Anyone who uses extra virgin olive oil consistently in their cooking needs to try this garlic infused oil recipe. This is the perfect way to add flavor to lots of dishes from pizza to pasta, proteins, or vegetables.
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When I was attending culinary school in Italy, there was always a bottle of garlic oil located right next to the extra virgin olive oil.
This is the perfect ingredient to enhance the flavor in countless dishes such as a bread dipping sauce, salad dressing, pasta, or even drizzled on top of anything you wish to have garlic flavor.
I can almost guarantee you will never want to buy an infused olive oil from the store after seeing how easy and flavorful this one is.
If you love this recipe, don't forget to check out rosemary infused olive oil too.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- How to add flavor to an olive oil through cold infusion.
- The best way to achieve a strong and delicious garlic flavor that is bound to replace both jarred garlic and garlic powder in your kitchen.
- Ideas on how to use infused garlic oil in your home kitchen.
If you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about purchasing, tasting, and cooking with extra virgin olive oil, sign up for my four-day email series to become an expert.
Ingredients You Need
Now that you know how wonderful this infused garlic olive oil is, let's learn about the two ingredients you’ll need.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil you can buy. What makes extra virgin olive oil unique is that it is made from the first press of olives, and it has an acidity level of less than 1%. The best extra virgin olive oil comes from olives that were crushed within the same day of being picked.
While I recommend using a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe, a lower-quality extra virgin olive oil will still work. The garlic flavor will mask most of the unappealing features that a lower-quality oil might have. This is a great option to avoid wasting a lower quality extra virgin olive oil.
Garlic Cloves: It is essential to use fresh garlic for this recipe. The fresh garlic provides the strong and delicious garlic flavor that you'll want for this infusion.
Do not substitute the fresh garlic for jarred garlic. The ending flavor result will not be the same.
How To Make This Recipe
Now it's time to learn how to infuse olive oil with garlic. It's easier than you may think!
1. The first part of the garlic infusion is to take your peeled garlic cloves and add them to a food processor. Once all the garlic is in, pulse until roughly chopped.
A really handy trick for peeling garlic cloves in large amounts is to place all the garlic you need to be cleaned in a bag. Then, while holding the opening of the bag closed in your hand, swing and bang the cloves against the counter. This will help the skins easily release.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a sharp chef's knife to chop your garlic. This step of chopping up your garlic is done to release the garlic flavors and aromas.
Mix and Infuse the Oil
2. Once the garlic is chopped, add it to a mason jar, and combine it with the extra virgin olive oil.
When selecting the mason jar or container of your choice for your garlic olive oil, make sure you have thoroughly sterilized it.
3. Cover the mason jar with a coffee filter that is held in place with a rubber band. Let the garlic and oil sit in a dark, cool place for 48 hours.
It is crucial that you do not cover the mason jar with a sealed lid or plastic wrap. During this part of the process, the garlic is fermenting and releasing gasses, so it needs a breathable cover for the gasses to release safely.
While it may be tempting to check on and use your infused oil with garlic before the 48-hour mark, you will not have as potent of a garlic flavor if you cut the time short.
This method of infusion is known as cold infusion. The two main types of infusion are cold and hot. Hot infusion requires heating and cooling the oil to extract flavors out of an ingredient. Contrarily, a cold infusion (no heat) is a slower process of releasing the flavors from an ingredient, but it still allows for a strong flavor without any risk of burning the garlic.
Strain and Store
4. After you’ve waited patiently for two days, it is time to strain the infusion. Discard the garlic after straining. While you may be hopeful to use the garlic again, the flavors and nutrients have just been extracted and infused into the extra virgin olive oil.
5. Once strained, you can now seal your container well and store it away from light and heat.
My recommendation for the least amount of waste possible is to reuse the bottle that your extra virgin olive oil came in.
Light, temperature fluctuations, and time are the 3 enemies of olive oil. Because of this, find a place that’s cool and dark to keep your garlic oil when you aren’t using it.
How To Use Garlic Infused Olive Oil
Here are some of the many ways you can use garlic olive oil:
- Add it to a salad dressing. It's perfect for elevating an easy vinegarette.
- Olive oil infused with garlic is great for making a dipping sauce for homemade bread.
- This is the perfect ingredient for a garlic-inspired focaccia bread.
- Top homemade hummus with this infusion.
- This is delicious drizzled over homemade pizza.
- Add a little to some roasted vegetables or potatoes before throwing them in the oven.
- This is a super convenient way to add flavor to a chicken marinade.
- Turn this oil infused with garlic into a garlic aioli or dipping sauce for fries and burgers.
- The infused olive oil should have a shelf life of over 2 months. With this being said, if you notice any signs of mold, fermentation (bubbling, cloudiness, or sliminess), foul odor, or discoloration, discard it immediately without tasting or using it.
- One of the greatest things about this garlic olive oil is that it will not leave you with stinky breath because the garlic has fermented and released these malodorous gasses.
- As with all canning and infused oil recipes, there is a chance that botulism could occur. Because of this, take as many precautions recommended by the CDC as possible when you are infusing oils at home.
Yes, it's perfect to cook with. It's delicious in pasta, on chicken, with vegetables, and all sorts of cooked items. Anything you would use extra virgin olive oil to cook with, you can swap for this garlic infusion.
The easiest way to guarantee that you’re buying a quality bottle is to make sure it says ‘extra virgin’ on the label.
Other labeled indicators of quality extra virgin olive oil are phrases such as ‘first press’ or ‘cold pressed’.
If you can find it, check the harvest date on the bottle. Ideally, the harvest date should be less than a year from the date you are purchasing.
If the bottle states the percentage of acidity, the best extra virgin olive oils are less than 1% acidity.
At the end of the day, it's always a good idea to taste the extra virgin olive oil to see for yourself what the flavor and mouthfeel is like.
I prefer extra virgin olive oil with a lighter taste for this infused garlic oil.
More Italian Inspired Recipes
Infused Garlic Oil (2 Ingredients)
- mason jar
- rubber band
- 1 cup garlic cloves (about 4 heads)
- 16.9 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor until roughly chopped.
- Combine extra virgin olive oil and chopped garlic in a mason jar. Cover mason jar with a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Allow garlic and oil to sit at room temperature in a dark, cool room for 48 hours.
- Strain and discard garlic.
- Store infused oil in a sterilized dark-colored bottle with a sealed lid (you can reuse the bottle the oil came in) away from light and heat.