I’ve been experimenting with “blooming” spices in olive oil. This simmering process deepens the flavor of the spices and infuses the oil with all their savory flavors. It’s wonderful!
(recipe inspired by Bon Appétit)
Simply heat a few tablespoons of oil and add in one half to one teaspoon of each spice (freshly ground is best if you have a spice grinder, though I love coriander seeds whole!). The oil will begin to simmer and make a crackling sound. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour the oil into a bowl (scrape all the spice bits in too!). Here are the spices I used:
crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground peppercorns (a colorful mix)
Into the bowl of warm oil, stir a few cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice and salt to taste. This is great drizzled on cooked fish or scallops.
Yesterday, lunch was yellow rice with fresh cilantro and seared tilapia with a generous drizzle of spice oil (both under the rice on the plate and atop the fish). Delicious, bright, and savory flavors!
This oil would also be nice drizzled atop a platter of hummus.
And, spice oil + flat bread = an extremely tasty snack or appetizer!