Bottles of infused oils look great on kitchen shelves, and are always an impressive gift.
Choose your herbs and spices. This is the best part because it is fun to choose from many variations for your herb-infused olive oil. Some suggestions for herbs and spices are rosemary, garlic, basil, bay, chives, dill, mint, tarragon, thyme peppercorn and dried chilies. Again try a few different combinations and make a few different bottles.
These can be fresh or dried herbs.
Wash and dry your herbs. After washing, leave your herbs out to dry or towel dry on a paper towel. Slightly tear or bruise the herbs so that they begin to release their aroma and flavors.
Purchase a rich quality of extra virgin olive oil. Heat the oil over a low flame; heat the oil until it is warm no more than 140 to 150 degrees. Not hot, simply warm as overheating can cause the oil to become bitter. This can best be done in a small stock pot or sauce pan and monitored with a candy-fat thermometer.
(I make 2 cups at one time)
Make sure you have sterile bottles. Push herbs into bottle, using a wooden skewer. A little goes a very long way, so don't overdue it. There's no need to over stuff each bottle.
Pour the warm oil into the clean sterile bottle bottles over the herbs and spices. Let the bottles sit for a while until cool.
Place a cork on top of bottle and leave sit for a few days before putting pour spout on; or place pour spot on bottle and begin to use. Keep in mind, the longer it sets the better the flavor.
Strain out herbs and spices through cheese cloth (if desired) after a week. If you use garlic, you may want to refrigerate the oil rather than store it in a cool dark place. Inspect your oil before pouring. Adding 1-2 teaspoons of citric acid will help with preserving freshness. Use oil within 2-3 weeks.
Congratulations, you have just learned how to make your very own herb-infused olive oil!