The flavors found in herbs and garlic are soluble in oil. Heat speeds up the process, although this can also be done cold.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 cups infused oil
2 cups olive oil
1 bunch fresh thyme, washed and dried
5-8 leaves fresh sage, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, washed and dried
3 garlic scapes, chopped (or 2 cloves garlic, chopped)
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until a pinch of the herbs gently bubble when added. Add te thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until a taste with a spoon (blow on it to cool it!) achieves the flavor intensity you like. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Pour oil into a jar with a lid. Infused olive oil will keep on your counter for a week or more, longer in the fridge although you’ll need to warm it up to pour properly.
Use infused oil for dressing pasta and pizza, and for dipping bread.
Variations: Try a wide range of your favorite herbs. Other mild cooking oils can also be used, such as canola or safflower. Strongly flavored oils (peanut, sesame) present more of a challenge: your herb flavors might get lost, or conflict with the herbs.
Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick