food, Recipes

Create your own herb infused oil


With just a single ingredient from your pantry, and the freshest herbs from your garden you can create an infused oil bustling with flavour. It makes for a perfect and thoughtful homemade dinner gift. It is also great to use as a salad dressing or when pan-frying veg or meat at home.

To heat olive oil or not - that is an ongoing debate. According to olivesource.com the most important thing when cooking with oils - any oil - is to never reach its smoking point. This is the temperature where oil begins to break down, and the substance then smokes or burns, which will give your food an unpleasant taste.

oils-_-600 Image source: Brit.co

Infused oil - unheated

What you'll need

2 clean glass bottles with lids/corks that fit perfectly.

Herbs of choice (When choosing the unheated method, select woody herbs like rosemary, fennel or thyme. Even lavender will work well. You can add garlic or chillies to the mix).

An oil of your choice (A good quality olive oil or avocado oil works well).

Strainer and muslin cloth/cheesecloth.

Method

Fill your jar with the herbs. Cover with oil of choice and stir well to release air bubbles. Close the lid tightly and put in a warm spot for about two weeks, occasionally giving it a little shake. After about two weeks, open and strain the infused oil into the second jar.

Infused oil - heated

If you have to use an infused oil on that very day, this is the quicker option.

What you'll need

A clean glass bottle with a lid/cork that fits perfectly.

Herbs of choice (Soft herbs like basil and cilantro or oregano should be blanched and blended with the oil in a food processor. Blanching the herbs will give your finished product a beautiful colour).

An oil of your choice (A good quality olive oil or avocado oil works well).

Strainer and muslin cloth/cheesecloth.

Method

Heat the oil and herbs in a saucepan for about 5 to 8 minutes, until you see some movement on the bottom of your saucepan. Remove the oil from the heat and let it cool completely. Strain the oil into your bottles.

Read more about how infused salts are created for Hemelhuijs and Basalt in HL November 2016.