Oil Spoils!2012 September 28 | Words by Samantha Jones |
All you need to know about infusing oil…
Perfect for salad dressings, drizzling over pasta, on bread or simply as a decorative feature, homemade Infused Oil is easy to make and can be a thoughtful do-it-yourself gift to share with friends.
More of an art than a science, achieving the perfect flavours, strength and combinations can take some trial and error. To begin with, acquire the best quality ingredients you can find or afford. Using quality oil, herbs and organic ingredients provides a cleaner, stronger more enriched flavour. Most oil sellers tend to favour simplicity, using just one herb at a time, but this is entirely preferential, and experimentation can certainly reap flavoursome rewards.
Thoroughly wash the ingredients letting them dry for as long as possible (overnight is preferable) before combining with the oil. While bacteria is unable to grow in the oil itself, it is able to flourish in any water left on the ingredients and can be a health hazard if prepared incorrectly.
Before placing your herbs and other ingredients into the bottle, gently bruise the items to expose their intrinsic oils. This will optimise the infused flavour. Lightly toasting spices and thinly slicing items like lemons and peppers is also a good idea.
Once placed inside the jar, cover the ingredients with your oil of choice and seal in a bottle. Let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least one to two weeks before using. The oil will pick up the flavour quickly in the first couple of week and will then slowly intensify. Over this time, it is a good idea to sample the product sporadically to access how the flavouring is progressing.
When infused to your liking, if using for culinary purposes, strain out the solid ingredients, re-bottle the oil and enjoy!