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Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Recipes

Each week we’ll be featuring a new recipe made from my favorite olive oil from the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. I’ve been enjoying these harvest-fresh olive oils for years. They are far and away the brightest, most lively and flavorful olive oils I’ve ever tasted. Their antioxidants and polyphenols are off the charts because they’re fresh from the harvest. They make store-bought olive oils taste dull and flat by comparison. Now you can try a bottle of their finest artisanal olive oil—normally $39—for just $1, with no obligation to buy anything else. Don’t miss out. Taste for yourself. Just click HERE.

–Dr. Ronald Hoffman

CHEESY MASHED POTATOES WITH OLIVE OIL

For the fluffiest potatoes, use a ricer instead of a potato masher. Add the olive oil to the potatoes gradually. This recipe serves 12, but can easily be halved.

2 heads of garlic, the top third of each cut off
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
Water
Salt
3 cups heavy cream, heated
8 ounces Chihuahua or other melting cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stand the garlic on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with oil and wrap in the foil. Bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is very soft. Squeeze the soft cloves
from the skins into a small bowl and mash with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of water. Salt the water and boil over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Shake the pot over moderately high heat for 1 minute to dry the potatoes.
3. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, then mash in half of the hot cream. Add the remaining cream, 2 heads of garlic, the top third of each cut off and mash again. Stir in the cheese to melt, then slowly stir in the mashed garlic and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and serve.

Serves 12 — Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, December 2006

PAN-SEARED SALMON STEAKS WITH CHIVE VINAIGRETTE

Ocean-farmed Chilean Verlasso salmon is approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch as a “Good Alternative” to wild-caught salmon. It is available in many US supermarkets.

For the chive vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons finely minced chives
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or more to taste
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salmon:
4 salmon steaks, about 1-inch thick (6 ounces each), skin on
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallots, chives, salt, and pepper. When the salt has dissolved, whisk in the olive oil.
2. Season the salmon steaks with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon steaks and sear until golden and caramelized on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the steaks over and
cook for 3 minutes more. Remove and blot on a paper towel.
4. Drizzle each steak with about 3 tablespoons of chive vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2007

GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH SALSA VERDE

Maintain a cool kitchen by taking the party outside. The key to tender flank steak is to cook it to medium-rare, then slice thinly on a sharp diagonal.

For the salsa verde:
1 1/2 cups packed, roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 to 2 anchovy filets (optional)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the steak:
One 2-pound flank steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the salsa verde: Place the parsley, olive oil, capers, anchovies (if using), vinegar, lemon juice,
garlic, and lemon zest in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until parsley
is well chopped, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
2. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
3. In the meantime, set up your grill or grill pan for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Generously season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the flank steak for about 3 minutes per side, or until done to your liking. Let rest for 2 minutes before carving thinly against the grain on a sharp diagonal. Serve with the salsa verde.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

GARLICKY HERBED CHICKEN

Halving or spatchcocking the chicken enables it to cook faster—a plus on busy weeknights. To spatchcock, a bird, place it breast-side down and remove the backbone with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Flatten with the palm of your hand.

2 teaspoons fennel seeds
One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, halved or spatchcocked
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces thick-cut bacon, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and let cool. Finely grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.
2. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with half of the fennel; season generously with salt and pepper; set
aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cook the bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until the bacon is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium-high and carefully place the chicken halves, skin side down, in the skillet, pressing down so skin makes good contact with the surface of the pan. Cook until the skin is golden brown and starting to crisp about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
4. While the chicken rests, add the garlic, parsley, oil, lemon zest, thyme, red pepper flakes, and remaining fennel to the bacon. Mix well; season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken drizzled with the pan juices and topped with the bacon mixture.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2016

RIGATONI WITH SWORDFISH, CAPERS, AND OLIVES

With over 2,500 miles of Pacific coastline, Chilean fish markets teem with pristinely fresh catches. Feel free to substitute salmon for swordfish if desired.

