Vegetables preserved in olive oil develop a soft texture and complex flavour that can quickly spice up any dish. You can preserve vegetables in olive oil by creating an environment where bacteria cannot grow. The olive oil works to seal out air, and the addition of an acidic liquid like vinegar or lemon juice makes the preserving liquid too acidic for bacterial growth. Preserve the fresh vibrant flavours of the vegetable harvest by sealing them in an olive oil and vinegar solution.
Clean the jar with liquid dish soap and rinse it under hot running water. Examine the clean glass for cracks, scratches or flaws. If you find any, choose a better jar.
Place the still-wet jar in a preheated 275 degree F oven for about 4 minutes or until it is completely dry.
Remove the hot jar with oven gloves and put it on a stable surface. Insert the clean metal funnel.
Alternate adding about one-sixth of each ingredient and seasoning (vegetables, 2 tbsp herbs and spices, 1 tbsp pickling salts, 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups olive oil) until the jar is filled to within an inch of the rim. This will evenly distribute all the ingredients for a more even flavour and better preservation.
Press down in the centre and along the side of the jar with a wooden chopstick to release any trapped air bubbles.
Pour in the reserve 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil until only 1/2 inch of head space remains at the top of the jar.
Place a new wax disc in the opening of the jar and rest the jar's lid on top.
Cover the lid with a piece of cling film that is just large enough to cover without much overhang and secure it by screwing on the ring.
Store the sealed jar of olive oil preserved vegetables on the shelf in a cool dry pantry for at least two months before opening. Carefully packed vegetables will store safely for up to a year.
Do not waste the seasoned olive oil that comes out with the preserved vegetables. Drizzle it on salads, dip bread in it or finish a pasta dish with a few drops. Try creating your own blends of flavours by preserving a few different vegetables together. Peppers, carrots and green beans combined with fresh cloves of garlic or dried herbs, such as oregano and thyme, make a delicious combination.