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Kitchen Basics: How to Make Infused Olive Oils

From our round up of olive oil desserts to our own one pot olive oil and peach dump cake  we have olive oil on the brain this past week. With that in mind we’re taking it back to basics today with a tutorial on how to create delicious infused olive oils that are perfect for gifts, or just to keep in your home to make that salad or crostini recipe 10 times better. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is. Take a look!

Infused Olive Oils

We found these bottles, which are the perfect size for a small batch.

Lemon Olive Oil

Lemon Olive Oil

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– peel of 1 lemon

Instructions:
1. Make sure as much of the pith as possible is removed from your lemon peel. See our limoncello recipe for instructions on how to do that.
2. Combine oil and lemon peel in a small saucepan over low heat.
3. Let oil and lemon simmer over low heat for approximately 20 minutes. You just want the oil to warm, not cook or spatter.
4. Strain out lemon peels, and pour oil into a clean dry glass container. (You can add additional lemon peels to the container like we did if you want.)
5. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Pouring Oil

This step will be the same for each of the following recipes. Measure out 3/4 cup of olive oil and add it to a small saucepan. You might have to adjust the recipe depending on how big your bottles are.

Lemon Olive Oil

Add the peels to the oil, and turn the burner on to low. Then it just has to simmer.

Lemon Olive Oil

You can add a few additional lemon peels to the bottle if you want. That way you can tell which oil is which!

Lemon Olive Oil Crostini

We like to pour the olive oil over a crostini with lemon zest and a creamy cheese like goat cheese or ricotta.

Herbed Olive Oil

Herbed Olive Oil

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1 bunch mixed herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)

Instructions:
1. Wash and fully dry the fresh herbs.
2. Combine herbs and olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
3. Let oil and herbs simmer over low heat for approximately 20 minutes. You just want the oil to warm, not cook or spatter.
4. Strain out the herbs, and pour into a clean, dry glass container. (You can add an additional sprig of herbs to the jar if you want.)
5. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Herbed Olive Oil

We chose to use rosemary, sage, and thyme for our herbed oil.

Herbed Olive Oil

Let it simmer to bring out the flavors.

Herbed Olive Oil

We added a sprig of rosemary to this bottle.

Herbed Olive Oil

Pour slowly so you don’t spill, and only fill to the neck of the bottle.

Herbed Olive Oil

Use herbed olive oil in place of regular olive oil in salad dressings for extra  flavor.

Thai Chili Olive Oil

Thai Chili OIl

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 tablespoons dried chilis

Instructions:
1. Combine chilis and olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Let oil and herbs simmer over low heat for approximately 20 minutes. You just want the oil to warm, not cook or spatter.
3. Strain out chilis, and pour into a clean, dry glass container. (You can add additional chilis to the bottle if you want.)
4. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Thai Chili OIl

Into the saucepan they go!

Thai Chili Oil

Extra chiles will keep the oil from losing it’s flavor.

Thai Chili Oil

You might have a bit of oil left over if you put a lot of chiles in your bottle.

Thai Chili Oil

A little bit of this oil will make your next ramen night 10 times better, trust us!

Garlic & Pepper Olive Oil

Garlic + Pepper Oil

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled
– 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions:
1. Combine garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Let oil, garlic, and peppercorns simmer over low heat for approximately 20 minutes. You just want the oil to warm, not cook or spatter.
3. Strain out the garlic and peppercorns, and pour into a clean, dry glass bottle. (You can add extra peppercorns to the bottle if you want.)
4. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Garlic + Pepper Oil

Add the peppercorns and garlic.

Garlic + Pepper Oil

For a more intense flavor you can smash the garlic cloves and the peppercorns first. Just be sure to strain it with a mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth if you do so.

Garlic + Pepper Oil

Once again, the peppercorns in this oil will help you keep each flavor straight.

Garlic + Pepper Oil

If you don’t have a liquid measuring cup to pour from, you can also use a funnel for these bottles.

Garlic + Pepper Oil

This is the perfect way to top off plain pasta! Especially when you add pepper and a little Parmesan cheese.

What kind of infused oils do you want to try? Tell us in the comments!