1 1/2 pounds skinless swordfish steaks, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoons drained brined capers
1/4 cup meaty green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 pound rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Fresh lemon juice

1. Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a very large skillet, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook, without moving, until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. (Avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer the fish to a platter and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, warm the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the capers and
fry until they start to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olives, garlic, fennel seeds, and hot red pepper
flakes and cook until everything is toasty and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water to
the pan. Remove from the heat.
3. In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until 2
minutes shy of al dente; drain.
4. Toss the pasta into the skillet with the caper mixture, along with the swordfish. Cook over medium heat until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more water if the sauce seems dry. Stir in the parsley and mint and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
5. Divide the pasta among four individual serving plates or bowls and finish each with a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian by Andrew Feinberg (Artisan 2013)

“FINGER BURNER” LAMB CHOPS

Sometimes called “lollipop” chops, you can serve these diminutive chops hot off the grill (or grill pan) while they are still piping hot—thus the name.

1 bunch fresh rosemary
16 lamb rib chops, bones frenched
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and cracked or freshly ground black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
3 to 4 lemons, cut in half crosswise and seeded
Pickled cherry peppers, for serving (optional)

1. Strip enough rosemary leaves off the bunch to obtain 3 tablespoons when finely chopped. Tie the
remaining rosemary sprigs together at the stem end.
2. Season the chops on both sides with the salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and hot pepper flakes. Drizzle olive oil over the chops and pat the flavorings into the meat. Brush the lemon halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Leave a third of the grill fire-free as a safety zone. Brush and oil the grill grate.
4. Arrange the lamb chops on the grate in a neat row; place the lemons, cut side down, on the grate. Grill until the lamb chops and lemons are sizzling and browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the lemons to a platter. Turn the chops and continue grilling until cooked to taste. If flare-ups occur, move the chops to the safety zone.
5. Transfer the chops to a platter or plates. Squeeze the lemon halves over them. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Garnish with cherry peppers, if desired.

Serves 6 as an appetizer; 4 as a main course
Recipe adapted from Project Fire by Steven Raichlen (Workman 2018)

FRESH TOMATO SOUP

Make this simple soup when sun-ripened tomatoes come into the market. If you’re unfamiliar with it, burrata is a water-packed, milky mozzarella-like cheese filled with cream. Substitute a spoonful of fresh ricotta if burrata is unavailable.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 carrot, finely diced
2 fresh basil leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
Burrata cheese, for garnish

1. In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot,
basil and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, along with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Simmer for 20
minutes to break down the tomatoes and marry the flavors.
3. Remove from the heat and purée the soup in a blender or food processor. (Do not fill the blender jar
more than half full with the soup; process in batches with a folded kitchen towel held firmly over
the lid.) Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer or food mill. Serve the soup hot, with a small
spoonful of burrata and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 6 to 8 — Recipe from Angelini Osteria, Los Angeles, CA

GRILLED CAULIFLOWER FAJITAS

With over 6 percent of Americans identifying as vegan and millions more describing themselves as “vegetarian-inclined,” a meatless main course option belongs in your recipe repertoire.

1 head cauliflower, green leaves and stem removed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeds and veins removed
1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeds and veins removed
1 white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon merquén or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 bunch fresh herbs (such as cilantro, parsley, or basil), chopped
Corn tortillas, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Your favorite salsa or pico de gallo, for serving

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and slice the red and poblano peppers into long strips.
2. Combine the cauliflower, peppers and onions in a large bowl and toss until combined.
3. Whisk together the ancho powder, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and olive oil. Add to the cauliflower mixture and toss until the vegetables are thoroughly coated.
4. Heat a grill pan or grill (use a vegetable grater or basket) over medium heat and grill the cauliflower mixture until slightly charred and tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with pine nuts and herbs. Cut any large pieces of cauliflower into
smaller bites. Serve with corn tortillas, lime wedges, and your favorite salsa.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from El Toro Blanco, New York, NY


PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH CHIPOTLE GUACAMOLE

The mushrooms can be grilled up to a day ahead, but make the guacamole an hour or two before serving. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap makes contact with the guacamole) and refrigerate.

