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Flavored oils in pretty bottles make wonderful, inexpensive Christmas gifts. The light oniony flavor of chive-flavored oil enhances salad dressings. But don’t stop there. Try dipping bread in it. Brush it on fish or poultry before grilling. Pour some in a pan before you scramble eggs. Even drizzle some over a baked potato. Include some of these suggestions on the gift tag so the recipient will know how versatile this present is.

You’ll have to plan ahead with this gift as the flavors need two weeks to develop.

Chive-Flavored Oil

Special equipment: 2-cup glass jar with screw top, funnel, paraffin (if desired)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

1 cup good-quality olive oil

1/2 cup dried chives

You can blend any combination of your favorite dried herbs in place of the chives. Use the basic proportions of 1/2 cup dried herbs to 1 cup olive oil. You can also add dried red pepper flakes for a little zing.

  1. Combine the oil and chives in a glass jar.

Although many recipes call for fresh herbs in oil, fresh herbs can cause bacterial problems. Dried herbs are recommended here for safety reasons. You can sprinkle fresh chopped chives over a salad, potato, or into the serving portion of oil to enhance the flavor.

  1. Put the top on the jar and let it sit for 2 weeks in a cool place (not the refrigerator). After that time, taste the oil. If you want it stronger, let it sit for another week.

  2. Before giving, strain the oil and pour into a gift bottle, using a funnel if necessary. Close the top and seal with paraffin, if desired.

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