Food With Olive Oil

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This Food With Olive Oil blog is a place for people to find inspiration on how to help themselves and those around them live healthier lives by incorporating olive oil into their diet. We hope you enjoy reading, and we look forward to your feedback!

Food With Olive Oil

With more and more people getting health conscious, olive oil is making its way into our everyday life. And now, olive oil is one of the most common cooking oils, available in almost every pantry. But, have you ever wondered what makes it different from other cooking oils? It is loaded with vitamins E, K, mono-saturated fats and more! That’s not all, olive oil can be used for cooking, frying, marinating and more. We found the 5 best olive oil options that can help you make a wise choice while buying one for your kitchen.

Here Are 5 Olive Oil Options To Choose From:

1. Figaro Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Experience the goodness of olive oil with this Figaro extra virgin olive oil. This oil comes with exquisite flavour and aroma. Now you can turn your boring dishes into a wholesome meal! This oil boosts your health with antioxidants and is good for the heart.

2. Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Borges’ olive oil is obtained from the cold pressing of olives and has an intense flavour and aroma which makes it the ideal oil for salad dressings. Also, this bottle of oil features a side handle that looks stylish as well as easy to use.

3. Del Monte Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Made through a cold extraction process, this extra virgin olive oil from Del Monte comes with great flavour and nice aroma, with all its health benefits intact. Apart from using it as salad dressings, it could be used as dips and marinades.

4. DiSano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed

DiSano’s olive oil is produced by cold pressing of raw olives which gives an amazing taste and rich aroma making it the perfect choice for dressings and flavouring. It is high in healthy fats- MUFA & PUFA and may help in lowering bad cholesterol.

5. Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil, 2L

Bertolli’s olive oil is a super-food rich in antioxidants, MUFA, PUFA and Vitamin E, known to control cholesterol, aid in weight loss and keep a healthy heart. It is specially filtered for a light taste that will not overpower the flavour in your cooking, making it a perfectly healthy substitute for butter, ghee, vegetable & refined oils.

The Best Olive Oil Recipes

Drizzled or glugged, the ripe, silken qualities of olive oil are a gift to the home cook. Add a splash to biscotti, pistachio cake, spaghetti or a robust Tuscan bean soup

Cook - olive oil flatbread
All photography: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian
  • Crisp rosemary and olive oil flatbread (pictured)

Nothing could be easier than making this flatbread, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell people that you slaved all day over it …

Makes 3
230g plain flour
1 tbsp chopped rosemary, plus 2 sprigs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp salt
125ml water
75ml olive oil plus more for brushing
Salt

1 Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas mark 7. Stir together the flour, chopped rosemary, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the water and oil and gradually stir into the flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead it gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces, cover 2 of them with clingfilm and roll out the other on a sheet of baking paper into a 25cm round (the shape should be rustic, the dough thin).

3 Lightly brush the top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake on a preheated oven tray until pale golden and browned in spots – about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the flatbread to a rack to cool, then repeat with the other more rounds.

4 Flatbreads can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe supplied by Deb Perleman, smittenkitchen.com (Adapted from Gourmet, July 2008)

Shaved brussels sprouts, olive oil, lemon and pecorino

A recipe that is enough to convert even the most ardent sprouts–averse folk.

Serves 4-6
450g brussels sprouts
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
3½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
½-1 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed
115g pecorino cheese, grated or shaved

1 Rinse the sprouts, then pat dry with kitchen roll. Remove any discoloured outer leaves, then cut the sprouts in half, lengthways. Very thinly slice them the sprouts crossways, transferring to a large, shallow serving bowl as you go.

2 Drizzle the oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Add the lemon juice and pepper and toss again. Lay the cheese on the top of the salad and serve immediately.

The Perfectly Tossed Salad by Mindy Fox (Kyle Books)

Spaghetti with olive oil, chilli and garlic

This is one the most basic sauces in the Italian repertoire, but when done properly, it is a little masterpiece. You can replace the parsley with basil, or use some of each.

Serves 4
400g spaghetti
200ml extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt

1 Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.

2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, and fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to spread the flavour through the oil. Add 2 tbsp cooking water to the pan and stir in the chilli and parsley. Season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.

3 When the spaghetti is ready, drain it quickly so it is still rather wet and add it to the sauce. Gently toss to coat, then leave for a minute over a low heat before serving on hot plates.

The Art of Pasta by Lucio Galletto and David Dale (Grub Street)

Ribollita (tuscan bean soup)

Cook - olive oil (ribollita or Tuscan bean soup)
Cook – olive oil (ribollita or Tuscan bean soup) Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian

For this Tuscan bean soup, the beans need to soak for 12 hours and the soup prepared a day in advance to allow the flavours to develop before it is reheated, hence its name, “reboiled”. The soup really comes alive when topped with good quality olive oil to finish.

