Adding quick flavor to every day meals, this tutorial on how to infuse olive oil will up your cooking game, and it makes a great gift!
There are so many different olive oils to choose from on your grocery store aisles. And then you can find some flavored ones! The possibilities are endless. There are also always flavored olive oil shops at every tourist destination and the array of choices always blows my mind. But what happens when you run out? You can make learn how to infuse olive oil all on your own!
But you know what else you should always have prepared? Having a pantry stocked with infused olive oils anytime you’re in the kitchen. Infused olive oil are so simple to make and they make a really easy gift during the holidays. The flavor combinations are endless, from garlic, to spicy peppers, to citrus and rosemary. It’s a cinch, I kid you not.
What Do You Need?
Start with 2 cups of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and your choice of spices, herbs or zests.
I prefer savory and herby infused olive oils. Pick about 2-3 sprigs of your favorite herb, or 1/4 cup total. It is best to use fresh as their oils are intact and pungent.
If you’re choosing a citrus variety, use a vegetable peeler to get the oil rich skin off the fruit without including the bitter pith. Use about 2 citrus’ worth to get a deep and flavorful infusion. With a mortar and pestle crush the herbs, to release the oils and momentarily set them aside.
How long does it take to infuse oil?
It’s quick! You can start to use infused oil as soon as it is made. If you want to store it, the flavors will infuse longer and become more pronounced.
Ingredients for infused oil.
- Fresh Herbs – basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano
- Garlic cloves
- Citrus – Lemon, or blood orange
- Peppers – Thai peppers, jalapeno, chili, anything you want!
- Dried Herbs
How to store infused oil
After you strain your olive oil, store it in a glass bottle, or mason jar, and place in a cool, dark spot or cupboard. Keeping it away from sunlight will keep it from going rancid too quickly. Some sediment may occur, but you can strain it again, or some herbs may get through, it’s okay to use as it is. Shake the jar if you would like to distribute.
How do you make infused oil?
Olive oil is the most popular for infusing oils. The steps are simple.
Pour your olive oil into a heavy bottom sauce pan and turn the stove to medium heat. Add in your herbs, spices or what have you and allow the herbs to gently simmer for just 2 minutes. It doesn’t take much.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow it all to steep for about 2 hours. This will allow the oils from your herbs to meld with the olive oil.
Once you’re ready to bottle it, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the herbs and pour into a cleaned glass or vial. Cap and store, and use within one to two months.
Easy peasy, right? Think of all the flavor possibilities! You can do this.
What can you use infused oil for?
Use infused olive oil the same way you would with traditional olive oil! It makes a great salad dressing addition, marinade, or dipping oil with balsamic vinegar with a hearty crusted bread! I love this for an easy to make holiday gift for foodies in your life.
How to Infuse Olive OIl
2 cups High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 sprigs herbs, such as Rosemary, Thyme, or ¼ cup packed sliced Basil
With a mortar and pestle crush the herbs to release their oils. Set aside. In small saucepan over medium heat bring olive oil to just a simmer with a few bubbles coming up. Add in herbs and steep for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover saucepan with lid and allow the oil to infuse for two hours undisturbed.
Strain oil and herbs through a fine mesh strainer. Bottle and store in fridge. Use within 2 weeks.
Makes a great gift.
Adapated from Martha Steward How to Infuse Herb Olive Oil