Friday, 6 August 2010

Herbs by the Jar Full

The kitchen garden at Holly Grove has a now very established herb bed producing all the herbs we need in the kitchen and more! I'm going to try making herb infused oils using a variety of herbs on a range of oils, if they are successful they may find their way into Christmas stockings later in the year.

The process appears to be very simple and so I'm starting my experiment with two versions - an extra virgin olive oil flavoured with rosemary, a strongly flavoured oil with a strongly flavoured herb, and groundnut oil with fennel, I'm thinking of using this oil in fish dishes.

The process is the same regardless of the oil or herb...

Herb Infused Oil
Take a clean jar and pack it loosely with the herb of your choice. Fill the jar with the oil of your choice. Mix the herb and oil together and cover the jar with two layers of muslin secured with a rubber band.

Place the jar on a sunny windowsill (a bit tricky given the weather at the moment) for two weeks, stirring daily. After two weeks strain the oil through muslin and taste. If the flavour is to your liking then decant into clean, sterile bottles, seal and label. If you want a stronger flavour refill the jar loosely with fresh herbs and cover with the oil and repeat the process.

The oils can be used for cooking or salad dressings or simply for dipping.

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