With just two ingredients, you can elevate a countless number of dishes with this rosemary-infused olive oil. This process will take a simple and plain-tasting olive oil and pack it with a lovely rosemary flavor.
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If you cook with extra virgin olive oil, this is the perfect technique to add to your toolkit.
When I was studying at culinary school in Italy, this tasty rosemary olive oil was a staple in the kitchen.
You can use this to enhance and improve the flavor of countless dishes. Furthermore, it is the perfect way to use any leftover rosemary you may have from your summer garden or if you happened to buy too much from the store.
If you love this recipe, don't forget to check out garlic infused olive oil too.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- How to properly hot infuse olive oil.
- The best way to achieve a potent and delicious rosemary flavor.
- Ideas for how to use infused rosemary 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
Let's break down the ingredients you will be using for this rosemary infused oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Olive: There are an extensive amount of misconceptions and a lack of knowledge when it comes to extra virgin olive oil. In my time studying in Italy, this was one of the most important things I learned.
Extra virgin olive oil is olive oil that comes from the first, cold press of the olives. For the oil to qualify as extra virgin, it also has to have an acidity of less than 1%.
The best extra virgin olive oils are made from olives that are crushed within 24 hours of harvesting.
Although I recommend using a higher quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe, this rosemary olive oil infusion will still work with a lower quality extra virgin olive oil.
The beauty of having rosemary as the infused ingredient is that its strong flavor will hide the taste of lesser-quality oil if one is used which is great for minimal waste.
Fresh Rosemary: The rosemary used in this recipe must be fresh. Dried rosemary will not work for this, and your oil will not have the strong rosemary flavor that you achieve with fresh rosemary.
It is important that if you wash your rosemary before using it in this recipe, be sure to dry it thoroughly. Otherwise, your oil will pop and splatter when heated up.
How To Make This Recipe
With a further understanding of the two ingredients being used, let's move on to the process of infusing olive oil with rosemary.
1. The first step is to combine the extra virgin olive oil with ½ ounce (14 grams) of rosemary in a saucepan.
2. Heat this mixture at medium-high until it reaches 230°F (110°C). Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature of your oil. Once this temperature is reached, shut off the heat immediately.
This is the process of hot infusion. Hot infusion essentially slowly heats the oil and the rosemary, thus releasing many of the nutrients, aromas, and key flavors of the plant. The nice part about this process, when infusing with rosemary, is that there’s no issue leaving the rosemary on the stem.
You want to avoid bringing the oil higher than the temperature I have listed because you risk burning both the rosemary and the oil which will ruin the flavor of your rosemary infusion.
3. Once you’ve shut off the heat, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool until it reaches 120°F (50°C). After the oil has cooled down to this temperature, remove the rosemary from the saucepan.
While it is extremely important to check the temperature from going too high, you can be less strict about the temperature dropping below 120°F (50°C).
Be sure to remove all of the used rosemary and dispose of it before moving on to the next step.
Now that your oil has cooled and your first batch of rosemary is removed, you can repeat this process two more times with the remaining amounts of rosemary. Add in ½ an ounce, or 14 grams, at a time, then heat and cool your oil as instructed in steps one and two.
It is important to repeat the process to completion three times because each time you repeat the infusion process, you can extract and amplify more and more of that rosemary flavor.
I found that the first and second infusions produced a disappointingly mild rosemary flavor, but after the third infusion, it became a rosemary flavor bomb.
4. Now that you have the lovely rosemary flavor infused into your extra virgin olive oil, let your oil cool until it reaches room temperature. Once it has cooled, it is best to store it in a sterilized, dark-colored bottle with a sealed lid. My suggestion is to use whatever bottle your extra virgin olive oil came in.
It is important to note that there are a handful of factors that could damage the quality and shelf life of your rosemary oil.
Temperature fluctuations, time, and exposure to light are the main enemies of the quality of extra virgin olive oil. With this in mind, I suggest storing your olive oil infusion in a cool space away from light.
How To Use Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
Below are some of the ways and suggestions I have for how to use your rosemary olive oil. These are just some of the endless dishes and uses of this infused olive oil with rosemary.
- Rosemary olive oil is delicious when used to roast vegetables or potatoes. You could take a balsamic brussel sprout recipe and elevate it by swapping regular extra virgin olive oil for rosemary-infused oil.
- This is also an excellent way to add flavor to a chicken marinade. Instead of having the added texture of bits and pieces of rosemary, you can now have the lovely rosemary flavor spread evenly and smoothly over your chicken.
- If you’re looking for ways to elevate your aioli or dipping sauce game, this infused rosemary oil may be your new best friend.
- Rosemary and vegetables pair beautifully. This makes rosemary oil a great ingredient to use when making a salad dressing such as a simple vinaigrette.
- Try dipping homemade bread into the rosemary oil for a simple appetizer.
- This is the perfect way to make a rosemary-inspired focaccia bread without the worry of burning fresh rosemary.
- Rosemary-infused extra virgin olive oil is great for drizzling over a homemade pizza.
- Rosemary and beef pair great together, so adding a few drops of this infused oil on top of a nice steak, braised beef, or tri-tip is a great way to elevate your meal.
- 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.
- It is essential not to get lazy when you’re infusing. This means that as much as you may want to infuse all of your rosemary at once, the flavor effect will not be the same as if you do it in batches.
- Be sure to keep in mind how powerful your oil is with the rosemary flavor when using it. A little goes a long way with adding flavor, so be sure to gauge that when adding it to various recipes.
- 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. This oil is lovely for vegetable dishes, meats, homemade breads, pastas, and many other cooked dishes.
To purchase a high-quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil, make sure that it expressly states 'extra virgin' on the label. This will ensure you that it is a high-quality first-press oil with less than 1% acidity.
The bottle may indicate ‘first press’ or ‘cold pressed’ to guarantee it is extra virgin olive oil.
Look for a harvest date. This will show you when the olives were harvested from the fields. Ideally, it should be less than one year from the date you’re purchasing the oil.
Even after verifying that your oil is extra virgin olive oil, you will still have to taste the oil to truly understand the quality and the flavor you will get out of it.
I prefer extra virgin olive oil with a lighter taste for infused rosemary oil.
Yes. While it may seem like you will get the same result out of infusing the oil one time with all of the rosemary, repeating the process with ⅓ of the rosemary at a time extracts the maximum rosemary flavor from the plant. Additionally, the total infusion time and process with the oil is longer, therefore amplifying the flavors you get out of it.
More Italian Inspired Recipes
Infused Rosemary Oil (2 Ingredients)
- 16.9 ounces (500 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ ounces (42 grams) fresh rosemary divided
- Heat extra virgin olive oil and ½ ounce (14 grams) rosemary in a saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 230°F (110°C) on an instant read thermometer. Remove from heat, and allow the oil to cool until it reaches 120°F (50°C) on an instant read thermometer. Once cooled, remove and discard the rosemary.
- Add in an additional ½ ounce (14 grams) rosemary. Repeat the heating and cooling process two additional times, removing and adding the remaining ½ ounce (14 grams) rosemary for the last batch.
- Allow oil to cool to room temperature. Strain and discard rosemary.
- Store in a sterilized dark-colored bottle with a sealed lid (you can reuse the bottle the oil came in) away from light and heat.