Pour the oil into a decorative glass bottle, then package it with a fresh baguette, a small dipping bowl for the oil, and some colorful napkins in a beautiful basket for a memorable gift. Be careful not to let the oil temperature rise above 220°; too much heat could ruin the flavor.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, halved
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 (4-inch) thyme sprig
How to Make It
Combine all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thermometer registers 200°. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes (do not allow temperature to rise above 220°). Cool to room temperature.
Strain oil mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Store in the refrigerator.
Note: Store in the refrigerator in a glass container for up to 1 week.