Kitchen Food Crafts: Making Herbal Olive Oil Jars

How to make your own herb olive oils with recipes. Tips on mixing ingredients

Herbed olive oils are great to cook with, wonderful gifts and easy to make. You can use any type of jar with a good sealing lid. Often, you can find jars with interesting shapes at thrift and second hand stores. Just make sure the lid seals tightly and that the jar and lid are both clean and sterilized. (An automatic dishwasher is excellent for this.) You can also save and use other jars such as jars for mayonnaise, relish and salad dressing.

Decorate your jars for an extra creative touch. Try glass paints, stencils, ribbons or glitter glue. Jars can be decorated for holidays or special occasions or to go along with the type of olive oil you are making. For example, an olive oil made with rosemary could have a picture of rosemary glued or painted on to the jar.

Herbed oils should be used within 10 days of making them and kept refrigerated so they do not grow dangerous bacteria. You can also add phosphoric acid or citric acid as a preservative so the oils will last longer. Follow the directions on the packages of these products to use them as a preservative. There are two ways in which you can make herbed oils. In the first way, you use fresh cut (not dried) herbs. Place herbs in enough water to cover them and boil covered for about 5 minutes. Remove herbs from water squeezing excess water out.

Pour olive oil into a blender, add herbs and pour more oil on top of the herbs. Puree to chop herbs into smaller pieces while allowing their flavor to blend with the oil. Strain the oil through a fine mash screen strainer. Strain 2 to 3 times more through 2 layers of cheesecloth. Bottle the oil and use within 10 days unless adding a preservative. The second method uses dried herbs. With this method, the oil is likely to last much longer as long as it is kept in a tightly sealed container.

In this method, you simply add the dried herbs to a clean, sterilized container and pour the olive oil over them. Cap tightly and shake. Place the jar in a warm place to let the herbs infuse. You can strain the herbs or keep them in. If the herbs are strained, this oil can last a few months in a tightly sealed container. You can also add the preservatives from above.

Herbed Olive Oil Recipes

You can make just about any herb into a herbed olive oil, but make sure it is something you would want to use! Oils can be made from single herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, bay leaves, chili peppers, fennel, coriander, pepper corn, marjoram, summer savory, garlic, onion flakes, and parsley, just to name a few.

Here are some family favorite herbed olive oil mixes:

Recipe #1

For 1 quart of olive oil add:

15 whole peppercorns

6 tsps dried rosemary

2 tsps dried crushed garlic

3 tsps dried oregano

3 tsps dried thyme

2 bay leaves (whole)

Recipe #2

For 1 quart olive oil add:

8 whole peppercorns

6 tsps dried basil

6 tsp dried oregano

Recipe #3

For 1 quart olive oil add:

½ cup dried parsley

½ cup dried celery flakes

½ cup dried chives

Recipe #4

For 1 quart olive oil add:

1 cup marjoram

½ cup rosemary

6 whole peppercorns

2 tsp dried crushed garlic

Recipe #5

For 1 quart olive oil add:

1 cup lemon balm

10 whole peppercorns

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