I love fresh herbs, I chop them and throw them into almost everything. I have a few herb plants in my garden which I am forever bothering with a pair of scissors. Rosemary, thyme and bay are standards in my kitchen. During the summer months we can’t grow enough parsley, coriander and basil to meet our needs. We are herb addicts and herb oil is a big part of that.
One of the things I like to do is make my own herb oils. They’re lovely to cook with and drizzle over things and they’re ridiculously easy to make too. Now is exactly the right time of year to be making a few bottles of herb oils to give to foodie friends and family for Christmas and they look really pretty too.
Because I’ve been busy making rosemary oil, below you’ll find the recipe for that below. But you can use the exact same technique with any woody herb. You can even do it with chillis, which you prick with a pin all over and push into the bottle to steep in the oil.
How to make Rosemary Herb Oil
You will need:
A decorative glass bottle
Some springs of rosemary (or other woody herb)
Olive oil (enough to fill the bottle
How to make herb oil:
In a small saucepan, pour in the amount of oil you need and warm gently. You don’t want the oil to be hot or bubbling, just warm enough to encourage the oils out of the herbs.
Take your sprigs of rosemary (or whatever woody herb you’re using) and using a rolling pin, roll over the sprigs a couple of times. This will crush the leaves slightly to encourage the herb oils to permeate the oil. Poke your sprigs into your clean and sterilised glass bottle.
If you’re not sure how to sterlise your bottle, I usually put it in the dishwasher on the hottest setting, then put it in a low oven for half an hour. Carefully remove the bottle and leave it to cool a little, so you can handle it, but no so it’s cold.
With the slightly crushed sprigs in the glass bottle, carefully (very carefully) pour the warmed oil into the bottle and seal it shut. Put to somewhere to cool and leave it for a couple of weeks before using the rosemary oil.
Uses for rosemary oil
- For roasting chicken or lamb
- For roasting vegetables
- Adding extra flavour to soups and stews
- For dipping bread into
You can happily recreate this using thyme or marjoram, or with pricked chillis as I suggested earlier. They really do make a pretty gift for a foodie, especially if you write a pretty label for the bottle.
If you enjoyed this, you might like to try making your own parma violet gin.