May 15, 2009

Pantry: Flavored Olive Oil

Flavored Oil Mise en Place

Flavored oils are excellent additions to the home pantry--they're a quick way to add flavor to any dish. They are also quite simple to make. All you need is a good extra virgin olive oil, the flavor components you want to include, and a clean bottle to age them in.

I started with a late 2007 harvest blended extra virgin olive oil from Fanucchi Oils. It's a very nice oil, well balanced, with a grassy flavor accented with apple and a hint of citrus. This oil pairs well with rosemary, and because it doesn't have a strong pepper component in the flavor, pink peppercorns add a touch of sweet pepperiness.

Wash and thoroughly air dry 3-4 spears of organic rosemary. Put them into a sterile, bone-dry glass bottle that holds 2 cups or so. Add two tablespoons of pink peppercorns, and then pour two cups of the oil into the bottle. Seal the bottle and put it in a cool, dark place for a one to three weeks.

The peppercorns tend to float, so you'll probably want to strain the oil before using. If you're going to give it as a gift, you'll want to put some fresh rosemary into the gift bottle to make a prettier picture.

Use it any time you want to add some rosemary and pepper flavor. Vary the flavoring elements and proportions to suit your taste. Just remember that a flavored oil will only last about 3 months, so don't make too much at once.


  1. Hello Gareth, you speak to the Mediterranean lover in me, I love olive oil. Flavoring it sounds pretty good. I'm thinking some garlic & thyme now... Oh wait, you *did* flavor olive oil with garlic before, I just see it above now on possibly related posts link. Okay, so have you used it yet? Before I did, but I chopped up more garlic cloves. Came out more acidic than I'd enjoy that time, but maybe less garlic would do for it's nicely pungent with small amount too, anyway.

  2. Thanks! That link was to some other blog; I have no control over that. But I read it and it looks like it's about right. I would use either whole raw cloves, or would either roast or confit the garlic first. With confit you'd need a lot of garlic but the flavor would be good and non-acidic.

    In any case, if you make flavored oil with garlic, I'd love to know how it comes out.