Blooming herbs and spices in olive oil develops a depth of flavor that can’t be matched. We keep a jar of the herbes de Provence version on hand for cooking scrambled or fried eggs at breakfast. Using a za’atar version in the vinaigrette for Mediterranean Grain Salad will transport tastebuds to far off lands. See suggestions following recipe for other uses.
- 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ⅓ cup dried Herbs or a blend such as Herbes de Provence, Middle Eastern Za’atar, Italian Seasoning or Greek Seasoning
- OR 1 cup chopped fresh Herbs (any combination of Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Tarragon, Rosemary, Thyme, Cilantro, Savory and Sage)
- 1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) Salt
- 1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper or Red Chili Flakes
- 3/4 – 1 teaspoon granulated Garlic or 3 – 4 fresh cloves, minced
- Warm 2 cups of olive oil on a low heat until just warm to the touch (about 100 degrees F). Add ⅓ cup dried herbs or 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs . Add the salt, pepper and garlic. Stir together, turn off heat and cover, allowing it to steep for 12 hours.
- After the first steep, warm the oil as before, stir, turn off heat, cover pan and let steep for another 12 hours.
- After the second steeping period, strain the oil and store it in a glass container in the refrigerator.
Mix herbes de Provence or za’atar versions in plain hummus.
Use any version with chevre (soft goat cheese) or softened cream cheese for a cheese spread for crackers or crostini.
But wait, there’s more! Don’t discard the herbs and spices once you’ve separated them from the oil. Keep the pulpy mash in a container in the refrigerator for coating root veggies before roasting, spreading on toasty bread or adding to popcorn after popping.