Olive oil is truly God’s gift to mankind. From skin care and hair products to being the absolute essential in fine cuisine, there is no better way to say you care than the gift of nature’s nectar of extravagance. And infusing a good olive oil to the taste of your loved ones makes it even that much more special. Whether it’s a lover of spice, or savory, or even sweet, infusing olive oil is a simple process that can be adapted for any discerning taste.
I love a good caprese salad and I took it to the next unbelievably delicious level, when I made it with my first olive oil infusion of garlic and basil. Here’s the recipe for that, but the process is the same for every infusion. Just substitute the garlic and basil for, let’s say chilies, or fennel, or rosemary and oregano, or garlic and ginger, or anything that sounds good, the possibilities are endless.
Here’s What You Need:
• Good Quality Olive Oil (Just like with anything from your body to your car, the better quality of things you put in, the better you are going to get out).
• 1 head of garlic (approx.)
• 1 cup of fresh basil leaves (approx.)
• A thin mesh strainer or cheese cloth
• Glass bottles
• Personalized labels and tags
Step 1: In a pan, heat the amount of olive oil you wish to infuse on a low simmer. You want the heat to be constant and low, if your oil is too hot you are going to fry your herbs or aromatics.
Step 2: Add your fresh basil leaves and garlic. For another delicious flavor try roasting the garlic before adding it to the oil.
Step 3: Maintain low heat for about thirty minutes. Again, just as with the quantity of herbs you use, the length at which you keep it heated makes the infusion more flavorful, but I’ve found that about thirty minutes does the trick.
Step 4: Let your oil cool and strain it into any sort of container you’d like to use for your gifting. I thrifted for my containers, finding bottles in different shapes and sizes.
And that’s it! So simple and so delicious. Last Christmas, I gave out a trio of infused olive oils as gifts: Garlic Basil, Sweet Chili and Rosemary Oregano. I even ordered my own personalized labels and tags to package each flavor. Since then I keep making more for myself! I love cooking pasta with it and especially drizzling it over fresh baked bread.