With great infusion comes great responsibility.