Monday, January 16, 2012

Party Ready Pantry: Infused Olive Oil with FREE Printable Label!

Olive oil is an essential cooking ingredient that just about everyone has on hand BUT did you know that it is incredibly easy to take your olive oil from everyday to entertaining gold? Infused olive oil is so easy to make and so easy to use. You can add just about any dried herb to your plain ol' olive oil and it transforms it into something amazing. Drizzle it on a bowl of popcorn or simply serve it alongside a basket of bread for a great appetizer. You can even use the infused oil in place of plain oil when cooking your entree. It will add that little something extra that will leave your guests asking for more. And when they can send each of them home with a little bottle of their very own infused oil!
So here's how you do it...
1. Pick your favorite olive oil. It doesn't have to be the most expensive but you should like the taste of it before infusing.
2. Gather up some of your favorite dried herbs. It's typically best to choose one herb per bottle but I like to add red pepper flakes too for a little heat. JUST BE CAREFUL HERE! Bacteria can grow on the things you add to the oil if there is any water! So to be on the safe side...only use DRIED herbs. Check out more information on this at the Olive Oil Source.
3. Find a small glass container that has a good lid. You want to make sure it seals tightly to protect the oil. You can have a little fun with this part. There are alot of decorative glass containers that would make great gifts. A few I like...

Via Olive Oil Source

Via Olive Oil Source

Via Olive Oil Source
4. Add your herbs to the bottom of the bottle. How much is up to you. It also helps to rub the dried herbs between your hands to release the flavor.
5. Pour the olive oil over the herbs. Again, the amount is up to you. The more oil the less flavor you will get from the herbs. You might have to try a couple batches to get your proportions just right.
6. Seal the bottle and put it in a cool, dry, dark place. A cabinet will work just fine. Let it infuse for a few days then taste it. The flavor will change a little each day so just keep track of what works for you.
7. Once the flavor is just right, you can strain the herbs out of the oil or leave them if you like.
8. Add a fun label to your bottle and you're done! You can download these free labels I designed by clicking on the link below the photo. Designed for use with the arched labels by Avery.

Using your olive oil is as simple as drizzling it over cooked veggies but here are a few other wonderful recipes from Lucini, one of my favorite sources for infused olive oils (I especially LOVE the chili oil...mmmm!)
Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Tortino con gli Aspargi

Lemon Roasted Chicken


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