I have a real problem with leftovers. If they’re contained and refrigerated for more than a night… I am generally more than pleased to forget they’ve ever existed. Actually… I should say that I do have patience for sexy leftovers. Sexy leftovers I’m inclined to, not only not forget about, but to wake up in the middle of the night to snack on.
Sexy leftover include pizza, lasagna, and basically anything else Garfield that Cat might consume in excess.
Beyond the weird amounts of brown rice and salsa I have lazing around in my fridge, I sometimes have a shameful amount of fresh herbs wilting away, asking for forgiveness and such. I feel so guilty wasting these herbs that I’ve taken a stand, put my foot down, and busted out my olive oil.
We’re quick preserving fresh herbs and garlic in olive oil. This will create a wonderfully flavorful oil, and extend the life of the herb we’re about to throw away.
I should note, this is not the kind of oil you make, put in a fancy jar, and let sit on the counter for months on end. Oh no oh no oh no. This is not that! This oil needs to be kept in the refrigerator to keep any weird bacteria from acting up.
What will you flavor your oil with? Have any thyme or rosemary on hand? Some garlic? Smash it! Some black pepper? Crack it!
For this infused oil, I used my very favorite everyday olive from California Olive Ranch. It’s fragrant and flavorful. It’s a fruity olive oil, which is to say that it’s rich, buttery and grassy. I use this olive oil for both sauteing and drizzling. It feels like an everyday treat. Ps… No one is paying me to say this.
Allow oil to meld in the fridge for a day or so. The oil will last up to four or five days. In the meantime… use it on absolutely everything! Pasta, eggs, toast, as a pre-dinner bread dip. Whatever you fancy!
If you’ve got butter on hand instead of olive oil, you might try this Super Herb Butter.
The Kitchn has some super great suggestions: leftover herbs in Simple Syrup and leftover herbs in Olive Oil Ice Cubes.
Waste not, want not…. and whatnot.
Thyme and Garlic Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, rubbed from their stems and coarsely chopped
about 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients together and store in a small, airtight container. Be sure to store this oil in the refrigerator when you’re not using it. Use it on everything from fried eggs, to pizza, pasta, and toast. I find it best to label and date the jar. Oil will last up to 5 days in the fridge. After five days in the fridge the oil needs to be tossed. No pushing it with this recipe.
can you freeze thyme if your not going to use it within a few days
Yes, that should work.
This is such a great idea. I always feel guilty about the leftovers sitting in my veggie drawer.
That last shot of the egg is gorgeous! And I love the fork with the designs- so cute.
My mother just gave me a book on flavored oils, so this is perfect :)
One of my favorite ways to use herbed oil is to make popcorn. Rosemary oil popcorn, with pepper on top? YUM.
It’s also really easy to dry your own herbs. You can stick them in the oven at a low temperature, or just leave them out. Make sure the herbs are separated to ensure through drying, example: all your sprigs of thyme are separate, so no moisture traps between them.
Some heartier herbs, like sage, also freeze well. I had a ginormous crop of sage two years ago and I still have a bit frozen in my freezer!
Really it was an great idea of not wasting the herbs leftover! It is also useful for health and is spicy taste on the dishes.