I marinated olives in olive oil & herbs and let set in the refrigerator. My olive oil has completely solidified. Can this dish be saved?
A common issue with refrigerated olive oil is solidification. The oil can become cloudy and even begin to crystallize, but your dish can be saved.
The easiest way is to leave your dish on the countertop, at room temperature, allowing the olive oil to return to its original state. You can shake and/or stir the olive oil to break it up or let it rest.
If you need to speed up the process, you can microwave the olive oil for a few seconds. Although it is better to have it return to its normal state naturally, placing in the microwave will not harm the dish as long as you are careful not to heat long enough for the dish to cook. Similar to microwaving an ice cream container just enough to allow you to scoop, you only want a few seconds to initiate the process of softening the solidified oil.
Even though oil turns cloudy and thick in the refrigerator, it is the ideal method of storing all but premium extra-virgin olive oil. If you need to have ready-to-pour oil on hand, you can keep smaller amounts in a separate container at room temperature.
Fresh olives and herbs can actually make your olive oil taste better. Any leftover oil from this dish can be stored in the refrigerator. When you want to add extra flavor to salad or vegetables, a spoonful or two will return to a natural consistency in little time.
Refrigerating and freezing olive oil will cause it to turn cloudy, congeal and solidify, all of which are completely safe. The olive oil will return to natural consistency while resting at room temperature.
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