Infused Olive Oil
The Gourmet Farm Girl
Infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with a desired flavour in water or oil.
The first recorded use of essential oils was in the 10th century
Herbal remedies and herb-infused oils are prepared with dried or fresh herbs, flowers or berries, infused in oil or water. The herb/botanical is then removed from the oil and the oil is used in herbalism in those preparations that require short-term infused oils. Plants with desirable flavours may be steeped in an edible oil or vinegar for an extended period; the infused oil or vinegar is often sold still containing the plant, and is then used as flavouring. Chillies, lemon, garlic, and many other plants may be used.
Bottles of infused oils look great on kitchen shelves, and are always an impressive gift.
Making flavored oils is easy, and the end product can add a lot to your cooking. Use them instead of spices and herbs, and you can add flavor to vegetables and meats. Infused oils make great bases for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces
Instructions for Infusing Olive Oil
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.
Stuff herbs into bottles. Use a skewer to place your chosen herbs and spices into the bottles. A little goes a very long way, so don’t overdue it. There’s no need to over stuff each bottle.
Pour oil into clean sterile bottles. Pour the warm oil into the bottles over the herbs and spices. Let the bottles sit for a while until cool.
Place a cork, rubber top or a pour spout onto bottle. Or the bottle can be sealed off by dipping the cork into melted wax. Then set the bottle in a cool dark place for about a week or go ahead and set it out in your kitchen and enjoy. Keep in mind, the longer it sets the better the flavor.
Strain out herbs & 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!