How to Make the Most of Delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil


My friend Diane recently gave me a bottle of single estate extra virgin olive oil, her son’s Italian girlfriend’s father grows olives and presses his own oil, it is lush.

So, it seems the right time to do a post on delicious ways to use extra virgin olive oil aka evoo!


recipes for extra virgin olive oil

I am not, in this post, going into the details of extra virgin olive oil for cooking.  It was long held that high heat damaged the oil but recently this has been disproved and evoo is held to be one of the better cooking oils. However, if like me you have a delicious oil to play with don’t cook with it, these ideas will make the most of its flavour.

Drizzle Olive Oil


Rich greeny/gold evoo oil both looks and tastes good drizzled over many dishes such as soups, salads and hummus and other bean dips. 

Olive Oil Dip


Neat extra virgin olive oil is great to dip good bread (I normally use my homemade sourdough).  You can, of course, add all sorts of other things too, try …

~   Salt and pepper
~   Crushed garlic
homemade sourdough recipe and how to make dipping oils
~   Stir in a little balsamic vinegar – the two go very well together.
~   All three of the above simultaneously – yum.
~   Finely grated lemon zest and parsley or black pepper.

~   Black garlic
~   Roasted Garlic
~   Freshly chopped herbs or dried herbs.
~   Finely grated Parmesan cheese.
~   Crushed chilli flakes – I have some chipotle chilli flakes and they work well.
~   One of the infused oils below.



Vinaigrette


Delicious oil is essential when making salad dressings, see here for lots of vinaigrette ideas all of which will benefit by using extra virgin oil!

delicious ways to use evoo, ideas and recip with extra virgin olive oil


Flavoured Olive Oil


There are lots of ways to add more flavour to oils, here are three rather special ideas …

~   Parmesan Oil – this is a great idea for leftover parmesan rind; marinate the rind in olive oil together with flavourings such as peppercorns or chilli. Discard the rind and use the oil to drizzle or dip.

Marinated Cheese


Certain cheese, such as Feta, Mozzarella and goat cheese, are good marinated in olive oil together with flavourings as you fancy.

You need a completely clean and dry kilner jar or similar.  You also need …

Cheese
Olive Oil
Seasonings of your choice – peppercorns, fresh herbs and spices
Maybe something else – olives, for instance

~   Cut the cheese into bite sized pieces, softer cheese such as goat cheese can be rolled into balls.
~   Toss the cheese with your chosen seasonings.
~   Layer the cheese up in the jar with any additions.
~   Pour in enough olive oil to completely and utterly cover the contents of the jar – nothing should be sticking out.
~   Seal the jar and store in the fridge for up to month. 

DO NOT discard the oil, use it to drizzle on salad, as a dipping oil or to dress pasta as in …

Aglio e Olio – serves 2


This is a classic Italian dish.

200g spaghetti or other fine pasta such as linguine or spaghettini
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh red chilli – seeded and finely chopped (or a pinch of dried chilli flakes)
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley – finely chopped

Aglio e Olio, olive oil sauce,  with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley and chilli, pasta sauce
~    Warm the oil and add the chilli and garlic, cook over a low heat until the garlic is just turning golden.
~   As soon as this happens stir in the parsley set aside till the pasta is cooked.
~   Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling well salted water (this will be the only seasoning) till just cooked or al dente as we cooks say!
~    Drain but not too thoroughly, a little cooking water will enhance the sauce.
~    Make sure the oil is still hot and then toss together with the pasta.
~    Serve immediately.

This can be varied quite a lot – use basil instead of parsley, add olives or artichoke hearts or chopped tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes or finely chopped red onion etc. And I would sprinkle the finished dish with freshly grated parmesan and probably some crunchy pangrattato!!!  

Here’s a similar recipe …

Linguine in Lemon & Herb Sauce


200g linguine
A handful of coarsely chopped fresh herbs of your choice – probably parsley, basil etc.
2 thinly sliced spring onions – diagonally sliced is prettiest
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of half a juicy lemon
knob of butter - optional

~   Cook the linguini in boiling salted water to al dente, drain, reserving two tablespoons of the cooking water.
~   Gently cook the garlic in the olive oil till fragrant.
~   Add the reserved pasta water to the garlicky oil, simmer, turn of the heat and stir in the herbs, lemon zest and juice.
~   Stir in the optional butter – go on!
~   Toss with the pasta and, of course, season to taste.

Serve as it is or add whatever you like really (seafood, chicken, bacon etc.) to make a more substantial meal.

olive oil pasta sauce, evoo, garlic, lemon and herbs


Baked Feta 


~   Place a chunk of Feta on a piece of lightly oiled foil.
~   Drizzle with lovely olive oil and season according to preference. I usually add oregano and chilli flakes but roasted garlic is good too.
~   Loosely seal the parcel and bake in a hot oven (
200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6) for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cheese.
~   Serve with crusty bread and red wine.



baked feta cheese with olive oil, hebs, garlic and chili


Warm Potato Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette – serves 4


In two stages as the ingredients are somewhat repeated!

Stage 1

700g new potatoes – washed but not peeled
120ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt

~   If the potatoes are large cut them into attractive bite sized pieces.
~   Cook the potatoes in gently boiling water for about 15 minutes till tender.
~   Meanwhile whisk together the rest of the above ingredients
~   Drain the potatoes, cool for a few minutes and then toss gently with the dressing and set aside for about half an hour.

Stage 2

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 finely chopped shallot
a small handful of chopped parsley
a small bunch of chives – finely sliced

~   Stir together the above five ingredients over a low heat till just warm.
~   Stir through the potatoes and serve.

If making ahead just re-warm the salad slightly when serving.
warm olive oil dressed potato salad

Pan Bagnat for 2


This is a delicious soggy sarnie from Nice!  I usually make this with a baguette but other breads work well too – just not sliced bread!! Here's how to make it your own ...

½ a baguette
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Your selection of the kind of sandwich fillings you think a French person would use!
(tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, red onion, fresh basil leaves, ham, tuna (but not these two at the same time!)
3 tablespoons of vinaigrette

(see here for lots of vinaigrette recipes and choose one!)  

~   Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and scoop out the soft bread from the bottom half.  See here for lots of ideas for leftover bread – don’t waste it!
~   Brush inside both halves of the sandwich with the oil.
~   Rub each half with a cut clove of garlic.
~   Make a salad using your choice of ingredients.
~   Dress the salad with the vinaigrette.
~   Pile the dressed salad into the scooped out half of the bread.
~   Put on the lid and wrap the whole thing in cling film/plastic wrap.
~   Put in the fridge with a weight on top of it to crush all together – a heavy pan for instance, or a brick?
~   Unwrap and cut in half to serve (with some red wine and maybe some cheese depending on your other ingredients).


λαδοβρεχτό Greek recipe for bread grilled with olive oil


λαδοβρεχτό which is Lovely!


Do see here for how to make this delicious Greek Grilled Bread, it’s really worth knowing about!                

Do you know I am So Old I can remember when you could only get olive oil in a tiny bottle from the chemists - I wonder why!





Pin It!