How to make lemon balm and rosemary-infused olive oil

This oil makes a great dip for bread with dukkah, or it can be used as a salad dressing, or drizzled over new potatoes and barbecued meat. If you don’t have lemon balm, use ½ cup of rosemary instead of the amounts below.

You need:
1/3 cup rosemary leaves
1/3 cup lemon balm
2 cups olive oil

Harvest your herbs and leave to wilt overnight – or, preferably, for a couple of days – to remove much of the moisture content. Bacteria grows on moisture and can turn oil rancid. Unless the herbs are dirty don’t rinse them. If you do, make sure they are completely dry before using. Strip the rosemary leaves from their stems. Lightly crush both the rosemary and lemon balm leaves to release their fragrance, and place in a saucepan. Cover with 2 cups olive oil. Heat over a low heat for 10 minutes. It should not reach simmer. Turn off the heat and let the herbs steep for 1-2 hours (depending on taste). Strain into a clean bottle and label. Store in a cupboard out of sunlight for up to 2 months or in the refrigerator for 6 months.

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