Infused Olive Oils

Do you ever find a recipe that looks so delicious and then look at the page-long ingredient list, only to decide maybe it’s not worth trying? I am definitely guilty of this. Although sometimes I feel brave enough to conquer the trickiest of recipes, I usually seek out easy-to-make meals. And what I am coming to realize is, often times you don’t even need a recipe, just an ingredient that you are excited about to bring the dish together. My newest solution: infused olive oils.

Infused olive oils automatically add one or more subtle, yet amazing flavors to all the other ingredients. Want to add a little heat to your pasta? Use some rosemary and crushed red pepper olive oil. Want to brighten up your salad? Use some lemon and basil olive oil. Want to make a killer veggie stir-fry? Use some roasted garlic olive oil. And, even better yet, you can easily make enough to last for multiple meals. So if you’re like me and want to simplify your meals without sacrificing flavor, start infusing!

Infused Olive Oils

***An important note about infusing olive oils: be sure that any ingredient you use with the oil is completely dry. Otherwise, water may cause bacteria to grow in the oil, which can result in food poisoning. The first two types of oil listed are very easy to make. However, garlic takes a little more work if you want to store the oil for a longer period of time. So if you are in a rush, go for the first two options. But trust me, the roasted garlic is worth it!

Another note: I bought a large bottle of olive oil and allotted the amount of oil for each version depending on the size of the container I used for storage.

Rosemary and Crushed Red Pepper Olive Oil

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Big pinch of crushed red pepper

Place the rosemary and crushed red pepper in an air-tight, glass container. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until small bubbles form. If the oil starts to smoke, let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully pour the oil over the rosemary and crushed red pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon and Basil Olive Oil

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Rind of 2 lemons
  • Handful of fresh basil, chiffonade

Use a vegetable peeler or small, sharp knife to peel the rind off the lemons. You can peel short strips vertically or long curls by going from top to bottom horizontally. To chiffonade the basil, stack the leaves (biggest to smallest), roll them together like a cigar, and hold the roll down to cut thin strips with a sharp knife. Then place the lemon rind and basil in a container and follow the same instructions as above.

Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, adapted from MJ’s Kitchen

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a small bowl with the lemon juice. Let the cloves sit for 15 minutes. Remove the cloves with a slotted spoon, reserving the juice. Transfer the cloves to a small casserole dish and spread them out in a single layer. Pour enough olive oil over the cloves so that they are immersed. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and place in an air-tight, glass container. Add the reserved lemon juice and enough of the infused olive oil to fill the container. Refrigerate until ready to use.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Daisy says:

    so if you use fresh basil for the second one then do you have to use it fast before it goes bad and creates bacteria? or do you use fresh dried basil? (did i just make that up?)

    1. Sorry for the confusion – you don’t have to use dried basil. I just meant if you use fresh basil and wash it, be sure all the water is gone before you add the olive oil to it. That’s also true of any container that you use. The oil will last about 3 weeks.

  2. mjskit says:

    A great selection of infused oils! I definitely have to try the rosemary and red pepper oil! I can see so many uses for it! Thanks so much for the shout out with my garlic-infused oil! Now I’m going to need to try it lemon instead of lime. Great post!

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