learning how to flavor
olive oil ...
Flavored oils taste absolutely delicious ...
...Wonderful for drizzling over salads, as a dip or marinade, for rubbing into meat or chicken before cooking.
An elegant bottle of flavored extra virgin olive oil also makes a novel and attractive gift.
You can buy superb ready-infused olive oil from specialized shops.
But, why not try your hand at concocting your own?
Below, you'll discover all the information you need to whip up your own flavored oils, avoid contamination, plus recipes for infusing oils with both dried herbs and fresh herbs ...
how to flavor olive oil
First of all, you'll need to select your oil ...
Choose a quality extra virgin olive oil.
Why extra virgin?... Well, because of its superior taste - not to mention amazing health benefits.
Unfortunately, the United States is not, as yet, a member of the International Olive Oil Council. Consequently, any US oil labelled as being "extra virgin" is meaningless.
how to flavor olive oil - avoiding contamination
When flavoring olive oils at home which you plan to keep for several months, you must be extremely careful to avoid botulism.
What should you do to avoid botulism?
Well, bacteria will not develop on oil, but it can grow on water, so absolutely no water should be allowed into your oil.
Because of this, when learning how to flavor olive oil, you musn't use fresh herbs, garlic, lemon etc ... unless you're only infusing small amounts, which you'll store in the fridge and use within a few days.
Instead, use dried herbs to make any flavored olive oils you wish to keep longer than a week.
You'll discover two basic recipes below ... first, an infused olive oil recipe using dried herbs, which can be stored for up to one year ... followed by a flavored extra virgin olive oil recipe using fresh herbs for more immediate use.
how to flavor olive oil - using dried herbs
1. First of all, you'll need to choose your herbs and prepare them.
Sprigs of dried rosemary or thyme look visually extremely attractive in a bottle ... not to mention tasty. Other dried herbs you may wish to consider when learning how to flavor olive oil are basil, tarragon, oregano, bay leaves, parsely, mint ...
You can either buy your herbs ready-dried from a shop ... or dry your own.
If choosing the latter, you'll need to gently rinse your fresh herbs, pat dry, tie in bunches with string, then hang upside-down in an airy but warmish room for a few weeks, until the stalks no longer bend but break.
Or, you could use a food dehydrator.
2. Next, select bottles/containers that can be tightly sealed.
Sterilize by placing in boiling water for 10 minutes, ensuring they're completely dried afterwards.
3. Fill the bottle/container up to a quarter full with your dried herbs and top with extra virgin olive oil, using a small funnel if necessary.
4. Close tightly and leave to infuse in a dark place, away from heat, for around a month before using.
Using this method, your flavored olive oils can be kept up to one year.
how to flavor olive oil - using fresh herbs
With this second method, you'll be using fresh herbs.
Mix a day prior to use, to give the flavors time to infuse. Store in the fridge - covered with cling-film - removing about an hour before needed so that it returns to room temperature.
You'll be able to keep it several days in the fridge ... but no longer than a week.
Mix together the following ingredients - or those which appeal or you have in the cupboard - to achieve a delicious infused olive oil ...
- 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
- Few red pepper flakes or chili (optional)
how to flavor olive oil - our recommendations
Above you'll see a few of our favorite, ready-made, flavored, extra virgin olive oils ... a black truffle-infused oil with a natural, wild black truffle in the bottle; a wild boletus mushroom infused oil; and an extra virgin olive oil with tomato essence. We've chosen these because they're not so easy to make yourself at home, and they've absolutely delicious, of course!... Especially the truffle-flavored one!
If you're going to the trouble of making your own flavored oil, you'll need to choose a good, first-pressed, extra virgin olive oil as your base. The four above are our favorites - an award-winning Senorio de Vizcantar; a smoked extra virgin featured in the prestigious Food and Wine Magazine; a hand-smoked variety by Carpier; and an artisan, unfiltered Arbequina oil.
how to flavor olive oil - other pages of interest
Here are our other pages related to Spanish Food and Spanish Recipes ...
- List Of Our Pages All About Spanish Food
- Dictionary Of Spanish Food Words
- Selection Of Healthy, Easy Spanish Recipes For You To Experiment With
- All About Spanish Serrano Ham
- All About Spanish Olives
- How To Make Olive Oil
- Health Benefits Of Olive Oil
- Olive Oil And Skincare