Date Published 06 December 2017
I love making dressings. It saves money on expensive shop-bought varieties, tastes so much better and it makes a perfect gift too. Whilst traveling in Corfu this summer, I made bottles of it using locally grown organic oil, rosemary and garlic – so easy and so delicious.
Here is my easy and very quick Chilli Oil recipe:
1 liter of Extra Virgin Olive
2 to 4 mild red chillies or at least 1 to 2 tsps dried chillies – depends on personal taste
2 to 3 fat garlic cloves
Fresh herbs – such as thyme or rosemary, the latter is my favourite
1. Heat the garlic the chilli flakes or the chillies (reserving one) plus a sprig of rosemary in the oil very gently, as gently as your hob will allow until it starts to very slightly bubble
2. Leave on heat for 2 or 3 minutes, the garlic slices will float to the top and begin to sizzle, but do not overheat or allow to boil.
Tip: If olive oil overheats, it kills the flavour as it has a low smoke point and once reached the oils breakdown and reduce the health benefits of the vitamin E and antioxidants. In fact never use olive oil for high temperature cooking, far better to use something like rapeseed oil with a higher smoke point. Anyway, back to the chilli oil dressing!
3. Leave to cool in the pan, remove the spent rosemary stem and any detached leaves and pour into 2x500ml decorative bottles, let the infused chilli and one or two garlic slices into bottle as well.
.4. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary and a chilli pepper to each bottle. May be used immediately but best left for 1 to 2 weeks to infuse.
Don't be afraid to make it hot and spicy, you only need a few drops to pep up a pasta dish or risotto, sprinkle over grilled chicken or pizza – what ever takes your fancy.
My family especially loves it over Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's oven-baked risotto with shallots and mushrooms – we are all massive fans of his cooking.