Looking for a way to reduce your kitchen scraps? A delicious addition to your salad dress? A fun gift for friends?

Um, look no further because I got you sorted.

Prior to moving recently I was trying to think of clever ways to reduce my food waste that weren’t composting. I love composting but it is a reality that I might not have a garden in the future and so can’t lean on the whole “But I compost” as much as I had wanted. Fast forward to now and here I am sitting on my temporary bed/my parents sofa without a backyard. Luckily I had to foresight to think of new food waste solutions!

Inspired by Masterchef 2019 which was literally obsessed with oils and my desperate need to throw less food into landfill may I introduce herb oils!

I know, it’s not a revelation and many people have been doing this for years, however, here is my twist – this is not a fancy emulsion or refined oil. This is a no nonsense full of flavour textured oil that is made entirely out of the stems of used herbs. The oil works with all fleshy green stems rather than a woody one (sorry rosemary, you are not welcome here).

What you need:

1/2 cup of flavourless oil (I used peanut but you could use canola)

1/4 cup olive oil

A bunch of herb stems

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Let’s do this:

  1. Wash the stems thoroughly! Like at least twice. Particularly if you are using coriander which is often very gritty.
  2. Roughly chop the herb stems into pieces, depending on the strength of your blender this may need to be very small or larger chunkier bits about 2 cm.
  3. Place the flavourless oil in the blender and then your herbs – give it a couple of pulses to get the oil mixture going.
  4. Once the herb stems have started to combine into a very thin pesto like consistency add the salt and olive oil and pulse a couple more times until combined.
  5. Pour the herb oil into a airtight jar.

The oil will probably settle in the fridge into two distinct layers but is easily mixed. This combination of oils should also mean that the oil won’t “freeze” in the fridge but if it does just leave it out for a minute or so and it will return to a liquid.

The oils can last up to 2 months (and counting) in my parents very good, new, and super sealed fridge so keep an eye on it if you are worried about your own fridge’s stamina.

This recipe works in both a blender and a food processor ( I don’t have a stick blender so I haven’t tested it)

I use these oils to beef up ordinary things, most commonly, salad dressings, avo on toast, on wraps and sometimes in a sneaky instant noodle mix… say wha?

Let me know if you have a go of this below or tag me in your cool oil insta post.