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Coveted by gourmets, flavoured oils can be used in place of regular oil in almost any recipe. When placed in attractive bottles, they also make handsome gifts.
One of the easiest and most luxurious gifts from the garden is flavoured oil. Coveted by gourmets, flavoured oils can be used in place of regular oil in almost any recipe. When placed in attractive bottles, they also make handsome gifts.
The process is easy. Start with a sterilized container and fill with oil. Add herbs, spices or aromatic fruit, leaving them in place until the oil has become sufficiently infused with the desired flavour (about two weeks for fresh herbs). Strain, rebottle into another sterilized container and seal. Store in a cool, dark place.
Corn, canola, safflower and sunflower oils are good choices as they will not dominate the taste of the ingredients with which they are combined. Olive oil, especially the extra-virgin variety, works best of all.
Rosemary, thyme, tarragon, oregano, basil and sage all make good infusing herbs either alone or in combination. Bruise the herbs (put the herbs on a chopping board and lay a large knife on top; using the palm of your hand, press down firmly on the flat of the knife) to release their flavour before adding to the oil.
Oils infused with fresh ingredients, unless strained, will last about three months, while oils that have been infused with dried ingredients will last about six months. If garlic has been added, keep the oil refrigerated and use within two weeks.