I am one of these people who are highly susceptible to the marketing ploy that are flavored condiments. To give you an example: right now in my fridge there are seven different kinds of mustard, each flavored with different spices (there’s horseradish mustard, honey mustard, tarragon mustard, and so on). If you look further you’ll see a bunch of oils (rosemary oil, chili oil, garlic oil) and right next to the oils, there are the vinegars (raspberry vinegar, apple vinegar, pomegranate vinegar…). You get the picture. Put anything flavored and nicely packaged in front of me and I’ll compulsively buy it. But, in the meantime, I have a vague feeling that I am being scammed. The husband just raises his eyebrows when he sees me putting yet another olive oil or vinegar in the shopping cart while explaining frantically why I really, really need to buy them. (Sometimes I sneak them in when he isn’t looking and make an innocent face at the cash register when the cashier rings it up). I think he thinks I’m an addict… a flavored condiment shopaholic. He’s right. So, in order to appease my addiction without feeling like a gullible advertising monkey, I decided to make my own herb-flavored olive oil. And let me tell you, I was shocked, shocked by the outcome. It was as easy as can be.
your favorite herbs and spices (rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, etc.)
extra virgin olive oil
glass bottles (with a cork or a screw-on top)
Clean and dry your herbs and spices (I used rosemary and thyme and I am planning to make one with little chili peppers). Bruise the herbs lightly so that they release fragrance/flavor and place them inside the bottles. Warm up olive oil and pour through a funnel into the bottle (I would recommend using a metal funnel if you want to avoid a melting funnel disaster which accompanied my first herb-infused olive oil attempt). Seal the bottle and let it stand for a couple of weeks in a dry and dark place. If the flavor is not strong enough, add some more fresh herbs and let infuse for another week. Voila, you’re no longer a gullible advertising monkey… you are now an herb-infused olive oil producer.
Adapted from: The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz