Tuesday 11 October 2011

Chilli oil

Chillis are very versatile things. You can use them in all sorts of different dishes. Have you thought of making them into Chilli Oil?

The other day Jane made a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Veg everyday" cookery book. It was "Cannellini bean and leek soup, with chilli oil". I just want to describe the making of the chilli oil...

My part in the proceedings was to a) grow the chillis (and some thyme), and b) act as official photographer.

This is all you have to do: into a small saucepan put about 4 or 5 medium-sized red chillis, roughly chopped, about 200ml of olive oil, one large (unpeeled) clove of garlic and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Heat the pan slowly until it simmers very gently, and then cook until the chillies are soft (about 20 minutes).

Remove from the heat and allow to cool before straining the oil into a suitable container. Discard the chillis, garlic and thyme.

This will give you a beautiful amber-coloured, fragrant oil, with a fabulous taste and a bit of a kick. The kick of course depends on how hot your chillis are; mine were quite mild. The oil can be used just as it is for dressing salads, or you can add it to marinades or drizzle it over soup - as Hugh recommends in his bean and leek soup recipe.

Since we're talking about beans, here's a picture of my dried beans, finally bottled-up for storage...

As usual, not a massive harvest (I had 650 grams, though they are not all in this jar), but then you don't need a lot of beans to make a nice dish. I reckon that 650g should provide the basis for four or five meals for the two of us.


  1. Humm, chilli oil sounds quite useful to me. Glad you posted this. I am always wondering what people do with their hot peppers.

  2. Sounds yum. I think I'll try it if I'm successful with more chillis this summer.

  3. I used to make and use chilli oil a lot but weirdly have neglected it. I must do it again this year - my children really need to learn to eat more chilli!

  4. The designs on the beans are great but the mention of chilli oil makes me shiver!

  5. Hello, new follower, jumping in with both feet! I think I would have eaten the cooked chillis, perhaps in a soup or casserole. It seems a shame to throw them out.

  6. Chilli oil - ahhh :)

    Love your jar of beans too - a thing of beauty, shame they have to be consumed - but they must!

  7. Hi to new follower Toffeeapple. Welcome. I hope to be able to provide enough things of interest to keep you coming back!
    BTW: the cooked chillis will probably be tasteless by the time you have cooked them for 20 mins - all the flavour will have made its way into the oil.

  8. The beans look beautiful like that, and your talk of soup got me thinking, maybe I will use my celeriac to make soup...


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