12 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, divided use
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ripe avocados
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup grated queso fresco

1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Cut off the stems and discard; set the caps aside.
2. Make the marinade: Combine the oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to
taste. Brush the mushroom caps with the marinade and let stand for 15 minutes.
3. Grill the mushrooms, gill side up, over medium heat on a covered grill until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (If you don’t have a grill, you can bake the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375°F oven.) Pat the excess moisture from the center of mushrooms with a paper towel and place them, gill side up, on a serving platter.
4. Cut each avocado in half and remove the pit. Peel and mash with a fork in a bowl. Stir in the chipotles, onion, the remaining lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
5. Spoon the guacamole onto the mushrooms. Sprinkle each with queso fresco.

Serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer — Recipe adapted from latimes.com

ROASTED PEPPERS WITH PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS

This simple but jewel-like appetizer or side dish can be served hot or at room temperature. Don’t forget the last drizzle of olive oil for a spectacular presentation!

3 bell peppers of similar size, any color
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon merquén (see Note) or smoked paprika
1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easier clean-up. Place the bell peppers upright on a cutting board. Working around the stems and avoiding the seedy core, slice straight downward to remove 4 lobes from each pepper. With a paring knife, carefully trim off any white ribs, flush with the pepper.
2. Arrange the pepper lobes, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive
oil and season with salt.
3. In a medium bowl, gently mix the panko, Parmesan, granulated garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and
1/4 teaspoon salt with your hands. Using your fingertips, pat about 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumb
mixture onto each piece of pepper. Drizzle the peppers with another tablespoon of oil.
4. Bake the peppers until bottoms are deeply browned and breadcrumbs are golden, 18 to 22 minutes.
Let cool slightly.
5. Transfer the peppers to a platter. Drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with the parsley and merquén.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Note: Merquén (sometimes spelled merkén) is a smoky spice blend popular in Chilean cuisine. You can
fid it at specialty spice markets or online.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2018

SPINACH AND STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH BACON

From the Olive Oil Hunter, T.J. Robinson: My wife, Meghan, and I enjoyed this simple salad on the first day of our Chilean olive oil expedition, and we recreated it as soon as we returned to Asheville.

6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
10 ounces fresh spinach, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 quart ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

1. Place the bacon in a cold skillet and bring the heat to medium. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the bacon and reserve.
2. Place the spinach and strawberries in an attractive serving bowl.
3. Make the dressing: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk to mix. Taste, adding more honey or salt or pepper as needed. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to mix. Top with the reserved bacon and almonds, if using.

Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD

This colorful side dish is potluck-worthy, and with the addition of sliced grilled chicken, pork, or steak, is
substantial enough to serve as a main course. Diced avocado is an optional ingredient. If you’re short on time, substitute canned black beans (drained, thoroughly rinsed, and drained again) for the dried.

1 pound dried black beans
1 small onion, peeled
1 small carrot, peeled
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ears grilled or boiled corn, kernels cut off
2 grilled red peppers, finely diced
8 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1. Place the beans, onion, carrot, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan and add water until the beans are covered by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the beans are almost tender, about 2 hours, adding water as needed.
2. Add the salt and continue cooking until tender. Drain the beans, discarding the onion, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf.
3. In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn kernels, red pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Stir in the olive oil, lime juice, and chili powder, and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10 — Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2004

OATMEAL WITH OLIVE OIL AND BERRIES

Fruit-topped oatmeal drizzled with extra virgin olive oil is a lovely way to greet the morning, hitting just the right savory and sweet notes. Use whatever fruit you have on hand—sliced bananas, diced fresh peaches, strawberries, etc.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for serving
1 cup blueberries or raspberries or a mix
1/4 cup toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, bring the oats, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is creamy (about 6 to 7 minutes). Spoon the cereal into 2 bowls, then top with the fruit and nuts. Garnish with a pinch of fresh thyme leaves and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Finish with a pinch of flaky sea salt (crush it between your fingers to break up the flakes).

