When a recipe give you lemons…make lemon-infused olive oil. If you’re making a recipe that calls for the juice of a lemon but leaves the flavorful peel behind, why not try your hand and making your own infused olive oil (its cheaper than buying specialty infused oils in the store and doesn’t involve preservatives and artificial flavors). It is important to remember that while the outer part of the lemon peel (aka, the zest) contains the flavorful oil-producing glands; the inner white layer contains bitter tasting phenols that the plant uses as a natural protectant from predators. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully separate the two layeres and simply allow the outer rind to marinate in olive oil for 24 hours to impart a nice citrus flavor that is great for salad dressings and marinades. Be sure to store in a dark cool place to slow chemical reactions that can make the oil go rancid.
Olive oil is great at extracting any number of flavors. Try using other citrus fruits, herbs, your favorite spices or even dried chili peppers to make your own custom oils. After you do, make sure you come back to the site and post them in the comments section to share your ideas.
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