How to Make Infused Olive Oil

Infused olive oil can can add an interesting dimension to many dishes; it can be drizzled over roasted vegetables, grilled or seared meat, fish, poultry or included in vinaigrettes, dressings and sauces.

Ahhh Basil!

Every summer when the herb garden is thick with basil I can't seem to get enough of it! I make a fair share of pesto, and also use those fragrant emerald leaves in sandwiches, salads and with chicken and fish ~

I also like to make Basil Infused Olive Oil.

I learned this simple technique for infusing olive oil with herbs from chef Michael Chiarello. The method can be used for making many kinds of infused oils whether the ingredient is basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, chiles, chervil, chives, cilantro, mint, mushrooms or citrus fruit. (Tarragon works best in early spring, otherwise it is quite bitter when infused.)

By following a few common sense tips you can safely* and easily make your own.

I adore the flavor and color it adds to the plate! With this simple processing method the oil must be used within a couple of days, so I make a very small amount; usually about 1/2 cup.

For greater control in application you can put it in plastic squirt bottles, but I usually just store it in these tiny bottles given to me in a surprise box by a special friend , after I admired some that she had. Thank you special friend! You know I think of you often. :)

* Important notes:

It must be kept under refrigeration and used within 5 days, so I make it in small quanities (about 1/2 cup at a time.)

Unlike flavored vinegars, it is important that no fresh herbs or other ingredients are added back into the oil before storage because this could introduce the risk of the food borne illness, botulism.

If you would like a printable copy of the method for making infused olive oils you can find it on my recipe blog by clicking HERE.

Thank you for stopping by ~ have a healthy and delicious day!


  1. Beautiful photographic tutorial Mary.Basil Oil and Chili pepper oils are my 2 most favorite~

  2. I rarely think to make them, though I do love infused oils. I love your little bottle. And your photos are beautiful.

    I love coming here for inspiration. Your posts cheer my soul!

  3. What a pretty and vibrant color this oil has! I could dip bread in this and eat it all day! I'm curious why you blanch the herbs first before blending them..

  4. Thank you for your sweet comments!

    Hi Sala, At first I thought it might be to sanitize the herbs, but on second thought I believe blanching breaks down the cells making the herbs softer so they emulsify into the oil more quickly and thoroughly, the icy water shock helps set the vibrant color. That's my theory anyway, and I'm sticking to it. *grin*

    Thank you all for stopping by!

  5. Mari this is a wonderful post! I do have a lot of basil this year and should give this a try. Especially now that the tomatoes are good and with this drizzled over top, oh boy!!

  6. Hi Mari,

    Beautiful photographs. I should have known it was you when I saw this on Foodgawker!


  7. Mari, that is just lovely!

    The vibrant emerald-green of your basil oil is enough to make me run out to my garden and grab a bunch of basil, right now.
    But, I don't know if I should save it for making pesto or basil oil. I didn't plant enough basil this year. Dilemma.
    Help me.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner