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Homemade infused olive oil: New taste and aroma of your dishes

Olive oil plays a fundamental role in the Mediterranean diet and, by extension, in Spanish and Greek cuisine. Its benefits to our health, if consumed in moderation, are numerous, as well as its culinary possibilities providing the basis for many recipes and adding a stunning touch as a dressing.

Besides using shop-bought oils, we can give it an even more special touch if you make it to your own taste. With herbs, spices and some vegetables you can give your oil a flavor and aroma that gives a special twist to your favorite dishes. Although you can find it in supermarkets, there is also the option to make it home easily. Follow our advice to make it with your own hands.

Important little things

Important little things

Important little things

The basis for these infused oils is olive oil, preferably, as strong as possible. The Extra Virgin variety is considered by many to be the most appropriate. Then, the container is important too. The ideal is a glass bottle with cork, so as it conserves well the aroma and flavor.

Then you must choose the variety of the homemade oil you want, that is, what ingredient you are going to use for flavoring. The most popular herbs and spices are oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, bay leaf and pepper. Cloves garlic, raw or pickled, and chilies are often used as well as they intensify its flavor.

The culinary use of these oils is very broad. They are used mainly in salads, for dressing, as it gives a delicious flavor to the raw ingredients, like grilled or roasted vegetables. It also makes the meat or fish cooked more appetizing and dough for bread or pizza more special.

But how do you make it?

Infused olive oil

Infused olive oil

There are two ways mainly to make our own aromatic oils: heating oil or using cold maceration method. Many cooks prefer to use the latter option because with the prior one oil loses some of its properties when heated, although heat would give richer and better flavor to the spices.

The way of making flavored oil cold is very simple: put spices or herbs into a glass bottle, whole or crushed. Then fill the bottle with oil, cover it, and let it rest for a month in a dry place at room temperature and, if possible, without much light. For oil to acquire all the power of herbs and spices it is recommended to shake the bottle once or twice a week.

If you need infused oil urgently, the proper way to add flavor and aroma to the oil is heating. For example you can put it to warm for 1 hour at 60° C with the herbs selected. Then, simply pour it to an appropriate bottle and let it cool. Another method is putting the oil and spices in a saucepan and heating it until the first bubble out. Then out it aside and let it cool. You have to repeat it three times.

Select your preferred spices and herbs, as well as the process which is more suitable for you to provide new flavors and aromas for olive oil. Give another dimension to your tastier recipes.

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