Serves 6–8
For cooking the beans
225g dried cannellini beans, soaked for about 12 hours in cold water
1 onion, cut into quarters
1 small celery stalk, cut into pieces
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Sprigs of fresh sage, rosemary and parsley

For the soup
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
½–1 tsp crushed dried chillies
Salt and black pepper
2 ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 carrots, cut into small cubes
1 small leek, white and green parts, cut small
3 celery stalks, cut into small pieces
250g cavolo nero, shredded
200g savoy cabbage, shredded
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme

To serve
1 or 2 mild onions
6–8 slices of country-style bread
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
Extra virgin olive oil

1 Drain and rinse the beans, then put them in a large, heavy pot with all the ingredients for cooking the beans. Pour in enough cold water to cover the beans by about 5cm, and bring slowly to the boil. Cover the pan and cook very gently until they are very tender – about 1½ hours.

2 Using a slotted spoon, lift the beans out of the liquid (leave the herbs and vegetables in the stock). Puree ¾ of the beans coarsely in a food processor, then turn them into a bowl. Leave the remaining beans whole and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid into another bowl, discarding the herbs and vegetables.

3 Put the olive oil into the pot in which the beans were cooked. Add the onion and chillies, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and fry for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for 2–3 minutes, then mix in the bean puree. Stir for a couple of minutes to let it take up all the flavours, then add all the other vegetables, plus the garlic and thyme.

4 Measure the bean cooking liquid and add enough water to make it up to about 1.5 litres. Add this to the pot with salt, and bring to the boil, then cook over the lowest possible heat for about 2 hours. Add in some pepper and check for seasoning. Remove from the heat and leave overnight.

5 The next day, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Mix the whole beans into the soup. Slice the onions very finely and arrange in a thin layer over the surface of the soup. Put the pot in the oven and cook until the onion is tender; this will take about 1 hour.

6 Rub the bread with the halved garlic cloves, then toast under the grill. Put the bread into individual soup bowls and ladle the soup over it. Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil over each bowl and serve.

Anna Del Conte’s New Gastronomy of Italy (Pavilion)

Patatas a lo pobre (poor man’s potatoes)

This Spanish classic is the perfect accompaniment to any meat or fish dish.

Serves 4
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 medium potatoes, such as maris piper or red king Edward, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
1 large green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
200ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper

1 Mix the onion, potatoes and pepper, season with the salt, pepper and vinegar.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the vegetable mixture. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning over occasionally. The vegetables should be soft, but not too crispy.

Tapas Revolution by Omar Allibhoy (Ebury)

Olive oil biscotti

Cook – olive oil
Cook – olive oil Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian

Most typical Italian biscotti are made with butter but this recipe uses olive oil instead, creating a lighter, slightly different flavour.

Makes 50-60
230ml extra virgin olive oil
170g caster sugar
130g demerara sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 lemon zest
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
330g plain flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 Mix together the olive oil, sugars, vanilla and lemon zest. Add the eggs and milk, and mix well, then add the sifted flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda, and let the dough rest for 24 hours.

2 Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4. Roll the dough into small balls, flatten slightly then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Recipe supplied by Francesco Mazzei, L’Anima restaurant

Swiss chard and parma ham tart with olive oil crust

This pastry dough comes together by hand in minutes, calls for pantry ingredients, and rolls out well thanks to its flexible yet cohesive consistency. It then bakes into a lightly crunchy, flavorsome crust.

Makes 1 large tart
250g wholewheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary or thyme
60ml olive oil
120ml cold water

For the filling
1kg Swiss chard
Olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
2-3 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp oats
1 egg, beaten
Parma ham, to serve

1 Lightly grease a 28-30cm tart tin. Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix until it is absorbed, then knead lightly until the dough comes together into a ball.

2 Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and the rolling pin, then roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart tin. Add a little more flour if required. Line the tart tin with the dough, then trim the excess and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

3 To make the filling, separate the leaves from the stalks of the chard. Trim and slice the stalks, then chop the leaves, keeping stalks and leaves separate. Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the chard stalks and cook for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring from time to time. Add the leaves and cook for 2 minutes, until just wilted. Drain the the chard well, then season with salt and pepper.

Prick the pastry with a fork, then blind bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool a little. Spread the pesto over the base of the pastry, then scatter with the oats to soak up any excess moisture. Mix the egg into the chard then return to the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Serve warm with strips of the Parma ham on top.

What Is Olive Oil?

Buying and Cooking With Olive Oil

Lemon-infused olive oil recipe
 The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Olive oil is made by pressing fresh olives to extract the oil. It’s a popular cooking oil that is produced in olive-growing regions, most often France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and California. Its flavor is highly prized and used often in Mediterranean and European cuisines. Considered one of the healthier fats, it has also found a place in kitchens around the world, appearing in cold applications like salad dressing and pasta and used for frying, sautéing, and baking.

