Herb infused oils are among the few special things that I love to have in my kitchen. Making them at home is ridiculously easy (and I am guilty of presenting an almost no recipe today) and they liven up the simple little things.
I had made the Marinated Feta Cheese from Tasty Palettes and was led to the infused oil in her blog even before that. I used to infuse the olive oil with basil more than I did with rosemary, but her picture looked too pretty and all of a sudden I was getting bundles of rosemary from a friend’s bush and I fell in love with the rosemary and never looked back. Having a bottle of the aromatic oil at hand is therapeutic for me and it also offers convenient ways to add exciting flavors to even the most simple meals. The infused oil is not just a treasure for the taste but is a piece of culinary artwork too. See how beautiful it looks?
The olive oil may be infused with any herbs (sage, basil etc) ; citrus zest, crushed peppercorns, black pepper, red pepper, sun dried tomatoes marry well with the herbs and the oil. Use whatever you like best. The oil may be infused cold or warm. I have done it both ways, and I feel when the oil is warmed, it takes on the flavor of the herbs quicker than when it is cold.
UPDATED: Some of you have been having issues with the olive oil getting cloudy. While it has never happened to me till date, I do see it as a problem. Do scroll down in the “comment list” and read what Grant has to say about this and refer to the website http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/infusing-olive-oil.
Do read the comment by DeniseK and make this at your own risk. Many other comments have useful information on this, so please take time to go over them.
Using fresh herbs increases the risk of botulism. You may dry the herbs in a dehydrator or microwave or oven to remove any trace of water.
Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
- 5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary (or dried if you want to store the oil longer)
- dry red crushed pepper, as per your taste
- 3/4 – 1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Wash the rosemary sprigs and dry them really well; there should not be any water on the rosemary sprigs.
Pour your olive oil into a sauce pan and heat it over a low flame until it is just warm, for only 1-2 minutes. Let the oil cool to room temperature for about 5-7 minutes. (If you do not want to heat the oil, it is okay too. Use the extra virgin oil unheated and pour in the bottle).
Take a clean dry bottle and place the crushed pepper and the sprigs and pour oil into it. Cool the bottle for a while and then seal the bottle with a cork or lid. Set the bottle aside in a dry cool place where there is no direct sunlight for about a week. I stick my bottle in the refrigerator.
(If you are keeping your oil in the refrigerator, you might see it get cloudy or the part of it will look like it has lumped up. It should clear up once left out in the room temperature).
The oil will keep for quite a few months.
How to use the rosemary oil/any kind of infused oil?
- drizzled over pasta and potatoes
- as salad dressing
- drizzled on soup
- brushed on bread while making bruschetta/toasts/sandwich
- in dips for breads or spreads
- for marinating fish or chicken
- braising and grilling vegetables
- makes the most wonderful homemade gift