Fresh Herb Oils can add a professional flourish to many dishes. They are quite different from herb-infused oils. Here, the herbs are pureed with the oil, resulting in a very intense herb flavor and a beautiful emerald green color. I usually use one herb at a time in these recipes to keep the flavors clean. But feel free to try combining different herbs together to create new combinations. Try using herb oil in a vinaigrette or as a marinade, or try drizzling some over grilled fish or chicken breast. Herb oils are handy cold-pantry staples as they keep well in the refirgerator for a few weeks. Chive Oil is my favorite.
I’ll start with the Basic Ratio Formula, then give you a full recipe for Chive Oil, then a recipe for Tuna Tartare.
Basic Ratio by Volume:
2 Parts Fresh herbs such as basil, chives, tarragon, parsley, dill
1 Part Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Chive Oil: Yield: 1 cup
2/3 cup Fresh Chives, lightly packed
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wash Chives and pat dry with a towel. Cut into 1-2″ pieces.
Puree in blender with olive oil and salt. Optional: Strain through fine mesh strainer.
Now here’s a recipe using your freshly made Chive Oil. It makes a great dinner appetizer or lunch main course. Of course when serving raw fish you need to buy the best quality sushi-grade tuna you can find. I also love serving this tartare on potato chips as an hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail party. In this recipe the chips are a garnish that your guests can use to pile the tartare onto. Either way – it’s really delicious and easy to make.
Blue-Fin Tuna Tartare Yield: 4 servings
1/2 lb. Sushi-grade BlueFin tuna, cut in2 1/4″ cubes or smaller
4T Chive Oil
2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 T. Chives, finely chopped
1 t Lemon zest, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
32 Potato Chips (best-quality store-bought, or homemade waffle chips)
Optional garnish; Baby salad greens
Mix tuna with half the chive oil, olive oil, shallot, chive, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
Divide evenly onto four appetizer plates in a pleasing shape (I use a 3″ ring mold).
Place 8 potato chips standing upright into the tartare. garnish with a few leaves of baby salad greens if desired, and drizzle the remaining chive oil around inside edge of each plate.