How to flavor olive oil - avoiding contamination When flavoring olive oils at home which you plan to keep for several months, you must be extremely careful to avoid botulism.
What should you do to avoid botulism?
Well, bacteria will not develop on oil, but it can grow on water, so absolutely no water should be allowed into your oil. Because of this, when learning how to flavor olive oil, you musn't use fresh herbs, garlic, lemon etc ... unless you're only infusing small amounts, which you'll store in the fridge and use within a few days.
Instead, use dried herbs to make any flavored olive oils you wish to keep longer than a week.
You'll discover two basic recipes below ... first, an infused olive oil recipe using dried herbs, which can be stored for up to one year ... followed by a flavored extra virgin olive oil recipe using fresh herbs for more immediate use.
How to flavor olive oil - using dried herbs
1. First of all, you'll need to choose your herbs and prepare them.
Sprigs of dried rosemary or thyme look visually extremely attractive in a bottle ... not to mention tasty. Other dried herbs you may wish to consider when learning how to flavor olive oil are basil, tarragon, oregano, bay leaves, parsely, mint ...
You can either buy your herbs ready-dried from a shop ... or dry your own.
If choosing the latter, you'll need to gently rinse your fresh herbs, pat dry, tie in bunches with string, then hang upside-down in an airy but warmish room for a few weeks, until the stalks no longer bend but break.
2. Next, select bottles/containers that can be tightly sealed. Sterilize by placing in boiling water for 10 minutes, ensuring they're completely dried afterwards.
3. Fill the bottle/container up to a quarter full with your dried herbs and top with extra virgin olive oil, using a small funnel if necessary.
4. Close tightly and leave to infuse in a dark place, away from heat, for around a month before using.
Using this method, your flavored olive oils can be kept up to one year.