Olive oil, pressed from fresh olives is mainly made in the Mediterranean. It’s a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, a healthy dietary fat. This fatty acid may help lower risk of heart disease and has been found to control blood sugar level. So whenever possible, add olive oil into your diet! However, besides adding olive oil straight into your food, infusing olive oil with healthy ingredients like herbs or spices is another great option. Not only does it make great gifts but also a fantastic salad dressing. Additionally, it can even jazz up a dish of pasta!
Here are several delicious and easy olive oil infusion recipes you can try at home. Make sure that the bottle you choose to store the olive oil infusions in have a good air-tight seal and is washed and dried carefully.
Olive Oil Infusion Recipe #1 – Rosemary
Use dried rosemary, about 5 sprigs and combine them with 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Then, heat over a low heat until the oil reaches 180 F. Let the rosemary infuse into the oil for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can substitute rosemary with other herbs like sage or thyme.
Olive Oil Infusion Recipe #2 – Lemon/ Orange
First, zest two lemons and add to 2 cups of olive oil. Before doing so, ensure that the lemon is scrubbed clean and thoroughly dried. Remember to use only the bright yellow part of the peel. This is because the white part of the peel, called the pith, is bitter and we don’t want that in our infusion. Next, heat the infusion over low heat until the oil reaches 180 F and let it cool in the saucepan to room temperature. Use the same method if you want an orange-infused olive oil instead.
Olive Oil Infusion Recipe #3 -Garlic
To start, add 1 head of garlic to 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil. Then, peel, rinse and ensure that the garlic cloves are dried well before adding to the oil. When heating the oil and garlic, keep an eye on it to ensure that the garlic doesn’t burn otherwise; it’ll leave a bitter flavour to the oil.
Olive Oil Infusion Recipe #4 –Chilli
For this infusion, you can even use chilli flakes or dried chillies or a combination of both. For about 1/2 cup of olive oil, you’ll only about 1 tablespoon of red chilli flakes and 1 to 2 whole dried chillies (depending on your preferred spice level). Lastly, combine the flakes and dried chillies with the oil in a saucepan and heat over a low heat.
Note: Once the herbs and spices have infused into the oil, remove from heat and allow the infusion to cool to room temperature. After that’s done, carefully pour the oil and herbs into an air tight bottle and store it in a cool dark place.
Generally when making your own olive oil infusion, you should be aware of the risk of botulism which can make you sick. This is especially of a concern with garlic-infused olive oil. However, if kept refrigerated, infused olive oil can last for up to one month. Remember to always check the olive oil before using and if there’s an unusual discoloration or it emits a pungent smell, just throw out the rest of the oil!
- “Be Aware of the Risks of Botulism With Homemade Garlic-Infused Oil.”Be Aware of the Risks of Botulism With Homemade Garlic-Infused Oil | The Olive Press Sonoma, Ca. p., n.d. Web. Accessed 29 Jan. 2017. http://theolivepress.com/news-blog/be-aware-of-the-risks-of-botulism-with-homemade-garlic-infused-oil#.WI_6KdJ95pg
- “Infusing Olive Oil.” Infusing Olive Oil | The Olive Oil Source. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. https://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/infusing-olive-oil