Get your flavour fix

April 06, 2015

The team at GetMaking love learning new things, and Daryn - our gardening, bee keeping, cooking and culturing expert - has been teaching us how to make flavoured oils. He has shared some of his secrets so you can make it for yourself. 

A great way of adding flavour to your cooking is to use flavoured oil. Once you understand the basics flavoured oil is simple to make and you can experiment with different herbs and spices - and even better if you pick those herbs straight from the garden! 

How's it done? You will warm the oil with herbs and spices, then strain and bottle the oil. 

You need

  • 1 litre of olive oil (4 cups)
  • 1 x bunch of washed and then dried-off herbs – you don’t want to be adding moisture to the oil
Some good combinations are:
  • Oregano, Rosemary, Lemon Zest, garlic (eg a clove chopped in half)
  • Basil, Thai Basil & Mandarin peel, star anise & garlic
  • Basil, Parsley and Garlic
    1. Pour oil into a saucepan, add the herbs and stir so everything is submerged in the oil.
    2. Slowly heat the oil until it’s warm, not hot and definitely not boiling. The heat will infuse the flavour of the herbs into the oil, and cook off any residual moisture in the herbs.
    3. Be really careful when working with oil: use a burner at the back of the stove, ensure kids are kept away and keep your attention on the pot.
    4. Allow the oil and herbs to infuse for up to an hour, then turn off the heat and cool to room temperature. When completely cool strain oil through cheesecloth or a clean Chux wipe into a clean, dry bottle with a tight fitting lid and store away from sunlight in a cool place. Discard the herbs.

      Flavours: You can experiment with different blends and pretty much anything goes except for ingredients that contain liquid - ie. lemon segments hold too much liquid, but lemon rind would be great. For a balanced flavour think about your herb quantities – use fewer strongly flavoured herbs like Rosemary and more of the gently flavoured herbs.

      BottlesA great bottle to store your oil in is one of those fancy whisky decanters that everyone has but that no one uses - just make sure the seal on the lid is good so the oil keeps for longer. To package as a gift pick up some cute bottles from your local $2 shop and tie a label around the neck. This could be a beautiful handmade Mothers Day present. 

      How to use your oil? Stir a couple tablespoons into a thick vegetable soup just before serving; mashed potato; freshly sliced tomatoes and feta; toss over vegetables and then roast; shake with balsamic to make a quick salad dressing.


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