A simple herb oil infused with fresh, soft herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and/or chives.
2 cups lightly packed soft herbs (about 1 ½ oz with stems): parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, lovage, chives, mint, tarragon)
1/2 to 3/4 cup good olive oil (or neutral oil, like sunflower)
Salt, for the water
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Once the water is boiling, add the herbs and cook for about 15 seconds; just until the herbs/stems are bright green. Quickly transfer to the ice bath and let sit for 5 minutes to completely cool.
- Transfer the herbs to a dry tea towel and wrap/dry. The goal is to get as much moisture out of the herbs. Transfer the herbs to a high-speed blender and add the oil. Puree until as smooth as can be. This can work with a regular blender, but it’s not quite as effective. If the mixture feels too thick to blend, add a bit more oil.
- Line a sieve with cheesecloth (layered three times) or a coffee filter (I like to use my Chemex filter). Pour the oil into the sieve and let sit for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Do not press the oil through. Once done, transfer to a bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to a week (sometimes a little longer- keep an eye on it!)
- I choose to leave the stems on because I blend and strain well.
- Also, watch the timing- herbs blanch very quickly. Over blanching results in flavor loss. Some recipes call for 5 seconds while others call for 30 seconds. I’m more a fan of using your eyes and watching. The second the color in the stems brightens, transfer it to the ice.
- I like to use olive oil because I think the flavor of the herbs + oil is delightful. However, if you really want the herbs to shine, use good neutral oil.
Keywords: herb oil, parsley oil