Fast Facts

  • Varieties: Extra virgin, virgin, fino, light, pure
  • Smoke Point: 375 (extra virgin) to 468 degrees Fahrenheit (extra light)
  • Common Uses: Cold and low-heat cooking

Varieties of Olive Oil

Olive oil comes in various grades and the quality differences within each can be significant. The best olive oil is a blend of oil from a mixture of red-ripe (not green and not fully ripe) olives and a smaller proportion of oil from green olives of a different variety. Cold-pressing—a chemical-free process using only pressure—produces a higher quality of olive oil with a richer flavor and lower acidity. The level of acidity—free oleic acid—is used to grade olive oil.

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  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is a cold-pressed, unrefined oil from the first pressing of olives. With only 1 percent acid, it’s considered the finest and fruitiest and is the most expensive. It ranges from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green. Generally, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor.​
  • Virgin Olive Oil: Also a first-press oil, this variety retains a nice flavor but has a slightly higher acidity level of between 1 percent and 3 percent.
  • Fino Olive Oil: This is a blend of extra virgin and virgin olive oils.
  • Light Olive Oil: A refined oil, this type is lighter in color (not fat or calories) than virgin varieties but has far less flavor.
  • Pure Olive Oil: Sometimes just labeled “olive oil” or considered “regular” olive oil, this is often a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. It has a very bland, neutral flavor and an acidity around 3 percent.

Olive Oil Uses

Any type of olive oil can be used for most food preparations. However, some are preferred for particular uses. Extra virgin is recommended for cold applications in which you want a full flavor, including drizzling on salads and pasta, making dressings, and using as a dip. Olive oil can also be infused with flavor to create dressings and vinaigrettes. Use a cheaper, lower-grade olive oil—either pure or light—for all-purpose cooking and baking.

How to Cook With Olive Oil

Many recipes will not suggest a specific type of olive oil, though some do and it’s best to follow that recommendation. Stocking both extra virgin and pure or light olive oil in the kitchen allows you to choose the perfect oil for the dish. Consider the amount of heat and the oil’s impact on the flavor as well as your own personal preference.

When cooking with olive oil, keep in mind the grade’s smoke point. Extra-virgin olive oil will smoke at a lower temperature (375 degrees Fahrenheit) than pure or light olive oils (468 degrees Fahrenheit). Heating any oil beyond its smoke point will give the food you’re cooking a burnt taste. For this reason, it’s best to use pure or light olive oil for medium-heat cooking like baking, frying and sautéing. Reserve extra virgin olive oil for no-heat dishes and very low-heat cooking. Olive oil is not the best choice for deep-fried or stir-fried foods; choose an oil with a higher smoke point instead.

When baking recipes call for olive oil, consider using light or pure olive oil as the lighter flavor may be more desirable. Then again, in savory baked goods, the olive flavor of an extra virgin oil can be quite pleasant.

What Does It Taste Like?

The taste of olive oil will depend on the grade and how it’s processed. Unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil will be the most flavorful, with a distinct olive flavor and aroma and a light pepper-like finish. The lower-grade, refined olive oils will have almost no flavor.

Olive Oil Substitute

If you don’t have olive oil, canola oil is the best substitute for almost any food, whether cooked or raw. Peanut and avocado oils are excellent in high-heat cooking. Use coconut oil for sautéing or opt for sunflower oil for low-heat cooking. With all of these oil substitutes, use the same amount listed for olive oil in the recipe.

Butter is another option. Melted butter can be used in cooking without any adjustments. For baking, use four parts of solid butter for three parts of olive oil.

Olive Oil vs. Avocado Oil

Olive and avocado oils are both considered healthy cooking oils with a relatively neutral flavor that’s versatile for a range of foods. Most are unrefined and contain a good amount of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The biggest difference is in how to cook with them. Olive oil, in general, has a low smoking point—from 375 to 468 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the grade—so it’s best for no-cook uses and low- to medium-heat cooking. Avocado oil has a high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for high-heat cooking like stir-fries.

Olive Oil Recipes

The uses of olive oil are nearly endless. You will find it in recipes for salad dressings, dips, vinaigrettes, pasta, meat and vegetable dishes, baked goods, and simple no-cook foods like cheese and bread appetizers.

Where to Buy Olive Oil

Most grocery stores will offer a selection of olive oils available in glass or plastic bottles; extra virgin, pure, and light are the most common. Olive oil, in general, is more expensive than other cooking oils, but this is dependent on the grade, quality, and brand. Consider paying more for a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, something you may only find in gourmet and specialty food shops.

When purchasing olive oil, check labels for the percentage of acidity, grade of oil, and country of origin. The level of acidity is a key factor in choosing fine olive oil, along with color, flavor, and aroma. Some bottles also include a date and you want the freshest oil you can find. Since you can’t taste-test oil in the store, you might need to try various brands at home until you find a favorite.

Storage

Olive oil is often sold in dark-colored bottles to protect it from light. Heat and light will cause it to go rancid—often smelling like dirt—and ruin the flavor and nutrition value. Store the oil in a dark, cool place (not near the stove) and transfer oil in clear containers to darker ones. When properly stored, it has a shelf life of one year.

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