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Infusing Oil with Herbs

Photo: Brian Kennedy

Infusion is a neat cooking technique that transfers the flavors of one food, such as fresh herbs, into another, such as oil. Here's how to make our recipe for Chive Oil.

Start Fresh.
For the brightest, purest flavor, use herbs at their peak rather than dried. Choose organic if you can, and rinse well. We used 2 ounces of fresh chives cut into 1-inch pieces to make the vibrant chive oil shown here.

Get the Herbal Essence.
Lock in the color of leafy and grassy herbs like parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro. Dip herbs in boiling water for 10 seconds; drain. Rinse with ice water. Blot dry–oil and water don't mix.

Go Neutral.
Mild-flavored oils like grapeseed, light olive oil, canola, or safflower take on herbal flavors without competing. Place herbs and ¾ cup oil in a blender; process 3 to 4 minutes or until bright green and smooth.

Filter and Store.
Let mixture sit for 45 minutes so the herb flavor transfers to the oil. Strain through a double layer of cheesecloth; discard solids. For the clearest concoction, don't press. Store herb oils in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Infused oil can also be frozen (place in mini ice cube trays until frozen; then transfer to zip-top freezer bags).

View Recipe: Chive Oil