Rosemary & Garlic Oil


I have rosemary.

And lots of it! I confess, I didn’t plant this rosemary from seed. I purchased healthy, lovely rosemary plants and planted them. With my own two hands. That’s almost as good, right?

Rosemary is what fairies use for Christmas trees, don’t you think?

If only rosemary survived the winter….. Which is why I bought rosemary plants.

Rosemary is one of my very favorite herbs. I just love how it smells, how it looks, how it tastes. I’m infatuated with rosemary, year after year. Vegetables–especially potatoes, meats, breads….. Next, I shall make a rosemary cake!

Don’t dare me!!

One of the easiest, prettiest things to do with rosemary is to put it in a bottle with olive oil. I love olive oil. I love rosemary. I also love cruets. It’s a natural combo! Plus the garlic. I love garlic, too. I keep my daily-use olive oil in a cruet all the time, year in, year out. I don’t like labels, so I tend to transfer everything I can to something non-labeled anyway, but I have a special love for cruets. For an infused oil, I use a smaller cruet because it needs to be used relatively quickly. Once you put fresh herbs and garlic in oil, you create a potential breeding ground for bacteria if allowed to sit too long. In other words, this isn’t for stashing away Christmas presents. Infused oils should be used within a week. Keep them refrigerated. Use for everything–dipping oil for breads and cheese, sauteeing vegetables, especially potatoes, drizzling on meats, in bread doughs, on pizzas, etc.

(You can also use your infused olive oil in soaps and other beauty products!)

To make rosemary and garlic infused oil, clip a sprig of rosemary, about six inches high or whatever suits your bottle. Wash and air-dry thoroughly. Prepare several garlic cloves. Slice cloves if needed to fit in your bottle. “Bruise” the rosemary (to release the flavor) by pressing gently with a rolling pin.

Add olive oil to the bottle, about two-thirds full. By the way, for cooking and dipping etc, I prefer the “extra light” olive oil. I only use the “heavy” (regular) olive oil for soap. (It’s too heavy for me, in taste.)

Add garlic cloves.


(You can use other herbs, whatever you like. I’m just unnaturally attached to rosemary.)
Finish filling up the oil. Shake to distribute the flavor–if using a cruet, hold a paper towel over the top so you don’t strew oil everywhere. Shake daily before using. The oil will get stronger in flavor every day.

This is a fabulous way to celebrate fresh herbs from your garden, and makes a simple yet gourmet touch on your dinner table when you have guests–or just for yourself. When it’s gone, wash and dry the bottle thoroughly, and do it again!

P.S. Use it in a week. Keep it in the fridge. Behave.

If I can fit it in between all the milk and cream, so can you!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 23, 2011  

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24 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-23

    Thank you, Suzanne! This sounds as delicious as it looks decorative!

    By the way, I just googled recipes for:

    Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
    Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
    Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake
    Yogurt Cake with Rosemary and Orange
    Rosemary Remembrance Cake

    Just to give you a few ideas :D

  2. 5-23

    Good Morning,

    I dig my rosemary up in late fall and put it in a pot to bring indoors. It does well in the kitchen, just have to keep an eye on the water. It dries out fast. I do this with parsely too. Fresh herbs all winter then I replant outdoors in the spring.

  3. 5-23

    :woof: I double dog dare you!!
    Rosemary Cake please!!
    Granny Trace

  4. 5-23

    I love rosemary! I overwinter mine in a pot. I noticed that the years I let it get good and dry [translation: forgot to water it much when I brought it inside] are the years that it blooms. You don’t have to baby it inside, just give it a lot of light.

    Thanks for the garlic/rosemary oil tip!

  5. 5-23

    My Rosemary is planted right next to the house foundation on the ‘sunny side’ of the house (south). It makes it through the winter this way. I know our winters are milder here in central VA than yours in WV. Also, the poster is right…Rosemary does not require a lot of water. I almost killed mine last year by over watering during our annual summer drought. It’s about 12 yrs old and that would’ve made me SICK! I love Rosemary!

  6. 5-23

    The oil would work really well on foccacia bread with extra rosemary tucked in. Yummy. Also would corn bread cope with rosemary and garlic? or is this a felony!!

  7. 5-23

    Delbee, I think that sounds good! Anything that you like is good!

