Top Three Tips for Making Infused Olive Oil

Infused olive oil is a simple and delicious way to add flavor and color to most any dish.  It can also be a decorative and functional gift.  Here are some safety tips to remember in order to avoid growing any unwanted bacteria:

 

1. Mix all the ingredients, refrigerate them and use them within a week:

This is the best way if you are using fresh ingredients such as fresh basil, fresh rosemary or garlic. Garlic is ideal for adding to pasta dishes, that you can then top with a little grated dry cheese. Fill a decorative 1-litre bottle with extra virgin olive oil. Add a clean head of garlic (whole if desired), and leave to marinade for a few days. You can also use lemon peel, fresh or dried peppers, ginger, rosemary sprigs, etc. Alternatively, you can use a recipe for Italian salad dressing but cut down on the vinegar or lemon juice.

 

2. Preserve the added ingredients:

Maybe you have seen garlic or herbs mixed with oil. The way it is done commercially is to first preserve the water-containing garlic, herb, etc. with a strong brine or vinegar solution, then put it in the oil. The vinegar solutions used commercially are up to 4 times stronger than the vinegars you find in the supermarket. You can find them at commercial food supply outlets. Many of the herb mixes have both salt and vinegar which both prevent bacterial growth. Commercial vinaigrettes and sauces also have chemical preservatives not usually available to the home cook.

 

3. Dry the herbs to remove all water, leaving the essential oils:

This can be done with a food dehydrator or just by leaving in the sun. After the spices and herbs are dry, you can add them to the olive oil. Whole sprigs of thyme, rosemary, dried peppers, etc. can decorate the inside of the bottle this way.

Krista Numbers

Krista is the founder of Simplify Supper. She is passionate about making family dinner a priority and strives to provide simple solutions to make it happen.

Feb 02, 2014
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