I love infused oils for three main reasons. They’re delicious, they’re versatile, and they often look very beautiful when presented in nicely shaped glass bottles. Many of you know that I love spicy foods, so it may not come as a surprise that chili-infused olive oil is one of my favourites of all infused oils. Having tried many store-bought versions, I have to admit that I’m often unimpressed with their pungency, or lack thereof. I prefer my chili-infused oil to score at least midrange on the Scoville scale, so I’ve now taken to making my own at home.
You can make your own chili-infused olive oil by using hot or cold infusion methods. I prefer the cold method as I’ve never liked the idea of heating any oil then storing for later use. Of course it takes a longer time for the oil to absorb the full flavours of the chilis with the cold infusion method but I really think it’s worth the wait.
Here’s how to make chili-infused olive oil at home using this easy cold infusion method.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Dried whole chili peppers (stems removed)
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Sterilised Glass Bottle (with cap)
- Kitchen Scissors
- Set aside a few whole chili peppers and chop the rest finely. Here I’ve used my nifty little multi-blade herb scissors which cuts many pieces at once
- Add chopped chilis to sterilised glass bottle
- Use your knife to slice the sides of the remaining whole chilis lengthwise, to allow the flavours to meld with oil
- Pour olive oil into the bottle, using funnel to avoid spillage
- Replace the bottle cap tightly and shake well
- Store in a cool, dry & dark place, allowing at least 1 week for the flavour to develop
- Enjoy your chili-infused oil by drizzling over salads, vegetables, breads and pizzas, or even as an addition to your homemade salad dressings
Please do your own additional research regarding the risk of foodborne botulism when making and consuming homemade oil infusions. Although I have made many batches of infused oils with a variety of herbs and spices as described above, and they’ve all been fine for consumption, please note that you are 100% responsible for ensuring you are not at risk of foodborne botulism while following this recipe.
All images in this post are property of Nova Williams at 18chelseamews.com