Some foods are just meant for one another. Strawberries and cream, cheese and crackers, and let us not forget milk and cookies or cake or pie or brownies or anything else that is a sweet and wonderful. Olive oil is no exception and can be used in many different applications. Here are a few ways I like to use olive oil.
Here is a Starter Salad that I like.
-Roasted Red Peppers
-Mixed greens: spinach, baby chard, baby kale or whatever you’ve got your heart set on that day (Costco has a great blend that I really like, Deep Greens Blend)
-Feta and/or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
-Optional:Balsamic Vinegar, balsamic glaze, Fried Garlic
Place the greens in a mixing bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Toss in the peppers. Throw some feta and shave some parmigiano on top. Balsamic vinegar can be drizzled on top as well.
Balsamic Glaze: Add 1 cup of balsamic to a pot with 1/4 cup water. Add in 1/4 cup brown sugar (I know I know, but trust me when I tell you you’re not going to be chugging this stuff). Put on medium heat and let it reduce down to about half the original volume. Take off the heat and let cool. It should be syrupy when cooled. You can drizzle this on the salad or fish or whatever will take such a wonderful flavor. You can keep this one in a container and I store it in the fridge.
Fried Garlic: Peel a few cloves of garlic, smaller works better. Put some butter in a saucepan and put on medium-high heat. Put in the garlic and cook till golden brown. These add a nice crunch and have some awesome flavor. You can mix the butter that is left with the olive oil if you want for added flavor.
Sage Sweet Potatoes
-1-2 Sweet Potatoes
-2 Tablespoons Olive oil
-1 Tablespoon Mustard (whichever kind you want)
-1 tablespoon ground sage (fresh or dried)
-Optional 1 tablespoon real maple syrup grade B (this is to play with the savory of the sage and mustard but not required)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.Slice the potato into 1/4″ pieces. They should look like your making chips. Set aside. In a mixing bowl add olive oil, mustard, syrup and sage. Mix well. Add the potato slices and coat until completely covered. Put onto a baking sheet and put into the oven for 20 min or until nice and soft. Pull out, let cool and enjoy this potato candy. It is so good. You can even drizzle a little balsamic glaze on top if you want.
You many need a bit more oil and mustard depending on how big the potatoes are. Don’t worry if you have to add some more of one ingredient, it will turn out fine.
As a side note remember that you want good quality olive oil and don’t want the oven too hot. The smoke point for a true extra virgin olive oil is around 350-375 degrees F. If you have a crummy oil that has been cut with other oils who knows what the smoke point is.
These are just a couple of recipes that we like in our house. Like I’ve said before, I even like some toasted sourdough and olive oil drizzled on top with some goat cheese. If you have any really tasty recipes that feature olive oil send the link my way and enjoy cooking!