Infused Olive Oil
How To Make Infused Olive Oil
Infused olive oil is delicious cooking oil that has gone through a process to enhance the flavor with natural seasonings. These types of oil add a tasty and original flair to fried or sautéed dishes. Flavored oil is equally as good to drizzle on salad or dip your bread in and since olive oil is known to have many health benefits, infusing it is becoming quite popular.
There are three different ways that you can make infused olive oil, including:
- Marinate – The easiest method is to combine your desired spices and the olive oil in a clear bottle. Leave it sealed, at room temperature anywhere from a few hours to a month, depending on how intense you want your flavor. It is very important to make sure that the cap and the bottle are both sterile or they can become rancid from the process.
- Hot Infusion – Another process to make infused olive oil is through hot infusion. The herbs, spices and olive oil are combined in a saucepan and then heated very gently on the stove. Bring the mixture to a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Strain the cooking oil into a bottle, be sure to seal it tight and keep it refrigerated.
- Cold Method – You can also use a blender or food processor to make infused olive oil. This is the ideal method if you are using woody fibers or dry spices. Put all ingredients in, blend well, pour into bottles and refrigerate.
If you want to make your own infused olive oil, you will need extra virgin olive oil, corks for bottles, decorative glass bottles, small plastic funnel, chopping block, fresh herbs and a knife.
- The first step is to prepare your bottles so that they have the proper lids and are absolutely sterile. The reasons for choosing bottles with corks is so that the flavor is not compromised. While you can use a jar with a lid, the metal will often offer a metal tang to the flavor of the oil.
- Clean all of your herbs well and pat them completely dry with a clean paper towel. It is always a good idea to allow them to also air dry by spreading them out flat too. You want as little moisture left in your herbs as possible when you start infusing them.
- Using a clean cutting board, prepare your herbs by removing any tough stems or bad spots. If you really want to turn the flavor up a notch in your oil, you can slice a few leaves that are connected to the herb so that they are allowed to release their aroma. By doing this, your infused olive oil will end up with a more robust flavor.
- Put herbs into the bottles being careful not to over stuff them. The herbs should be comfortably sitting in the bottles without hanging out the top.
- Place your plastic funnel into your glass bottle and pour in your extra virgin olive oil. Stop when the liquid is about an inch away from the top and clean any excess oil off of the spout and add the cork.
It is always a good idea to use gift tags and twine to label your bottles so that you know what ingredients are inside. This is helpful for cooking purposes. Infused olive oil is excellent to give as a gift for any occasion as well, especially for someone you don't know what to buy for. It is ideal for gift exchanges, house warming presents or any other reason you can think of. You should allow the olive oil to remain refrigerated and corked for one week before opening for use so the oil can reach its full flavor.
Herbs And Seasonings
There is a large menu of herbs, spices and roots that can be used to flavor olive oil. Some favorites are thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, chives, basil, oregano, curry, dried chilies, cardamom, cumin, horseradish, ginger or shallots. Experiment with different choices and come up with your own perfect blend.