  8. 5-23

    Maybe this would be something you like.. :devil2: I also have a recipe for a ham roast that uses a TON of rosemary. It’s dirt simple to make and is so delicious I can’t even say. I *may* use even a little more rosemary than the recipe cals for. ;) It’s here:

    I have a love affair going on with rosemary too. I use rosemary essential oil in my hair rinse, and also anytime I’m cleaning the tub, etc. LOVE that smell!

  9. 5-23

    Alright, that’s it! I’m getting some more rosemary!!

  10. 5-23

    …or maybe a Pear-Rosemary Martini? Cucumber Rosemary Martini? The list goes on and on…heehee :shimmy:

  11. 5-23

    I made a rosemary sachet to tuck under my pillow. Rosemary and lavender are wonderful relaxants! I also make rosemary shortbread cookies. Can’t think of many things not made better by using rosemary.

  12. 5-23

    Morning Everyone. Rosemary grows year round in my 7b zone. I have lost one but most times it thrives with no care. The infused oil sounds like a winner to me!
    PS love the new dogs! :happyflower:

  13. 5-23

    We are on a quest to winter over rosemary here! We have a corner that is something of a micro-climate and I really think it will make it there. (Sage did for many years, but having an allergy to it, I let it go.) This particular spot is also handy to cover in the event that we get a very hard freeze.

    A friend in Roane County who grows herbs commercially is also experimenting with wintering it over at her farm. Will report back on how that works out for her. We are both using fairly well protected south facing areas, close to foundations.

  14. 5-23

    Try moving your plants to a bucked before Winter. I’ve had some that have lived several years in buckets on my porch.

  15. 5-23

    I love Rosemary. Always have a plant in a pot where I can run my fiingers through it when I pass. I make a great Rosemary Bread, but until now I had never heard of Rosemary Cake. Can’t wait til you whip one up.

  16. 5-23

    I’m with Delbee – this oil would be amazing in some foccacia or pizza dough with extra chopped rosemary mixed in! Yum! (I’m in love with rosemary too, but I haven’t bought this year’s plants yet because of a budget shortage. When husband gets paid, I’m heading to the garden shop!)

  17. 5-23

    Awww, you’re makin’ me sad. My four year old rosemary died this year. I have whined about it in other posts. I have yet to replace. I could buy a plant in the grocery store or Wal-Mart, but am hoping to run across that and a thyme plant at a locally owned nursery. Or maybe I’m still in mourning. I will probably plant them both in pots to bring in this winter, so I have a lot of time, time, thyme, Ha!

  18. 5-23

    Just commented on the thyme post about how easy it is to propagate Rosemary. Just scrape a smell branch till you see green and bury it in the soil while it is still attached to the bush. It will root and you then cut it free from the mother plant. You can do this with lavender, too.

  19. 5-23

    *small branch, not smell! IPad screen is very tiny…sorry!

  20. 5-23

    I’ve had my rosemary plant in a large pot for…10 years or more. I’m in frozen Wisconsin and every near or after the first frost I bring it inside on the back porch where it gets eastern exposrue to the sun and where it’s cold but doesn’t freeze. If you cut the small branches off the bottom you can turn it into a nice tree like shape. And it flowers every fall. Brushing up against it makes the room smell so wonderful.

    Rosemary pound cake sounds wonderful…maybe with a cream cheese frosting.

  21. 5-23

    Here in central Ohio I have tried to keep rosemary through the winter and was successful for the first time this past winter. I planted it in a large pot and kept it on my patio through the summer, then brought the pot into the unheated garage for the winter, watering it occasionally. It is now back on the patio and thriving. Rosemary corn muffins are great and lavender shortbread is to die for.

  22. 5-23

    That looks so pretty, and tasty!

  23. 7-14

    Hi Suzanne: I just read this about your rosemary. Rosemary does survive the winter if you get the right type and plant it in a protected area. I get the “arp” variety and it’s planted on the south side of the house against the house. It’s been there for at least 8 years now and continues strong. I live in Virginia 35 miles outside of D.C. and our winters can get pretty rough, too!

  24. 4-6

    This looks tasty! I cannot wait until I’m able to plant rosemary in my garden this summer.

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