Introduction: Mediterranean Style Spicy Olive Oil

About: I like to make stuff.

In this Instructable I will show you how we make spicy olive oil here in the South of France. It is perfect to accompany pizza, bruschetta, salad, and many other meals.

To prepare this olive oil, you will need:

  • some olive oil, preferably homemade but any good quality olive oil will do
  • a bottle pourer
  • a bouquet garni, to make a bouquet garni, place several sprigs of parsley, one or two thyme branches, and a bay leaf on a stalk of celery
  • an additional bay leaf (optional)
  • lots of dried red peppers
  • some black pepper
  • a bit of dried basil
  • a bit of pink peppercorn
  • a bit of coriander
  • a bit of juniper berry

Note that we will only add dried spices and herbs to the oil. Don't add any fresh ingredients! You can prepare olive oil with fresh herbs but then you will absolutely need to cook the oil which is a process I won't cover here.

Step 1: Preparation

Let's start by opening the bottle of olive oil. You want to remove a bit of oil to leave some place for the ingredients. Keep the oil, we will fill the bottle in at the end.

Add the bouquet garni and the bay leaf to the oil.

Step 2: Make It Spicy!

You can now control the strength of the olive oil by choosing how much red peppers you want to add. I added 30 small red peppers to get a medium level strength.

Step 3: Control the Flavor

In this part, you can express your creativity. We are basically controlling the flavor of the oil. Personally, I add a bit of black pepper, a bit of coriander, a bit of dried basil, and a bit of pink peppercorn.

Don't hesitate to customize the ingredients or the quantity to suit your taste.

Step 4: Gently Stir the Oil

Take the oil you removed in the beginning and fill the bottle in. Put the bottle top back and gently stir the oil. The mixture is ready.

Step 5: Let It Rest

As we added dried spices and herbs, we need to let the oil rest a few weeks in order to extract most of the flavor from the ingredients.

Let the oil rest for a month. Test it. If you find that the flavors are still missing, don't hesitate to let the oil rest for another week or two.

You olive oil is ready! Bonne dégustation!

Pro Tip: Once ready, extract no more that a third of the oil, put it in a container, and fill the bottle in with new olive oil (preferably from the same origin). Don't do this more than twice. This way, you can use the extracted oil while making some more.

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