If you've got fresh rosemary in your garden, here's an easy frugal gift idea. It's great to bring as a hostess gift, or to include as part of a gourmet gift basket. Make sure you save some for yourself, too. Rosemary infused olive oil is great for dipping artisan breads or to add flavor to simple pasta dishes.
Frugal Gift Idea: Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
1. Make sure your rosemary is clean and dry. Soak in warm water for 30-60 minutes. Dry completely. After washing and towel-drying my rosemary, I set mine on the counter for a good 24 hours. Remember, oil and water don't mix, so it's important that you don't rush this step.
Meanwhile, make sure your bottles are also clean and completely dry. To make this project even more frugal, I reuse bottles I've kept from other products or interesting-shaped bottles from the thrift store (like the one pictured here). Sterilize the bottle by boiling it then completely drying it for 24 hours.
2. After the herbs and bottles are clean and dry, you're ready to infuse your oil. Heat about 1/2 c. of oil per rosemary sprig in a pan over low heat (reserve other sprigs for your bottles). You'll know it's done when the herbs start to wilt and change color. The process takes only about 5-7 minutes.
3. Strain your infused olive oil to remove any sediment or stray rosemary leaves. Cool.
4. Place a fresh (translation: pretty, not wilted) rosemary sprig in each of your bottles. Using a funnel, transfer your infused oil into the jar until it's half full. Top it off with olive oil that has not been infused.
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