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Here's How To Make Your Own Garlic Oil (It's Super Simple)

garlic bulbs and oil on table
garlic bulbs and oil on table - Mescioglu/Getty Images

Finding a dish that doesn't benefit from a little garlic is tough. From shrimp scampi to birria tacos to dal to escargot, garlic is featured prominently in cuisines spanning the planet. But this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given that garlic is one of humanity's most ancient crops, with evidence of its existence and use as a food going back as far as 5,000 years.

Five thousand years later, it's probably safe to say that garlic is as popular as ever. Today, you can find garlic available in nearly every form imaginable: minced, peeled, powdered, dehydrated, confit, pickled, preserved in honey, stuffed into olives, fermented, roasted, and even spun into ice cream. However, there's one garlic product that stands out from the rest -- not because it is superior in taste or quality, but rather for its convenience and ability to subtly integrate a clean garlic flavor into almost any dish. And that product is garlic oil.

Garlic-infused oils can be found at specialty markets and most grocery stores, but these pre-packaged varieties can be unpredictable, many times opting for garlic flavor rather than the real thing. That's why it's best to make garlic oil infusions at home, and the process couldn't be easier.

Read more: The 15 Best Store-Bought Barbecue Sauces, Ranked

Making Homemade Garlic Oil Takes Minutes

garlic clove in oil with rosemary
garlic clove in oil with rosemary - MaraZe/Shutterstock

Few things are simpler to make than homemade garlic oil. For the most basic version, you only need two ingredients: garlic and oil. Although any kind of oil can be used, olive oil is the most common. As far as how much of each to use, a general guideline is to use one garlic bulb for every cup of olive oil. Of course, the more garlic you use, the stronger the garlic flavor will be. A less-processed, higher-quality oil yields a cleaner-tasting and more flavorful final product so extra virgin olive oil is typically recommended.

The first step to making garlic-infused oil is prepping your garlic. Peel the cloves, trimming away any damaged or off-color areas, then gently crush them. Put the crushed cloves into a small saucepan and pour in your olive oil. Turn the burner heat on low, and cook until the garlic has turned a light golden brown. Periodically stir the cloves to ensure the garlic doesn't burn -- burnt garlic will impart an off-putting bitterness into the oil. After the garlic has browned and softened, strain out the cloves and pour the infused olive oil into a sterile, lidded glass bottle or jar and allow the oil to cool to room temperature. When it comes to storage, garlic oil has no place in the pantry, but it can last up to four weeks in the refrigerator.

Clever Ways To Use Your Garlic-Infused Olive Oil

labneh dip with pita on wooden cutting board and counter
labneh dip with pita on wooden cutting board and counter - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Garlic oil is a fast way to add the subtle essence of garlic to any dish. Garlic-infused oil can be poured, drizzled, or emulsified, so let your imagination run wild when deciding how to use it. Anything olive oil can do, garlic oil can do better. A quick drizzle of garlic oil to cover classic roasted vegetables will embrace broccoli, potatoes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and more with a rich, savory garlic hug. Homemade garlic oil is also a perfect way to dress any salad. Use it as the foundation of a garlicky, herby, vinaigrette or a smooth, creamy dressing

If you're a fan of homemade dips, then you know that garlic is essential in many dip recipes, especially those with a Mediterranean flair. Garlic-infused olive oil is the ideal middle-ground for dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, labneh, tzatziki, or a bright and herbaceous lemon-basil pesto because it doesn't have the astringency that comes with the raw cloves. Homemade garlic oil is a smart choice for marinades and grilling. Rub some on steaks, fish, shrimp, or chicken before tossing the meat on the grill. You can even drizzle some on fried eggs, home fries, and toast for a garlicky breakfast plate. But before the fun can start, you need to get in the kitchen and whip up a batch of garlic-infused oil.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.