by Sybil PrattSeptember, 2006
A profusion of infusions
Michael Chiarello founder of the acclaimed Tra Vigne restaurant in the Napa Valley, Food Network star, creator of NapaStyle gourmet products and author of three previous cookbooks knows all about using creative ingredients and using ingredients creatively. Among his most treasured creative ingredients are infused oils and vinegars because they add a little culinary magic to every meal. His special alchemy and 100 recipes for making these infusions and using the fabulous results are all included in Michael Chiarello's Flavored Oils and Vinegars. I love to use infused vinegars and oils, but I often shudder at the cost. Now, with Michael at my side, I'm going to fill my own fridge and shelves and have gourmet gifts galore. September is the time for herb oils like basil (perfect in a gratin of summer vegetables), cilantro, mint and lavender, and for herbal and tomato vinegars. But you can make flavored oils and vinegars all year round with itmes such as citrus or roasted garlic or caramelized onions that know no season and your pastas, salads and everything else will sparkle with Michael's magic.