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from annefood.com


CHARRED SWEET POTATOES WITH HONEY AND OLIVE OIL

4 Japanese sweet potatoes, or other sweet potatoes or yams

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use 1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Kosher salt

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for serving

Freshly cracked black pepper

  • Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Rub the sweet potatoes with
2 tablespoons of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil—you can wrap them on their own or put 2 in each packet. Roast with the grill lid lowered until the potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to an hour; a skewer should pierce them easily. (Alternatively, you can also roast the potatoes in a 400°F oven.) Unwrap the potatoes and let cool slightly.
  • Make the glaze: Meanwhile, bring the honey, vinegar, and a big pinch of kosher salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until just beginning to thicken, about 4 minutes. Keep warm.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Rub the cut surfaces with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (total); season with kosher salt. Grill directly over the coals, cut sides down, without turning, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. (Or use a preheated grill pan.) Transfer to a cutting board and brush with the honey glaze.
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes on a platter and drizzle with more glaze and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serves 8 — Recipe from Bon Appetit, July 2017

BROCCOLI, LEMON, AND PARMESAN SOUP

To avoid waste, peel and chop the broccoli stems and boil with the florets.

2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and diced

Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

5 cups homemade or low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

1/2 to 1 lemon, seeded and juiced

Crusty bread, for serving

  • Bring a large, heavy pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli
and boil for five minutes. Drain the broccoli well and set
 Add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, garlic, and onion to the pot
over medium heat. After a minute or two, when the garlic starts to soften and turn golden, add the blanched broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Add the chicken stock.
  • Cover the pot, turn the heat down as low as it will go, and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is soft enough that it yields when you press it with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Carefully purée half the soup in a blender or food processor, using a folded kitchen towel to hold the lid on tight. Stir the purée back into the pot. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into warmed soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot with plenty of crusty bread.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe from food52.com

OLIVE OIL PUMPKIN BREAD

Cooking spray


3/4 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon table salt

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; optional)

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk both flours with the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, olive oil, and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a large wooden spoon just until evenly incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the
 Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the
batter. Sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds (if using),
pressing them down lightly. Bake until the top is browned
and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean,
40 to 45 minutes. (If the bread begins to brown too much before
it’s fully baked, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top.) Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking 2017 Thanksgiving Guide

CHICKEN WITH ALMONDS AND GREEN OLIVES

If you’re a savvy shopper, you know that you can sometimes get a better per-pound price on chicken leg quarters (the thighs and drumsticks are attached) than if you bought thighs and legs separately.

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

1/2 cup blanched almonds, preferably Marcona

1/2 cup fresh bread cubes

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Small pinch saffron

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks

Sea salt

Flour, for dusting

1 dried red chile

1 onion, thinly sliced into wedges

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup pitted green olives

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large braising pan. Add the almonds, bread, and garlic. Cook over medium heat so the garlic softens and the bread toasts (but nothing burns). Scrape into a food processor and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the saffron and parsley and pulse to a coarse paste.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Season the chicken with salt and dust with flour. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the braiser and place over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, then remove to a plate. Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining oil, the chile, and onions and cook until softened. Discard the chile. Nestle the chicken in the pan, pour in the wine, and reduce by half.
  3. Add the almond mixture and the broth, bring to a simmer, then cover the pan and braise in the oven until the chicken is almost tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the olives and cook until the chicken is very tender, 10 minutes more.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from the New York Times, March 27, 2005

BASIC ALLIOLI

This garlicky mayonnaise-like sauce appears on tables all over Spain. (The name comes from the Catalan words for “garlic and oil”—all, i, and oli.) Try it on meats, seafood, and vegetables. It’s also terrific with paella.

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup peanut or canola oil

4 large garlic cloves, minced

2 large egg yolks, pasteurized, if desired

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)

Stir together the olive and canola oil in a measuring cup with a spout. Place the garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a blender and pulse until a coarse paste forms. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, thin, steady stream. The mixture will be the consistency of a thick mayonnaise. Scrape the allioli into a bowl and season with salt to taste, and more lemon juice, if desired. Let stand for at least 1 hour before serving, or cover and refrigerate if keeping longer. If the allioli seems too thick, thin it out with a little water before using.

