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Creating Herbal-Infused Culinary Oils


Herbal-infused culinary oils are great to use in stir-fries, sautés, pasta dishes, marinades, and oil and vinaigrette salad dressings. You can also drizzle them over roasted vegetables, or use them for dipping bread.


There are many herbs and spices to choose from such as: anise, basil, cayenne, celery seed, chili pepper, chives, cilantro, coriander seed, cumin, dill, fennel seed, garlic, ginger, lavender, lemon balm, lemon peel, lemon verbena, marjoram, nasturtium, onion, orange peel, oregano, parsley, peppercorn, rosemary, tarragon and thyme. Which ones to choose? Well, which ones are you growing in your garden? Just choose a few of those and add to them if you'd like. You can create individual herbal oils, such as basil infused in oil, or try a blend such as sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic infused in olive oil. Be creative!


Next, you’ll want to use dried herbs, because fresh herbs contain water, which could spoil the oil and cause bacterial growth. If you use herbs from the garden, let the fresh-cut herbs dry out for a few hours before using. So, let's begin - gather the materials listed below and follow the directions.

Materials Needed:

  • Mason jars with lids

  • Small funnel (unless your mason jars have wide mouths)

  • Freshly dried herbs of your choice

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil or a good quality oil of your choice

  • Cheesecloth

  • Strainer

  • Labels

  • Bottle for finished oil

Instructions:

  • Fill ¼ of the mason jar with dried herbs of your choice.

  • Pour the olive oil in the jar and fill to the top.

  • Cover the jar and label the jar with the ingredients and the date.

  • Place jar in a warm, sunny spot such as your windowsill or in your garden, for two weeks.

  • Shake the bottle daily.

  • After two weeks, strain the oil using a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a pot.

  • Pour strained oil in a clean bottle; and label it.

  • Keep in your refrigerator for up to three months.

You could add a few dried herbs in the re-bottled oil to make it look appealing; however, be sure to remove the herbs within a month to avoid spoilage. These oils packaged in pretty bottles make wonderful gifts!

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