I’m convinced that there is no better snack than a bowl of high quality olive oil, mixed with some fresh herbs and spices, and a crusty loaf of bread for dipping. I could eat that for every meal of the day, if that is, I had no concern for my pant size. Olive oil is one of the most versatile things in the kitchen and just about everyone uses it. For that reason, creating homemade infused olive oil as a gift is perfect. If you are Photoshop Savvy, you can even create personalized labels to go with your event whether that be a wedding or the next time you entertain guests in your home. The options are literally endless and while the recipe I am about to give you involves a bit of cooking, you could also simply put a few fresh herbs in a bottle of olive oil and call it a day.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
- 1 well-crumbled bay leaf
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Gently warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat.
- While the oil is heating, lightly pound the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a mortar and pestle.
- Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the bruised herbs and lemon juice.
- You can use this now, but know – the oil just gets better as it ages over a few days. Keep it in a refrigerator for up to a week/ten days-ish. It thickens up when cold, so if you need it in a liquid state, place it in the sun or in a warm place for a few minutes.
Makes ~2/3 cup.
When you are finished, after you taste test it, add it to an interesting looking glass bottles, add your personalized label, and you have a great gift that everyone will love! This could be an excellent host gift too in lieu of the common bottle of wine!