Nigella, the Goddess of cooking often uses garlic-infused oil in most of her recipes. She says garlic infused oil not only adds flavor to the meal, but also does away with the requirement of peeling and adding separate cloves of garlic to the dish. Nigella loves to make cooking simpler and we salute her for her efforts!
Garlic-infused oil is available in the stores, however, you could also prepare your own garlic oil at home. Let's find out how to make garlic oil for cooking.
Making Garlic Oil at Home
Sometimes, you just have a large amount of garlic at home, that you don't know what to do with it. The best thing to do would be to pickle it or prepare garlic-infused oil.
However, homemade garlic oil doesn't have a long shelf life, so you would have to distribute the oil to neighbors. There are several ways to prepare garlic oil. Here are some recipes of the same. Choose whichever you like and prepare your delicious, aromatic garlic oil.
- 5 to 6 bulbs of fresh garlic
- 3 to 4 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- lemon juice from one lemon
- Peel the garlic cloves and keep them aside. Preheat the oven at 325 F and come back to the peeled garlic.
- Using a knife, gently press the cloves such that they have cracks.
- Place these cracked garlic cloves in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Mix well.
- Then spoon out the garlic cloves, however, do not throw away the lemon juice. We will use it further on.
- Scatter the garlic cloves on a baking dish and pour the extra virgin olive oil on the garlic.
- To ensure you have added adequate amounts of garlic, check if the olive oil added completely covers the garlic cloves.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and allow it to bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Once it's done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool down.
- Use a strainer to strain the cloves from the oil and store the oil in a clean, sterilized glass bottle and refrigerate.
- To the garlic cloves, add the left over lemon juice and use it in any dish you like.
- Your garlic-infused oil and roasted garlic are ready.
- 2 bulbs of fresh garlic
- 2 quarts extra virgin olive oil
- 2 long (5 inch) oregano stems with leaves
- Peel the cloves of garlic and slice them into half. Next, in a pan let the olive oil simmer and add the slices of garlic to it.
- Allow the oil with garlic to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the stems of oregano and allow the oil to cool to room temperature.
- Use a strainer to strain the oil and store it in the refrigerator.
- The oil is best used within the next week.
- While straining make sure the herbs don't get carried into the filtrate, as this can spearhead botulism and salmonella growth.
- 3 to 4 bulbs of fresh garlic
- 3 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh oregano, rosemary or thyme
- Slice the bulbs of garlic in half and place them in a baking dish.
- Then pour the olive oil over the garlic and add in the fresh herb.
- Cover the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven (300 F) for an hour.
- Strain the garlic-oil mixture and store the garlic-infused oil in a clean, sterilized glass bottle once the oil has cooled down, or else the bottle may crack.
- Store this oil in the refrigerator.
- The garlic cloves can be added in various food preparations later on.
Garlic Oil Precautions and Warning
Preparing garlic oil at home and being able to use it to pep up dishes is good, however, note that garlic oil can conduce to several health risks, if it is not prepared and stored properly. Food poisoning due to improper storage is a common hazard. To prevent food poisoning, always refrigerate home-made garlic oil and use it within the next week.
Always use clean, sterilized bottles to store the oil. Label the bottle with the date of preparation. This way you will have an idea of when to discard the oil. Moreover, never store garlic oil at room temperature.
Garlic oil stored at room temperature can result in growth of spores, that cause botulism, thereby spreading toxins in the blood that conduce to illnesses. When garlic is added to oil, the bacteria from the garlic begin to flourish in the oxygen-free oil environment. Thus, it is important to cook the garlic and only then store it.
Cooking the garlic sterilizes it and prevents the chances of bacterial growth. Moreover, never soak garlic into the oil without cooking it. Dunking raw garlic in olive oil may seem the most convenient and easiest method of garlic oil preparation, but it is absolutely dangerous.
As far as commercially prepared garlic oil is concerned, check the labels. Garlic oil in which salt or acids are added are safe and have been preserved well. Just follow the instructions on the label regarding storage.
Garlic oil adds flavor to salad dressings, marinades, vegetable dishes, stir fries, pasta dishes and garlic bread. Besides adding depth to dishes, garlic also benefits the body by its natural antibiotic and immune boosting properties. It is healthy and easy to prepare, however, be careful you make and store the oil properly to avoid food poisoning.