Garlic is one of the most popular herbs to add into any dish, both for its unique flavor and the wealth of nutrients and health benefits that it can provide. Thanks to its active ingredient, allicin, as well as other sulfuric compounds and nutrients, garlic is known for its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunoprotective effects. Considering that olive oil is praised in its own right for its impact on heart health, cancer, and inflammation, combining garlic and olive oil seems like a logical choice.
Garlic-infused olive oil is an excellent ingredient in marinades and other sauces, while also making for a surprisingly flavorful salad dressing or another drizzle for vegetables and fruit. You can pour small amounts of this oil over French bread to make your own garlic bread, and many people even enjoy topping their pizza with this tangy homemade oil variety.
How to Make Garlic-Infused Olive Oil?
Before you make garlic-infused olive oil, it is important to be sure that you’ve chosen the right ingredients. You will want to use extra virgin olive oil, as this will possess the highest concentration of phenolic compounds and other antioxidants, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. The garlic bulbs you choose should also be undamaged and firm, showing that they have not begun to dry out or shrivel. Once you have the proper ingredients in hand, simply follow the steps below.
- Pour 1/2 cup of olive oil into a saucepan.
- Peel 4 garlic cloves and use a garlic press to crush the cloves before adding them to the oil in the saucepan.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of any other spices you desire (e.g., cumin, red pepper flakes etc.)
- Slowly heat the mixture, allowing the garlic to slowly become golden and brown, releasing its active ingredients.
- Heat for 5-6 minutes, until the garlic becomes medium-brown.
- Strain the resultant mixture, removing the mashed garlic.
Once you have made the oil, you will need to store it safely so it keeps as long as possible. One month is a safe estimate for the shelf life of this infused olive oil, even if you keep it in an airtight container. You can keep this oil at room temperature, but the risk of rancidity is higher, and the quality of the oil will diminish rapidly.