Christmas Countdown Gifts: Rosemary Olive Oil

The beauty of giving the gift of food at Christmas is that it can be so simple. I think people just appreciate that you took the time to put things together and give them something they can get use out of. Some people won’t realise how amazing a flavoured oil can be until they have it. 

I absolutely adore rosemary. It’s the most wonderful flavour. I feel like any roast chicken is a poorer bird without a sprinkling of rosemary and it’s wonderful in a batch of American-style biscuits. I put a couple of teaspoons into my ciabatta mix last week and it was heaven with some grilled halloumi on for dinner. When the sun decides to come back I’ll be planting rosemary in my window box. We did have chives, dill and mint but I felt like we were only using the dill and then sadly everything died. Maybe window gardening isn’t my strong suit.

This gift is so simple it probably doesn’t even warrant a whole blog post but I find I can ramble on about the simplest of things…even olive oil. 

I bought my glass bottle from Tesco for £2.47, however it’s a massive bottle. A litre I think…so it depends how much you or your giftee love olive oil. You can buy smaller bottles, probably in more specialist cookware shops. I found some in a local shop that were twice the price for a ¼ of the size so it’s really upto you.

So you need:
Fresh rosemary
Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil (preference really, olive oil tends to be better for cooking so I went for that. Extra virgin is better for drizzling on salads)
A glass bottle

Buy the rosemary fresh, wash it and let it air dry for at least 24 hours. I left mine out for about 48 but covered it in foil after 24. Drop the sprigs of rosemary into the oil, about 1-3 sprigs per 250ml…it’s all about preference. I put 5 sprigs in for a litre of oil. Rosemary is a fairly subtle flavour but too much can make things soapy so don’t overdo it.
Pour the olive oil into the bottle and then seal the air tight stopper. Voila! You have a super homemade flavoured oil to label up and give to one treasured friend or family member. 

Make it at least 2 weeks before Christmas so you can let the flavours develop.
If rosemary is not your thing you can totally throw it out and put something else in…
-          Lemon or orange zest for a fruitier oil. This would be better as a drizzle so use extra virgin olive oil
-          Garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed at the ends
-          Any other herb…thyme, sage, basil, oregano
-          Chilli

Pickles, chutneys and oils are some of the best gifts to give for Christmas if you're going down the homemade route but I'll have some more baking based gift ideas for next week.