I want to give some friends pretty bottles of herbed bread dipping oil with loaves of fresh French bread next week. I'm hesitant to use fresh herbs and garlic in the oil because of the potential for botulism, but gah, the versions with dried herbs I've been trying have just plain sucked. Has anyone come across a really good version using dried herbs? or should I just give them fresh and slap an expiration date on it?

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5 Comments

anyone December 17, 2010
This method is approved by my local health department.
 
campagnes December 17, 2010
yeah, i see what you're saying about tossing it. I think it'll work out in this situation, because the arrangement is that everyone's giving everyone else edible gifts, so we're all going to be munching all week. The oil will be consumed, but I just want to be sure it's safe long-term if someone has leftovers.
 
nutcakes December 17, 2010
I have read about the heating method for using fresh herbs. I wouldn't be comfortable with the garlic in it, unless I knew how and when it was made--I'd only use it for short term. Honestly, people have given me that in the past and I just toss it.
 
campagnes December 17, 2010
ooh, awesome.. So there's no risk of anything funky using this method?

Thanks so much! You've saved my friends from icky pungent bitter dried herb dipping oil. :)
 
anyone December 17, 2010
Infusing olive with fresh herbs-Stuff a pot full of your favorite fresh herbs and fill with olive oil and heat to 195F and maintain between 180-200F (don't let it go above 200). The longer the better. Taste it every now and again to moniter the strength. In this I also like to add many cloves of garlic. Strain clear add to bottles. I stopped putting herbs and garlic in the bottle to look pretty years ago after I learned about botulism. My favorite infused olive oil herb mix is rosemary, garlic, sage, thyme and oregano. Extraction occurs between 180-200F.
 
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