Today I’m going to show you how to make lemon-infused olive oil. I was inspired to try making this because I received a wonderful collection of fruit and herb-infused olive oils as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. I loved them so much (both for cooking and bread dipping) that I wanted to learn how to make some myself.
Homemade infused olive oils are easier to make than you might think, and the addition of flavor will help your recipes pop! Follow the 6 steps below on infusing olive oil with lemon.
How to make lemon-infused olive oil:
What is great about infused olive oil recipes is that you can infuse them with many flavorings. Common flavors are usually from herbs or citrus fruits like orange, lime, and lemon.
Today I’m going to show you how to make this lemon-infused olive oil recipe, that can easily be substituted for other citrus fruits.
Ingredients Needed to Make Lemon Infused Olive Oil:
- 2 fresh lemons
- 1/2 cup organic olive oil (I would use a high quality extra virgin olive oil like Pompeian)
- 5 fl oz glass bottle
- citrus zester
- wire mesh strainer
Makes one 5oz. bottle of lemon-infused olive oil.
How to infuse olive oil with lemon:
- Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully strip one lemon of its zest. Try to keep each strip long and wide, and avoid getting any of the bitter white pith underneath. Stuff the zest strips into your bottle. Set aside.
2. Zest your second lemon, and set it aside. (It’s not as important to make the zesting pretty with this lemon. Just make sure you’re only getting the zest, and not the pith.)
3. In a saucepan, heat on medium heat until a few small bubbles start forming. If you have a candy-making thermometer, you can measure the temp of the oil, and when it gets to 180 F and then add the lemon zest to the oil while it is heating. (If your oil starts smoking, take it off the stove and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.)
4. When you see bubbles, turn off the heat or turn it to very low heat and let it steep for about 30 minutes. You should be able to smell the bright aroma of the lemon while it heats – it smells delicious!!!
5. You will want to use a small or medium-sized wire fine mesh strainer to pour the oil into the bottle (straining out the lemon zest.) Carefully pour the lemon oil into your bottle over the uncooked strips of lemon zest.
I advise doing this in the sink or over a plate that can catch any oil that spills over by mistake. This step can get messy in your home kitchen if you aren’t careful.
How long do infused olive oils last?
6. Screw the top on the bottle and store it in the refrigerator. You will want to use your lemon-infused olive oil within 2 weeks of making it.
When you refrigerate your oil, it will start to solidify just a bit. The picture above shows splotches of solid oil on the edge of the glass. When I first saw it I thought it just went bad – but it’s actually solid oil and not bacteria! Before using, you should put your bottle in a glass of hot water to be sure your oil is in its full liquid state. The bottle of oil will be 100% clear when it is at room temperature .
Lemon Infused Olive Oil Uses:
Lemon-infused olive oil is fantastic for cooking! If you are pan-frying some fish, cook it in this lemon oil to give the fish a nice lemon flavor which is a great addition to fresh-squeezed lemon that you may use on your fish after it is cooked.
If you are grilling some vegetables, drizzle some on while they cook.
If you prefer sauteed vegetables, then be sure to use this oil as the base!
You can also use this as an ingredient for homemade salad dressings. Combine this with balsamic vinegar and you have a delicious salad dressing!
You can also add this to pasta dishes like lemon couscous or pesto pasta with lemon.
Or, if you have some fresh bread that you’d like to dip in infused olive oil with some herbs – pour the oil in a bread dipping dish and sprinkle some bread dipping seasonings on the oil. Dean Jocob’s bread dip seasoning is one of my favorites – especially because their are two varieties – Sicilian blend and parmesan blend. You can also make your own bread dip seasoning parmesan blend (it’s super easy!!)
Rip off a bite of bread, dip it in the herbs and infused oil, and you will have an amazing flavor in your mouth that you just have to try!!!
Try making this infused oil recipe with a few different citrus fruits and you will make a great gift to give during the holiday season!
PLEASE NOTE: There can be a risk of botulism in infused oils if they are not made/stored properly. For more information on this, here is a link to an article from the University of Maine that you may find useful: http://umaine.edu/publications/4385e/.
Be sure to keep your infused oil in the refrigerator and use it or throw it out within 10-14 days.
Where to Buy Lemon Infused Olive Oil:
Maybe you are thinking that this lemon-infused olive oil recipe is easy, but I think I’d rather just buy some rather than go through these steps. Here are some highly-rated brands that also offer a variety of herb-infused flavors as well:
- Colavita Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 32 oz
- Mantova Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil Variety Pack: Garlic, Basil, Chili, Lemon Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Papa Vince Flavored Olive Oil Collection
- Calivirgin Lemon Olive Oil – Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Looking for more easy recipes? Check these out:
Lemon Infused Olive Oil Recipe
This easy DIY homemade lemon infused olive oil is great for cooking, as an ingredient in salad dressing, and can be used as a bread dipping olive oil.
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 5 oz. glass bottle
- citrus zester
- wire mesh strainer
- Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, carefully strip one lemon of its zest. Try to keep each strip long and wide, and avoid getting any of the bitter white pith underneath. Stuff zest strips into your bottle. Set aside.
- Zest your second lemon, and set aside. (It’s not as important to make the zesting pretty with this lemon. Just make sure you’re only getting the zest, and not the pith.)
- In a saucepan, heat olive oil until a few small bubbles start forming. (If your oil starts smoking, take it off the stove and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.) If you have a candy making thermometer, you can measure the temp of the oil and when it gets to 180Add the lemon zest to the oil while it is heating.
- When you see bubbles from heating the oil, turn off the heat and let it steep for about 30 minutes.
- You will want to use a small or medium-sized wire mesh strainer to pour the oil into the bottle (straining out the lemon zest.) Carefully pour the lemon oil into your bottle over the uncooked strips of lemon zest.
- Screw the top on the bottle and store in the refrigerator. You will want to use your lemon-infused olive oil within 2 weeks of making it.