Making Fennel Flavored Oil

Preserving Fennel in oil is an excellent way to preserve the flavor of the herb to use in a variety of dishes, including marinades for fatty meats and fish. Salad dressings can be enhanced with the use of flavored oils, including use in making flavored mayonnaise at home.

Cold Method

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Salad Spinner or clean kitchen towels

Medium bowl

Wooden spoon

Large wide mouth jar

Good quality extra virgin olive oil

Fresh Fennel sprigs

1/4 or 1/2 dry measuring cups

2 cup liquid measuring cup

Cheese cloth

Funnel

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of Fennel leaves

2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

1. Pick the freshest herbs, wash and gently spin dry or blot between two kitchen towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

2. Place the Fennel leaves in the bowl and crush slightly with the back of the wooden spoon to release plant flavors.

3. Pour half (1 cup) of the oil over the bruised leaves.

4. Stir and crush again slightly to release more of the plant oils.

5. Add remaining cup of oil and stir well to blend.

6. Pour into the large mouth jar and cap tightly.

7. Set on a sunny window sill for two weeks, shaking gently every day or so to mix the flavors.

8. Strain oil slowly through a double layer of cheese cloth set into a large funnel in the opening of a clean decorative bottle and cap tightly.

9. Add a few fresh sprigs of Fennel for decoration and identification purposes and label.

STORE: Keep the flavored oils out of direct sunlight after the seeping process in a kitchen cupboard or pantry. Oils tend to go rancid if left in the sun too long. The shelf life of flavored oils is approximately six months.

Hot Method

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Medium kitchen bowl

Wooden Spoon

Medium stainless steel or enamel sauce pan

2 cup or larger liquid measuring cup

1/4 or 1/2 cup dry measuring cup

Large wide mouth jar

Cheese cloth

Funnel

Decorative bottle

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh chopped Fennel

2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

1. Wash herbs and spin dry or pat between two kitchen towels to remove excess moisture.

2. Pick out tough stems and damaged or discolored leaves.

3. Trim and chop the Fennel and measure 1/3 to 1/2 cup, depending on the intensity of the flavor desired.

4. Place chopped Fennel into the bowl and crush slightly with the wooden spoon.

5. Pour one cup of the oil into the sauce pan and heat, but do not boil.

6. Pour heated oil over the crushed Fennel in the bowl and stir with the wooden spoon to mix well.

7. Slowly add remaining oil into the bowl and stir to mix.

8. Once cooled, place in the large mouth jar and seal tightly.

9. Place jar on sunny window sill for two weeks, gently shaking the bottle every day or so to blend the flavors.

10. Slowly pour the liquid a little at a time into a funnel lined with a double layer of cheese cloth set on the top of a clean decorative bottle and cap tightly.

11. Add a few fresh sprigs for decoration and identification and label, including the date.

USES: Flavored oils can be used in almost every recipe that uses oil, from meat, poultry or fish marinades, sautes, sauces, herb flavored mayonnaise, and salad dressings.

STORAGE: These oils will store up to six months in a dark cupboard or pantry.