Chive (and other) Oils

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Celery soup with chive oil.

Ever wonder what those little green drops are floating in your soup or scattered perfectly around your plate at restaurants? Well, I’ve solved your wonder (I know it just keeps you up at night!). Herb oil. Not the kind where dried herbs are submerged in oil for some time, allowing the oil to take on the subtle flavor of the herb. These are smack-you-in -the-face, pungent, full-flavored oils. I really can’t get enough of them–on salads, over entrees, or drizzled in soup. They last a good long while in the fridge and are super useful. You won’t be sorry you took the time to try them out!

  • 1:1 ratio neutral oil to soft, green dry herb (chive, scallion, parsley, basil)
  • food processor
  • Butter linen or tea towel for draining (or get yourself a bouillon strainer for a less messier option)

Make sure your herbs are dry. Less water=longer shelf life. Roughly chop your herbs.

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Roughly chop your dry, soft herbs.

Place the herbs and oil in the food processor. Whiz until uniform (as close as you can get–try out a Vitamix for great results).

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Place herbs and oil in a food processor or Vitamix.

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Whiz until uniform or as close as you can get.

Place your herb oil in a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until just simmering.

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Place herb oil in a saucepan until you reach a gentle simmer….GENTLE! You don’t want to destroy the aromatic oils.

Strain well.

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A bouillon strainer works well for easy straining with little mess. It can be used for straining stock and yogurt too!

Place in ball jars and mark lids with a wax pencil with type of oil and date.

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Place in ball jars and mark lids with a wax pencil. Make sure to let the oil cool completely before placing the lid.

Let cool completely so there is no water condensation when you close them up. Refrigerate. Some say to use them within the week, but some of mine have lasted months! Trust me, you’ll know by smell and taste when they’re no longer good.

Try ’em on everything! My favorite is as a substitute for faux salad dressings–no more stuff out of a bottle!

Great bonus..you can freeze the drained bits of herb left in tablespoon servings, place in a sturdy ziploc, and use later in soups or mixed with butter over pasta or veggies for a quick meal! No waste!

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Freeze drained herb bits for later use…no waste!

Note:  Scallion oil will have some liquid at the bottom. Just let it settle and pour off the good green stuff so it will last longer! The scallion juice that’s left can be used in soups.

Boiled Peanut Hummus

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Boiled peanuts….ahhhh a Southern favorite.  I can literally eat them until my mouth is pruned up and I wake the next morning to swollen fingers.  I can’t drive by the little roadside boiled peanut carts without stopping to get some. It is truly an addiction. So, what better way to enjoy boiled peanuts than the ‘lazy man’s’ way? Yep, blend ’em all up with a few additions and forgo the peeling and picking all together.  All you need is a chip, some pita bread, veggies, or a spoon and you’re golden. You can even spread a little on sandwiches or wraps!  This particular recipe lets the boiled peanut flavor shine, but additions found in other hummus preparations would work too.  And don’t fret, you can use prepared boiled peanuts and soak them in a bit of cool, clean water after shelled to reduce the salinity.

Boiled Peanut Hummus

  • 2 pounds of boiled peanuts, shelled
  • 2 TBSP tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup neutral flavored oil
  • Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon (depending on taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions for garnish

**If you can’t find tahini, make your own by blending roasted sesame seeds with a bit of flavor-neutral oil in a food processor until you get a smooth paste.

 

Shell your peanuts.  If your peanuts have been boiled with salt, soak them in clean, cool water for 5-10 minutes to reduce the salinity to your liking.

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Shell your boiled peanuts.

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If using prepared boiled peanuts, soak the shelled peanuts to reduce the salinity.

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Rinse and drain your soaked peanuts.

Drain. Place all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor.

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Add all ingredients, except the oil, to the food processor.

Pulse to begin breaking down the peanuts and mixing the ingredients. After a few pulses, begin adding your oil a little at a time. Continue pulsing. Add enough oil and blend long enough so the peanuts form a smooth paste.  Add less or more oil depending on your preference.

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Pulse, adding oil a little at a time, until you reach a paste of your desired consistency (thicker for using as a spread and a little thinner for a dip so you can scoop it up without breaking your ‘dipper’.

Top with sliced green onions. Enjoy!

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Dig in! All the boiled peanut flavor without the work!

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Scoop up your boiled peanut hummus with chips (taro and yucca chips are great!), pita, vegetables, or use as a spread.

NOTE:  If you find after sitting a bit your boiled peanut hummus separates a little, just stir or add a little heavy whipping cream and stir.