Spring is emerging here in North Georgia and the bees and butterflies are rapidly pollinating any and all flowers blooming in shrubs, vines and trees.
We didn’t have a winter to speak of, which is too bad. I love winter. The beauty of living in North Georgia is that we experience all four seasons. Because of this, many people are retiring here. We have occasional snow and temperatures drop into the teens and it’s rare to drop below zero but for the most part, we just have cold, blustery days.
When spring emerges, the forests of the Southern Appalachian Mountain Range begin sprouting an ensemble of native flora and fauna.
While walking through the field I came across a newborn. My husband and I keep areas of overgrowth for the animals to seek shelter or in this case make a bed.
Now that frost or a deep freeze is no longer a threat, gardens are being planted in anxious arrival of the first harvest.
With all this, I can’t help but consider the salads that will be made throughout the summer and with that anticipation, I am inspired to prepare my own salad dressings. In my younger years, I always had store bought dressings of various flavors but as I got older, I discovered I preferred my own oils infused with whatever interested me.
They may just be a simple infusion of herbs, smashed garlic bulb, and a few peppercorns. After I allow this to rest for a day, I have the beginnings of a dressing or marinade. By adding just a few dribbles of balsamic vinegar, I have a wonderfully flavored dressing for a green bean salad.
Recipe for Infusing Olive Oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably from Georgia Olive Farms
A sprig of herb of choice. In the photo above I am using rosemary
One garlic bulb, peeled and smashed
One teaspoon peppercorns or substitute with coarse ground pepper
You can use this same recipe to pour over protein for marinade ahead of time.
There are many recipes for infusing oil and duration of shelf life. I do not prepare in jars. I prefer to make just enough for my simple uses.