What Is Fig Leaf Oil And How Do You Use It?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Whether you're looking to reduce your food waste in the kitchen or you're looking for a unique last-minute gift for the foodie in your life, creating a fresh batch of infused olive oil may be the simple homemade gift you've been looking for. Infused olive oil is a great way to elevate any meal and add a sense of class to even the simplest of dishes. You may have heard of or tried such renditions as the classic basil-infused olive oil or even mint-infused olive oil, but have you heard of fig leaf olive oil?

This one-of-a-kind oil is great to whip up in the summer months, as most fig varieties are in season, and it's a simple way to utilize the often left-behind fig leaves. The taste is enjoyable as it's both herby and a bit nutty with a slight bitterness, as per All Things Sicillian and More. It is a versatile oil that can go great with many dishes, and it definitely has a spot in your kitchen.

How to cook with fig leaf oil

Fig leaf oil has a variety of uses in the kitchen, from being used as a dressing and dip for bread to deep frying, as per Belzu. If you're looking for savory dinner options, this oil pairs exceptionally well with lighter dishes, such as fish and seafood. Specifically, raw fish is great to drizzle this oil over. Use it on a lighter colored fish, such as Kingfish crudo, to really make the color contrast pop and your taste buds sing, as per All Things Sicilian and More.

If you're looking for a more laid-back snack or starter option, this oil can also be drizzled over anything from fresh cheese, like mozzarella or burrata, to delicately cooked vegetables to soups, like gazpacho. The possibilities are really endless as long as you consider how to properly pair the herby taste with the rest of the dish.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, Chef Gail Simmons created a coconut rice pudding dish topped with fig leaf oil while filming "Top Chef" in London that is close to heavenly. This dish is simple to throw together, and the light nutty flavors pair incredibly together. She also recommends experimenting with adding the oil on top of other desserts, like custards, pastry, and ice cream in her Instagram post.

How fig leaf oil is made

Making fig leaf oil is a relatively simple process that only requires two ingredients: olive oil and fig leaves, according to Eatable's recipe. The ratio is roughly one fig leaf per ⅓ cup of olive oil. The large leaves should be ripped into smaller pieces before beginning, and no part of the stalk should be included.

The first step is to blanch the leaves in scalding water. They will eventually turn a vivid shade of green, meaning they are ready to be strained and set into an ice bath. Once the remaining water is wrung out from the leaves, they're ready to blend. All Things Sicilian and More adds the leaves into a blender along with the olive oil and a bit of salt to taste. After blending, it is recommended to let the oil sit for about an hour so it can infuse for optimal flavor.

After letting it sit, the final mixture can be strained and then refrigerated. While it should be kept in the fridge, it is recommended to bring it to room temperature before using, according to Eatable.

If you don't want to infuse the oil yourself, it's readily available in the U.K. at specialty stores like Belazu. If you're outside the U.K., it's available on Amazon as well.