Easy to make and easy to use, herb-infused oils are a great gift for the salad lovers, bread enthusiasts, popcorn aficiondos, the foodies, and the home chefs in your life. Type up a list of uses and recipes, print it out on blank business card cards with the “Keep Refrigerated” and “Use By:” details, and attach to the jars with ribbon or string.
- Small to Medium-sized food- and oven-safe jars or bottles.
- Virgin olive oil or another light-flavoured oil
- Dried herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, cilantro and thyme
- Fine mesh sieve
- A small saucepan
Note: Keep herb-infused oils in the fridge for up to 1 month. We aren’t adding preservatives, so use them up quickly. Make sure no water and unnecessary moisture goes into your jars or oil in order to prevent the grown of mold and bacteria. To do this make sure jars and bottles are completely dry after sterilizing them, and avoid using moisture-rich ingredients like garlic, citrus peels, and onions.
- Sterilize your sieve, bottles and jars as you would before making jam. (http://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-sterilise-jars#W2rbkL3Fc7D71CUi.97)
- If you’re using soft fresh herbs, add your herbs and enough oil to fill your jars into the blender and blend briefly until the herbs are broken up into small pieces, but not liquefied. Pour the mixture into your saucepan.
If you’re using woody or dried herbs put the herbs and enough oil to fill your jars straight into your saucepan.
How much of each herb you use is to taste. Try 1 Tbsp of dried herbs to every cup of oil, and about half that of fresh herbs. You can experiment with different herb combinations, but simple is best.
- Heat the oil and herbs on medium heat for about 5 minutes. No need to stir, but it won’t hurt either. After the five minutes, remove from heat and allow the oil to cool completely.
- Pour the oil through the sterilized sieve into your jars.
Adding springs of herbs to your jars will be pretty, but will shorten the shelf life of your oils. For the best flavour let the oil sit on the counter at room temperature for about half an hour before using.
Keep a loaf of fresh bread handy so you can quality control the results!