A Few Drops of Flavour
Herbs in summer are delightful. They smell great, they look cool and they can help your body to function better. I have been making my own herbal oils for years. These taste way better than the store bought versions and take your food up a notch. With a tiny bit of effort, you too can create a nice collection of herbal oils. I have outlined some super quick techniques for those of us that need fast flavour for their busy lives. I have also included a recipe that takes a bit longer, but is well worth the effort. These herbal oils are great in a salad, on an avocado, or in a stir-fry.
Fast herbal oil #1
Wash and chop 1 cup fresh herbs, place in the blender with 1 cup good quality oil (see note below). Blend on high until mixed. If you have company and want to be fancy, pour through a tea strainer to get rid of miscellaneous bits. Serve immediately. Works well for delicate herbs such as basil, lemon verbena, fennel and tarragon.
Fast herbal oil#2
Heat 1 cup good quality oil ( see note below) on low heat. Add 1 cup dry or fresh herbs, chopped fine. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Pour into a glass container. Keeps on shelf for 1 month. Works well for stronger herbs like garlic, chilli, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
D.I.Y. Herb Oils-thrifty and tasty
These yummy oils are easy to do, and add nice kisses of flavour to your food.
Something simple like pasta tastes great with a dash of home-made basil, chilli or garlic oil. The herbal oils can be easily prepared in the morning and left out on a sunny counter all day. This is a great investment in future flavour.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 24 hours
- Total Time: 24 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 oz
- Category: Herbal Oils
- Method: Oil Infusion
1/2 c good quality oil (see note below)
1 cup of unwashed fresh herb
Chop up herbs into small pieces. Put into a mortar and pestle and grind. If you don’t have that, place the herbs in a ziplock and pound with a hammer covered by a dishcloth. The goal is to pulverize the herb so the oils will be released. Put herbs into a non metal bowl. Pour oil over. Place in the sun for 24 hours. Once done, pour the oil through a sieve to separate the herbs. Keep in a glass container in the fridge. Lasts a year in the fridge.
On flavour– Depending on the type of herb that you are using you should use different oils. For strong herbs such as garlic, chilli, rosemary or oregano, olive oil works well. For a milder herb, or those that are delicate, try using a more neutral tasting herb, such as safflower or almond oil. This works well for basil, tarragon, mint, and fennel.
On washing- It is important not to wash your herbs as adding water them tends to introduce micro-organisms and can spoil your oil. If you must wash your herbs, shake them out after, pat with a towel and spread them out to dry before commencing the processing. You can also use dried herbs for this procedure.
You are off to a good start. Future tasty salads will thank you.
I want to see what you came up with! If you have some nice pics of your oil, please send an instagram snap to #lslivewell.