If you're looking to impress the folks, the significant other, or your friends with a fancy-pants dinner, you only need a few hours to whip up a quick-infused olive oil that seriously boosts your offerings. Search around the web for recipes to infuse olive oil with herbs, citrus peel, garlic, or other flavors, and you'll typically be looking at a mash-bottle-wait-and-wait affair. An Atlantic magazine food blogger, however, suggests that mashing up your flavors in a bowl a few hours before serving, then adding just enough olive oil to use, pays off well:
Coarsely chop herbs, zest and/or garlic, and place in mortar or an unbreakable bowl with a with a pinch of salt; pound to a coarse mash with a pestle or a rounded rock. Stir and mash the flavorings with the pestle as you slowly drizzle in the oil. Set aside to infuse one hour before using; if too strong, add more oil to taste.
Hit the Atlantic link for a few flavoring ideas, and note the commenter's simple tip for speeding up the process even further with a microwave. What kind of olive oil could you imagine making for your own hoity-toity dinner ordeal? Spill the inspiration in the comments. Photo by fdecomite.</em