Infused oils add tremendous flavour and bite to a vast array of dishes—from a simple salad to a complex soup, the most basic of steamed rice to a multi-faceted risotto to most pasta or grain dishes; a drizzle of citrus oil over a grilled steak or fish or pizza will enliven the dish no end—and it’s also beneficial for adding zest to your skin! You just have to know your oils and be aware of the outcome. Be aware: there’s a big difference between a splash and a drop, particularly with the chilli oil and the pimento and oregano oil.
When creating your favourite flavoured oil, be aware that extra virgin olive oil is a great base but will go rancid faster than other oils. The truth is that creating small batches—often—is a sensible approach, just as purchasing your favourite oils in small volumes is better than doing the maths when you see a three-litre container at a discount price.
Keeping infused oils refrigerated allows for a longer shelf-life, whether you’ve made a large amount or small.
Olive oil will last about a month while other oils will stay fresh for about two months. You may also combine olive oil with another oil (such as grapeseed or vegetable) half-half. The options for infusion are broad: start with those you really enjoy and add gradually to your repertoire. As with most things that need infusion and heat, the Thermomix does the job marvellously well.