How infused oils are made
Before we dive into what you can do with these bottles of pure flavor, let’s talk about how infused oils are made. At Salute Santé! we start with actual organic herbs and spices. Some of our herbs, such as rosemary and basil, come straight from our biodynamic farm which is completely pesticide-free. With those fresh-cut herbs, we create a “grapeseed oil bath” by submerging the herbs into lightly warmed oil. This gently releases the etheric oils of the herbs allowing us to create our own extracts. Truffle oil on the other hand is made in a slightly different fashion. The oils are inoculated with white or black truffles at the best truffle farms in Italy. If you read our blog on truffle oil, you know that we only use real truffles for our infused oils. The essence of truffle is so strong that the oil can take on the flavor just by being in the same room with them.
If you think our process sounds straightforward, that’s because it is. Our beautiful flavor is achieved without the use of chemical or laboratory-made extracts. When it comes to what we put in our bodies, we think simple is better. When the process of infusion becomes complicated, it’s probably not the best.
With all infused oils we find that using a neutral oil such as grapeseed creates the best flavor. That’s why our basil oil tastes like real basil and our truffle oil tastes like real truffles. It’s the ideal canvas to bring the natural flavor of herbs out in the infusion. When you use a powerfully flavored herb, spice, or man-made flavoring with a distinct and potent oil, the ingredients can sometimes clash or mute the flavor. Olive oil bases must be heavily refined to take out the olive flavor first. Alternatively, we start with our delicious grapeseed oil which is lightly nutty and allows our fresh herbs and truffles to shine. No need to strip out anything before we start.
How to to use infused oils for cooking
Now, let’s talk about some fantastic ways you can incorporate herb-infused oils into your kitchen! The first rule of thumb, infused oils are perfect to dip, drizzle, or marinate. For cooking, sautéing, and frying, we suggest you use an unflavored cooking oil like our cold-pressed grapeseed oil. Treat infused oils as if they were your fresh herbs, which you typically add at the end as a garnish. This is because the etheric oils which hold all the flavor can cook off when they’re heated or hot for too long. Our flavored oils are the same, they are intended to be used as finishing oils or to enhance the flavor of other items through marinating.
1. Sauces, Aiolis, and dips
Oil is the main ingredient in aioli and has a prominent role in most dips and sauces. Here’s a genius tip: use an infused oil in addition to your other herbs or instead of them. For example, to make garlic aioli, use roasted garlic oil instead of roasting a head of garlic for a quick weeknight shortcut. Or use basil oil in addition to fresh cut basil for a pure and rich basil flavor. Infused oils are your best friend when it comes to making sauces, aiolis, and dips.
2. Chili oil on ramen and soups
Making ramen at home is such a fun and easy dinner. You can make it as gourmet or as simple as you wish. But chili oil is a game changer for any ramen night! If you like a bit of spice, this is an excellent way to add a kick. But don’t just stop at ramen, we add this to many soups. It’s delicious on top of corn chowder (any chowder, really) and all broth-based soups. The fresh chilis infused into the oil give it a perfect liquid spice.
3. Basil oil on caprese salad or bruschetta
This is a classic use for basil oil and so delicious. To be honest, we put basil oil on almost anything. Because the basil is harvested straight from our organic farm just hours before its infused in oil, this basil oil tastes and smells just like the real herb. Drizzling it on top of a caprese salad or bruschetta is a great way to enhance the flavor of the dish.
4. Rosemary oil on roasted potatoes, chicken or lamb
Herb flavored oils like rosemary are delicious drizzled on roasted potatoes and meats. You can simply roast the potatoes, chicken, or lamb as normal and use rosemary as a finishing oil. Or you can add the infused oil to the marinade for extra flavor.
5. Focaccia bread topping
If you’ve never made homemade focaccia bread, we suggest you give it a try as soon as possible! It’s a relatively easy bread to make and everyone loves the crispy, flaky crust with the soft center. And every great focaccia bread needs a delicious topping. One of our favorites is simply using a pastry brush to slather on roasted garlic oil. You can also mince up fresh garlic to add on top.
6. Muffins and breads
Grapeseed oil is great for baking because it’s light and nutty and not greasy. That’s why we absolutely love using it in baked goods! These lemon poppyseed muffins are a great way to use lemon oil. The lemon grapeseed oil is fresh and citrusy and gives these muffins a fantastic bright flavor. Try it out in other muffins and breads that call for a flavor. We also use our roasted garlic oil to make garlic bread.
7. Great On pastas, Pizzas, and risotto
Try making truffle risotto or truffle mac and cheese with white or black truffle oil. Or how about linguini with basil oil and garlic. Or chili oil on top of homemade pizza. The possibilities are endless! With a pantry of herb-infused oils, you always have the perfect liquid spice on hand to jazz up any Italian dinner night.
8. Dressings and marinades
A classic and brilliant use for infused oils. Dressings and marinades contain a large portion of oil. Using an infused oil offers more opportunities to deepen the flavor. Basil and lemon are particularly great in dressings and all infused oils are wonderful in marinades.
9. Truffle oil on popcorn
10. Add as a finishing touch to any dish! Try it on soups, pastas, cheese boards and pizzas!
The truth is, you can use infused oils on almost anything. Let your imagination run wild in the kitchen and have fun experimenting with your flavored oils.