This is a gift that will stay around for a while, unlike baked goods which are gone almost before you can blink. The flavor of the herbs gently infuses into the oil, and creates a subtle and delicious shift in flavor, making it just perfect for salads and savory cooking. And it is unbelievably easy to make!
Herb Infused Olive Oil
Follow these four steps to make your own private label herbed oils….
1. Gather the herbs and dry them thoroughly. Use herbs from your yard, or buy fresh herbs at a farmers market or grocery, and lay out on layers of newspaper in a well-ventilated area to dry. If you have herbs in your garden, you most definitely have an overabundance. In my yard, I have two rosemary plants, and the amount I need to make all the herb vinegar and herb oil, and table decorations all year long, is far, far less than what grows on the shrubs. You don’t even see that I cut any branches.
Suggested herbs for herb-infused oil:
2. Choose and purchase the olive oil. You can take as much or as little time as you want doing this step. You could make it a day touring olive country, going from tasting room to tasting room. Or simply run down to your local grocery store and bring home a large jug of your favorite.
3. Get the containers and labels. I chose glass bottles with a narrow neck (to minimize dripping) with a cork for looks, but also because a cork works just about as well as anything. A screwcap with a plastic washer inside just doesn’t do a good job of keeping the oil inside the bottle. You always end up with a little oozing out the edges and eventually down the sides. A cork works just as well, and it’s more romantic, more tied to the ancient traditions of olive oil.
4. Put it all together. This is the fun part! If you choose to wash or rinse the bottles, be certain they are completely dry without a single drop of water or any moisture at all inside. To achieve this, place the bottles in the oven on a low temperature, about 160 degrees F, overnight or until they are completely dry. Allow to cool, then put the labels on before filling the bottles (you don’t want to lay the bottles on their sides after they are full of oil). Using a funnel, pour the oil in the jars, being sure there are no dribbles, and leave a little extra space for the herbs. Insert the herbs into each bottle, and seal with a cork. Your herbed olive oils are now ready to give out as favors or gifts!
More homemade gift ideas from Jeanne:
Country Potholders Rosemary Infused Vinegar Squash Molasses Homemade Raisins