Makes about 1 cup — Recipe adapted from The New Spanish Table by Anya Von

COD WITH SAUCE NIÇOISE

Tuna, halibut, or swordfish fillets can be substituted for the cod.

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped, pitted Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons brined capers, drained

4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use

2 cod fillets, each about 6 ounces

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 4 wedges

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

  1. Combine the tomatoes, olives, and capers in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rinse the fish fillets under cold running water and pat dry. Generously brush both sides of each fillet with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it shimmers, arrange the cod fillets in the pan. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes. With a spatula, carefully turn the fish. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the fish begins to break into broad flakes. Transfer it to a serving platter or plates. Reduce the heat to medium and wipe out the pan.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. (Do not let the garlic color.) Add the tomato-olive mixture to the pan along with the juice from 2 lemon wedges. (Catch any seeds between your fingers.) Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with the remaining lemon wedges.

Serves 2 — Recipe adapted from www.food52.com

LONGEVITY LENTIL SOUP

Make a pot of this satisfying soup on Sunday in anticipation of “Meatless Monday.” If you don’t have a whole dried chile pepper on hand, substitute a teaspoon (more or less according to your tastes) of hot red pepper flakes.

1 large red or yellow onion, chopped

Salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound small brown lentils, picked over

1/2 cup chopped or pureed tomatoes

4 fresh sage leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 bay leaves

1 fresh or dried red chile pepper, such as Fresno, de árbol, or cayenne

Water or vegetable broth

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus more for serving

Chopped red or white onion, for serving (optional)

  1. Place the chopped onion in a large heavy pot. Sprinkle with salt and cook, covered, over very low heat, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Rinse the lentils in a colander. Add the lentils to the pot along with the tomatoes, sage, oregano, bay leaves, and chile pepper; stir together. Add enough water or vegetable broth to cover the contents of the pot by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are very tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Season with salt to taste. Before serving, remove the sage leaves, bay leaves, and chile. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Serve with chopped onion, if desired, and cruets of red wine vinegar and olive oil for drizzling.

Serves 6 to 8 — Recipe adapted from www.dianekochilas.com

 

FRESH PEAS WITH OLIVE OIL, LEMON JUICE, AND CILANTRO

If desired, substitute shelled fava beans for the peas.

1/2 cup finely diced onion

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)2 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Soak the onion in 1 cup of salted water for 20 minutes to reduce any bitterness. Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring a quart of unsalted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and bright green. Drain, then quickly add the peas to the ice water to set their green color. Drain the peas and remove any unmelted ice cubes.
  3. Combine the onions, peas, and cilantro in a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Taste, adding more olive oil, lemon juice, or salt and pepper as needed. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 — Recipe from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

 

GALICIAN LOBSTER
(BOGAVANTE A LA GALLEGA)

Celebrity chef José Andrés is a profligate user of premium Spanish olive oil, which is shown to great advantage in this dish. Serve as a tapas or a main course.

1/4 cup sea salt, plus more to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 large Idaho potato, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 Maine lobster, about 1 1/2 pounds

1 teaspoon pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish paprika)

  1. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in the salt, olive oil, bay leaf, peppercorns, and potato and cook, covered, for 2 1/2 minutes. Add the lobster headfirst to the pot and cook, covered, for 7 minutes more.
  2. Remove the lobster from the pot and drain the potatoes. Crack the lobster claws and cut the tail meat crosswise into 6 medallions.
  3. Drain the potatoes and arrange them on a serving dish. Top with the lobster pieces. Place the pimentón in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle evenly over the top, gently tapping the side of the sieve to break up any large chunks. Sprinkle with more sea salt to taste and drizzle with more olive oil.

