Although it wouldn’t be the Chanukah most of us know without something fried, this year, I wanted to use oil differently. Frying oil isn’t the only way we can use it in a meaningful and symbolic way on the holiday. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless!
For any of you who don’t know the history behind the holiday of Chanukah and why we use oil in our cooking on these eight days, you can read more about it HERE.
Ever since I was about 2 years old, my family has been having our beloved Chanukah party. Every year we take turns having it at each of our homes. Because we have been keeping this tradition alive for so long, and with the guest list growing each year, it has become a very special gathering that we all really look forward to.
Between new marriages and grandchildren, it is common for our party to now have between 25-35 people in attendance. And with this many people, a large buffet of food is now our go to!
Thinking about what might be a nice addition to our buffet this year, and thinking of incorporating oil in a new way, I thought an infused olive oil tasting bar for Chanukah would be something everyone would enjoy.
Whether the oils are simply dipped into with a variety of rustic bread, or eaten with an assortment of cheeses, an olive oil tasting bar really enables the oil to shine, instead of being overshadowed by some sort of heavy fried food.
This infused olive oil tasting bar for Chanukah was very easy to create! I bought olive oil bottles, and then filled some with lemon, some with rosemary and garlic, and the rest with pickling spice, and then I filled them with olive oil. I simply laid out some sliced bread, put some of the oils in a tasting dish, and voila! A tasting bar!
It is so simple to put together and gives off such a special look. I feel it’s important to make gatherings feel like you put effort into them. It shows your family and friends you care and want them to have a nice time. A lot of us are busy and don’t have time to plan and put together elaborate displays. However, something like this olive oil tasting bar doesn’t take much effort-it looks more time consuming than it really is.
Each of the olive oil dispensers cost about $2. If you don’t want to store them when the party is over, give them away as gifts! They don’t cost a lot, they are beautiful, and they are sure to make most people very happy!
To make the lemon infused olive oil:
Fill a large glass oil dispenser with 3-4 lemon slices. Make sure to wash the lemons, and dry them completely before slicing.
To make the rosemary and garlic infused oil:
Place 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary, and 2-3 garlic cloves in a large oil dispenser. After washing the rosemary sprigs, make sure to completely dry them before filling the jars with oil.
To make the pickle spice infused oil:
Place 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 2-3 garlic cloves and 1 large bunch of fresh dill into a large oil dispenser. You can also put some apple cider vinegar in for a more authentic “pickled flavor”.
Like the lemon and rosemary, make sure the dill is washed and completely dry before filling the jar with oil.
Another feature at my tasting bar will be these herb and cheese dippers. Instead of serving the olive oils with pieces of plain cubed bread (kind of boring don’t you think?), I tried to think of what people would truly enjoy.
Personally, I love the idea of either pizza or really flavorful rustic bread.
I simply sprinkled some herbs and Parmesan cheese on focaccia bread, and baked it until the cheese was melted. Then, I cut it into long strips and placed them in small appetizer glasses filled with the infused oils.
These dippers are easy, delicious and so lovely! They not only make olive oil tasting that much more fun, they also enable you to easily mingle with people at your party while eating perfect party food!
I find that easy finger food is what people really enjoy at a party. I think these will be well received at our Chanukah party this year, and hope you give them a try for yours!
Be sure to store the infused olive oils in the refrigerator. Since they are filled with fresh produce and herbs, bacteria can grow. You can also infuse oils with dried herbs, which do not need to be refrigerated.
Check out my post on infused olive oil gifts, and how to cook with them for Chanukah HERE!