Flavored oils are wonderful to cook with, easy to make and they are always welcome as gifts.
Caution: Homemade oils wont stay fresh as long as processed oils and need to be used within a couple of months.
Always start with clean, dry herbs and sterilized jars or bottles. And remember: When preserving any type of food, it is extremely important to follow processing instructions specified in a recipe and to adhere to the USDA guidelines on how to sterilize products for canning.
- Rinse off your fresh herbs and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Sterilize attractive glass bottles or jars.
- Allow the bottles and jars to dry thoroughly.
- Slightly bruise your herbs and stuff them into the bottles. You dont need a large quantity of herbs. A sprig or two will sufficiently infuse the oil.
- Heat the oil on low, just until warm.
- Pour oil into bottles, over herbs.
- Allow the contents to cool.
- Seal bottle with lid or cork.
- Allow to sit in a cool spot out of direct sunlight, for about 1 week before using.
- Strain out any fresh herbs. Dried herbs can remain in the oil, but the oil will stay fresh a bit longer if these too are strained.
- Oils should be used within 2 months, maximum. Straining out the herbs and refrigerating will help the oil last longer.
- The lighter the oil flavor, the more pronounced the herb flavor will be.
- Good choices for herbal oil infusions include: basil, bay, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon, and thyme.
- Include favorite recipes when giving as a gift.
- Many gift recipients wont want to use something so beautiful. Remind them the vinegar wont keep and promise to make more next year.
- Wrap simply with a ribbon and a label or cover the top with a decorative fabric for a country-look.
What You Need
- Bottles or Jars
- Lids or corks
- A light oil (sunflower, safflower, olive, peanut...)
- Your choice of fresh or dried herbs
- A pot or oven to sterilize bottles & jars
- Ribbon, raffia, cloth... (Optional)