Infusing Olive Oil

Infusing involves mixing items, such as herbs or fresh fruit zest, with the olive oil to make salad dressing or a dip for bread.
Related To:
Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil Holiday Gift

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil Holiday Gift

Make your own flavor-infused oils and package in vintage bottles for a personalized gift aspiring chefs will appreciate.

"I have a love affair with olive oil," Annette Joseph says, "so I get creative with it." The infusing involves mixing herbs, peppercorn, fresh fruit zest and olives with olive oil. "I love all the different combinations one can put together. I like to cook with infused olive oil. It's a really quick, easy salad dressing. It's also wonderful as a dip for bread, and a great gift. It's olive oil — so it's healthy."

To begin infusing olive oil — like Annette — you will need a bottle with a cork, a skewer or some long, slender implement, a potato peeler, a funnel, fresh lemon, oregano, rosemary and peppercorns. Start with a zest of lemon.

"The zest gives the oil a beautiful but subtle flavor," Annette says. "A lot of people think olive oil has a very distinctive taste but you can definitely enhance that flavor by infusing."

Annette uses a wooden skewer to poke the zest down through the neck of the bottle. Pushing the peel down into the bottle will coat the inside and add additional lemon flavor as you pour the oil.

Into a mortar, place a generous handful of peppercorn, some fresh oregano and a sprig of rosemary. Using the pestle gently pound the mixture, giving it a nice bruising. The oregano and rosemary add flavor and scent as well as create visual texture within the bottle. Place the bruised rosemary into the bottle, followed by the oregano. Using a funnel, pour in the peppercorns followed by the olive oil.

"The olive oil is not cooked," Annette reminds, "so it must sit with the mixture for it to properly infuse. It's fine to use it immediately if you want to, but it will taste so much better if you give it two weeks to properly infuse."

As for the shelf life of the infused oil, Annette says that depends on what type of ingredients you place in the bottle.

"It's good for about six months, although I've had some infused oils for over a year. If you use fresh fruit in the bottle, like kumquats or olives, after a while the mixture may get a little cloudy. It's still okay to use because the olive oil preserves the items that you've put into the bottle. It just won't look as pretty."

Annette is always on the prowl for unusual bottles for her olive oil. As an added touch, she will seal the cork on her newly infused oil by dripping wax from a scented candle to seal the bottle.

Infusing olive oil is a simple process that anyone can do — and it's fun.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Salt Dough Box

DIY crafts expert Debbie Stapely shows how to make a decorative box out of dough.

Decorating Hair Accessories

Make beautiful creations from basic hair accessories by adding simple embellishments.

Clay Pot Birdbath

Design an impressive terra-cotta bath that's strictly for the birds.

3-D Box Collage

How to revamp a cigar box into a clever 3-D box collage.

Toaster Pastry iPod Cozy

Stylishly protect your iPod by creating this playful and practical Toaster Pastry iPod Cozy. This is a great, quick project for young crafters or those with basic sewing skills.

Make Beads into Decorative Buttons

Learn how to use different beading techniques to embellish buttons that can be placed on clothing or made into jewelry.

Flowerpot Dirt Dessert

DIY crafters get down and dirty with a delicious dessert bursting with pudding and cookies.

Turn Washers into Jewelry

Crafty DIYers can make funky jewelry out of ordinary metal washers.

How to Make Resin Jewelry

Channel your inner rock star with easy and fun-to-make resin fashion jewelry.

Create a Teen Sensation With Rock-Star Necklaces

See how easy it is to make homemade resin jewelry.

On TV

On TV

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.