Herb-infused olive oil

casaveneracion.com Herb-infused olive oil

You’ve seen them on supermarket shelves and they cost plenty. Herb-infused olive oil is great for cooking and for salads but, aside from the cost, when you buy the commercial kind, you’re stuck with flavors that the manufacturers consider popular and, ergo, easy to sell. But did you know that it’s cheaper to make herb-infused olive oil at home? Not only do you cut on cost, you can also get as creative as you wish, combining herbs and spices that suit your taste more. I tell you, the only part of the preparation that took a long time was drying the bottles thoroughly after washing them inside and out. After that, it was a breeze.

But, first things first. What kind of bottle should you use? You can use just about any bottle with a tight cover. However, note that metallic bottle covers can get rusty over time. And pouring oil from a bottle with a wide round mouth might be messy. I chose these clear glass bottles.

casaveneracion.com Herb-infused olive oil

They have spouts for easy and spill-free pouring, and rubberized cork stoppers to keep the flavor and aroma in. I consciously stayed away from metal caps because they might leave a metallic taste in the oil. The bottles sell for P79.50 each (that’s less than US$2). Extra cost, I grant you that, but since they are washable and reusable, I can use them over and over again.

casaveneracion.com Herb-infused olive oil

Second consideration: use fresh or dried herbs? I used fresh (I grow herbs in my garden) but there’s no reason why you can’t use dried. Note though that you may have to refrigerate the oil if you use fresh herbs because the water content of the herbs might make the mixture prone to bacteria growth at room temperature.

If using fresh herbs, wash then dry them between stacks of kitchen towels. Or you can place them in the oven (temperature at the lowest setting) for a couple of minutes just to get rid of surface water. Cut leafy herbs to allow them to expel their flavors faster or leave them whole if you want to make the oil bottles decorative (I left them whole because I am entertaining the idea of giving away herb-infused olive oil to friends-who-cook for Christmas).

casaveneracion.com Herb-infused olive oil

Third consideration: what combination of herbs to use. Ah, that’s where you can get creative. Basil, thyme, tarragon, sage, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, bay leaves… combine two or more. Then, add some spices and aromatics — peppercorns, garlic cloves, lemon or lime peel… If there is a combination that you find particularly good with chicken, for instance, use that for one bottle of oil. Have another bottle with a combination of herbs and spices that’s good with red meat, another one to go with seafood, for salads… Note that you cannot use the oil immediately. You have to leave them alone for at least a week to allow the flavors and aromas to be absorbed by the olive oil.

Not a fan of olive oil? You can have herb-infused cooking oil. Slip some ginger, garlic and shallot in your vegetable cooking oil, allow the flavors to develop for a week or two and imagine what sauteing and stir frying would be like.

Ah, I tell you, playing with things like this in the kitchen beats the stress every time.

Comments

  1. shawie says

    Hi Ms. Connie! This is a great idea! I only use olive oil when i make ‘special’ dishes for my husband like my gambas and spaghetti meat sauce…. but honestly, i don’t enjoy cooking with it because it gives off this weird smell. =) I’m going to try your idea for herb-infused cooking oil soon…. By the way, may I ask where you bought those pretty bottles? ;)

    P.S. Just thought you should know, I just saw the picture of your Adobong Sitaw 2 in another site…PinoyRecipe.net. :(

  2. Jet Guevara says

    hi ms. connie! i love the idea of home-made olive oil. where did you those bottles, cause for 79.50 its really a great find! :-)

  3. says

    Since, I might won’t make it to the list of the lucky friends who’ll receive these lovely gift, I might as well make mine. (teasing, teasing).

    May I know where you bought these bottles?

  4. says

    Bought the bottles at Shopwise. I was going to get a more expensive kind when my husband saw them. Great find, ‘noh?

    Shawie, Re stolen pic and recipe, I posted a comment there. Eh, ganun, may magnanakaw kahit saan.