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Garlic Flavoured Olive Oil

Asked by lsalasw. Answered on 8th May 2012

Full question

Hi! I have several of Nigella's books and she has many recipes that use garlic flavoured olive oil. How I can make my own flavoured olive oil with garlic or with other flavours? Thank you.

Our answer

The garlic flavoured olive oil used by Nigella is bought from a supermarket. In the UK it is now fairly easy to find garlic flavoured oil as well as other flavours such as basil and lemon. Some gourmet supermarkets in the US also sell garlic flavoured oil.

However you do need to be very careful with home-made flavoured oils, especially those using raw garlic as there is a risk of botulism. The garlic can sometimes pick up botulism from being grown in contaminated soil and the airless environment of a bottle full of oil gives the botulism an ideal environemt in which to thrive. Even if you refrigerate the oil the botulism will grow, albeit more slowly.

You can roughtly chop some garlic and put it in a pan with some olive oil, heat this gently until the garlic just starts to sizzle then take the pan off the heat and let the oil cool. Strain the cooled oil into a jar or container, discarding the garlic, and store this oil in the fridge but use the oil within one week.

An easier alternative is to substitute the garlic oil for regular olive oil and add a small clove of crushed or finely grated garlic. The garlic flavoured oil is mainly used by Nigella for convenience and speed.

PeachMelba Pavlova

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