I am passionate with herbs and I use them both in cooking and as remedies, since, thanks to their numerous therapeutic properties, they promote our health in a less invasive –more natural way. Fortunately, nature has endowed most of them with seducing aromas and flavors so that most people love cooking with herbs.
However we cannot have all of our favorite herbs in their fresh form throughout the year, since, depending on their type, each herb has its season. In the Mediterranean, a traditional way to keep herbs as fresh as possible throughout the year is by blending them with olive oil.
In this recipe I am preparing a herbal oil in order to conserve one my favorite summer aromatic herbs –spearmint. During summer, our spearmint grows big and we can enjoy it in abundance but during winter we rarely find some small leaves on it. So as to bring the freshness and aroma of spearmint in our kitchen all through the year, I prepare some jars of spearmint herbal oil and I keep them for very long time in our refrigerator. The uses of it are numerous since it adds fragrance in our fresh salads, especially Greek salad, it enhances the taste of our dishes or it simply relishes a slice of warm bread.
- 100 gr (about 2 cups) washed and drained leaves from the herb of your choice (spearmint, basil, dill, rosemary, rocket etc.)
- 200 ml (1 cup) virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar or other good quality vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash and drain herbs and place them on a clean towel for 1-2 hours or spin them in a salad spinner to dry.
- Put in a food processor all the ingredients and blend them until a smooth paste has been formed.
- Divide the mixture into two sterilized airtight jars and keep them in the refrigerator. Whenever we want to add extra flavor to our dishes, we can replace a part of the oil required by the recipe with our favorite herbal oil.