Is it viable to make outstanding Infused Olive Oil at home using dried wild herbs? The intensity of the flavor fluctuates with the season, regardless if the herbs are wild or domestic, how the local growing conditions have recently been, etc.
In addition, it takes a tremendous amount of trial and error. It is more art than science and the individuals who are exceptional at it, unfortunately are unwilling to share their trade secrets.
Usually speaking, the oil will pick up the flavor rather quickly, in the first few weeks, and then steadily intensify. It is typically ok to leave the herbs in for a long time; eventually all the flavor leaves the herbs and the olive oil flavor counterbalances.
When mixing herbs, think salad dressing. Look at some recipes for dressing and alternate the dried herbs for any fresh herbs called for in the recipe. A dipping blend is similar to an Italian dressing with much more oil than vinegar.
Flavored Infused Olive Oils and dressings make for outstanding gifts. Nonetheless, there are safe and unsafe ways to make Infused Olive Oil.
The unsafe way is to put anything in the Infused Olive Oil that contains any trace of water or moisture. That would include things such as: garlic, lemon peel, fresh peppers, fresh herbs and spices.
The oil will not support bacterial growth but the water containing herbs will. Botulism bacteria can grow in this type of environment, even in a sealed bottle. Fortunately for you, there are variety of things you can do to avoid this problem.
Mix All the Ingredients, Refrigerate Them and Use Them Within A Week
This is the best choice if you are using fresh ingredients such as fresh basil, fresh rosemary or garlic. Garlic is perfect for adding to pasta dishes.
Fill a decorative 1-litre bottle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a clean head of garlic and leave to marinade for a few days. You can also use lemon peel, fresh or dried peppers, ginger, rosemary sprigs, etc.
Furthermore, you can use a recipe for Italian salad dressing but our Infused Olive Oil experts suggest that you cut down on the vinegar or lemon juice.
Preserve The Added Ingredients
Garlic or herbs mixed with Olive Oil is created by preserving the water-containing garlic, herb, etc. with a strong brine or vinegar solution, then putting it in the Infused Olive Oil.
The vinegar solutions used commercially are up to 4 times stronger than the vinegars you discover in the supermarket.
Many of the herb mixes have both salt and vinegar which both prevent bacterial growth. Commercial vinaigrettes and sauces also have chemical preservatives not typically available to the home cook.
Dry the herbs to remove all water, leaving the need oils. This can be completed with a food dehydrator or just by leaving in the sun. After the spices and herbs are dry, you can add them to the Olive Oil. Whole sprigs of thyme, rosemary, dried peppers, etc. can decorate the inside of the bottle this way.
Press The Olives With The Spices
Putting lemon, garlic, etc. in the olive press with the olives is the safest way to flavor olive oil. You must have your own olive press. The oils from the added ingredients mingle with the olive oil and the watery part of the spices is removed along with the olive water. You can also add essential spice oils to the Olive Oil to accomplish the same effect.