Serves 1 as a main course or 2 to 3 as a tapas — Recipe from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by José Andrés (Clarkson Potter, 2005)

SALMOREJO

(SPANISH CHILLED TOMATO SOUP)

I cannot visit Andalucía without indulging in this luscious soup. It’s like gazpacho’s drop-dead gorgeous cousin. Though I’ve published recipes for it in the past, this one is particularly easy to make and doesn’t sacrifice authenticity.

2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

8 large plum tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 day-old baguette (about 10 ounces), cut into large pieces

1/2 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped or quartered

1 1/2 cups finely diced Iberian ham or prosciutto

Crusty bread, for serving

Place the salt, tomatoes, garlic, bread, and onion in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 1 hour. Drain the vegetables, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Place the vegetables in a blender. Squeeze the water from the bread; place in the blender along with the reserved soaking liquid, olive oil, and vinegar. Purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill. Ladle into shallow serving bowls. Strew the eggs and ham on top and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the last delicious dregs.

Serves 8 — Recipe from Saveur, July 2013

 

AVOCADO TOAST

 It’s so simple but so satisfyingly good: just four ingredients are needed to create this healthy “anytime” dish.

2 large ripe but firm avocados, preferably Hass

Four 1/2-inch slices rustic bread

Extra virgin olive oil

Flaky coarse sea salt, such as Maldon

Halve, pit, and peel the avocados. Coarsely mash with a fork in a small bowl. In the meantime, toast the bread on both sides using a toaster, broiler, or (our favorite) a charcoal grill. (Watch carefully, as bread burns easily on the grill.) Using a spoon, generously top the toasted bread slices with the mashed avocado. With the back of the spoon, make hills and valleys in the avocado mash. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve at once.

 

PARMESAN-ROASTED BROCCOLI

Broccoli that’s a bit crispy and darkly browned—just this side of charred. The same recipe works well with asparagus, too.

3 heads broccoli (3 to 4 pounds)Extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim the florets from the thick stalks, leaving about 2 inches of stalk attached to the florets. (Discard the remaining stalks. See Note below.) Slice the larger stalks in half and pull the florets apart. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Use two baking sheets if necessary. Drizzle liberally with olive oil—about 5 tablespoons—and season with salt, red pepper flakes, if using, and pepper. Roast until the broccoli is tender-crisp and the florets brown, 20 to 25 minutes, adding the garlic the last 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the broccoli from the oven and drizzle with more olive oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Toss immediately with the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Transfer to a platter or serving bowl. Serve hot. (Note: If you hate to waste food, peel the broccoli stalks, slice them, and use in stir fries.)

Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from www.foodnetwork.com

  

GRILLED SALMON WITH SALSA CRIOLLA

Salsa Criolla, one of South America’s favorite sauces, is nothing if not versatile: serve it with grilled shrimp, beef, pork, chicken, or vegetables.

1 large red bell pepper

1 large red onion, finely diced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra

for the salmon

4 center-cut salmon fillets, each 6 to 8 ounces

  1. Cut the pepper lengthwise in half and remove the stem and seeds. With a very sharp knife, remove the ribs and white pith. Slice into very thin strips (skin side down), then mince very fine. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the minced onion to the bell peppers and mix well. Stir in the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil to combine; it should cover the minced onion and pepper. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavors. The salsa can be refrigerated for three days.
  3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. Brush the salmon fillets on all sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon, skin-side down, on the grill grate and cook, turning once, until done to your liking, about 4 minutes per side. If you are using premium sushi-quality salmon, it can be quite rare in the center. Or you can cook the fish until it flakes easily when pressed with a fork. Transfer to a platter or plates and top with the salsa.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from vogue.com

 

PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD

2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar, or more to taste 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

4 cups loosely packed frisée lettuce

1 ripe but firm pear

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Gradually whisk in the 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Taste, then add more vinegar, salt, or pepper as needed.
  2. Cut the pear (skin on) into quarters, then core. Slice each quarter into thin wedges. Drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. Just before serving, place the frisée in a large bowl and lightly dress with the vinaigrette. Divide among 4 plates. Top each plate with pear wedges and sprinkle evenly with the crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts. Serve with olive oil for drizzling.

Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of The Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

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