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Frequently Asked Questions

What determines the health benefits of olive oil?

Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light. That is why our olive oil is stored in air-tight, metal vats and sold in dark-tinted bottles. Consuming fresh, well made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.

How do I know which olive oil is right for me?

It is difficult to compare taste unless you open several containers of oil at the same time—not something a consumer in a supermarket usually does. At Strand Olive Oils, you have the opportunity to taste a range of high-quality extra virgin olive oils and know the crush date and complete chemistry. Come visit our store and try as many extra virgin olive oils as you like; they represent extraordinary examples of unique quality and value impossible to duplicate in the traditional supermarket brands.

What determines the quality of olive oil?

In addition to the origin of the fruit, other important variables in olive oil production include the ripeness at harvest, span of time between harvest and milling, temperature used for extraction, and storage methods. If these are not done correctly, the location of the olive grove becomes virtually meaningless.

What is the difference between virgin and extra-virgin olive oil?

The International Olive Oil Council defines these two grades of olive oil as follows:

  • Virgin olive oil is produced by physical means with no chemical treatment. It has an acidity of less than 2% and is judged to have a good taste.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only. It contains no more than 0.8% acidity and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries.

Unfortunately, the United States is not a member of the International Olive Oil Council and, therefore, does not adhere to its retail grades. Therefore, terms such as “extra virgin” may be used in the US without legal restrictions.

What is the difference between “fused” and “infused”?

“Fused” olive oil—or what is referred to as “agrumato” in Italy—is made by crushing ripe, sound olives with whole, fresh fruits, herbs or vegetables at the time of crush. This process allows for the essential oils from the added ingredients to mingle with the oil from the olives. The waste water is then centrifuged away, and the result is a bright, fresh, fused olive oil.

Infusing is the process of adding flavor to olive oil after it has been made. For some, it is simply an attempt to cover up poor quality oil. But the infused oils at Strands Olive Oils are made with the freshest extra virgin olive oils available in our collection that are most aesthetically compatible with the natural products we use to flavor them with. This dictates that the freshness and quality of our infused olive oils are second to none.

What is balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic is a vinegar resulting from the single fermentation of grape must, which can only be called balsamic if it is made in the region of Emilia Romagna from specific grape varieties which are grown strictly in that region of Italy.

What criterion determines the quality of balsamic vinegar?

The highest quality balsamic in the world have similar traits and best manufacturing practices in common. Following are some of these traits:

  • The vinegar is made from ripe, sound grapes picked at their peak.
  • Only a small amount of barrel aged wine vinegar from Modena
is added, if any.
  • No caramel color is used or needed.
  • It must be cooked in kettles to naturally caramelize the grape sugar for complexity, natural mahogany color, and heighted natural density, which comes from a loss in water volume through reduction over heat.
  • It is aged in fired-wood barrels that have been charred on the interior and that have been in continuous use for long periods of time. The residue from prior batches adds coveted complexity to the product. Additionally, aging in multiple types of wood barrels is desirable.
  • Rapid loss of moisture though an open exchange of oxygen in the barrels is desirable for oxidation of the product. The higher the density, the higher quality the balsamic—which is evident in its complex taste and natural thickness.

Butter to Oil Conversion Chart

Butter = Olive Oil

1 tsp = ¾ tsp
1 Tbsp = 2 ¼ tsp
2 Tbsp = 1 ½ Tbsp

¼ cup = 3 Tbsp
⅓ cup = ¼ cup
½ cup = ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp

⅔ cup = ½ cup
¾ cup = ½ cup + 1 Tbsp
1 cup = ¾ cup

Avgelomono Soup

Click here for printable version.

Avgelomono Soup with Olio Nuovo Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil Drizzle

Avgelomono is a comforting Greek chicken, lemon, egg, and rice soup. This is standard interpretation of avgelomono with the added benefit of a savory, spicy note from freshly made Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups good quality chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup short grain starchy rice
  • 2 large shallots, or 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut in 1″ dice
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Fresh (olio nuovo) Agrumato Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
  • Copious amounts of fresh cracked pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and sauté until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, chicken breast, bay leaf, and rice to the pot and bring to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is very tender, and the soup is slightly thickened.

In a heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. Add one cup of hot stock to the egg and lemon mixture whisking constantly. Add the egg and lemon mixture back in to the stock pot while stirring constantly. The soup will instantly thicken and become somewhat creamy. Simmer for an additional minute over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust the seasoning with additional pepper, and salt if desired.

Serve each bowl with a healthy drizzle of Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil.

Serves 6-8

Recipes

Torn Basil, Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Fresca Salad

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It doesn’t get easier or more elegant than this. And frankly its borderline sacrilegious to not be using mouthwatering heirloom tomatoes right now at their peak-of-ripeness with the freshest olive oil in the world. Simply unthinkable.

Ingredients

6 Cups baby arugula washed, spun dry
2 cups of sliced heirloom tomatoes
1/3 cup freshly torn basil leaves
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound mozzarella fresca thinly sliced or bocconcini sliced in half
1/2 UP extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot white balsamic – or your white balsamic of choice
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions 

Combine the Champagne and white balsamic in a small bowl and place the red onions in the bowl to quickly “pickle” for 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes.  The vinegar will turn a light shade of pink.  Remove the onions and reserve.  Whisk the mustard and salt into the vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking briskly and constantly to create a semi-emulsion.
Just before serving dress the baby arugula with just a few drizzles of the vinaigrette.  Arrange the dressed arugula in layer in a shallow, wide bowl or platter.  Add the pickled onions, sliced tomatoes, cheese and torn basil leaves over the top.  Add a few more drizzles of the viniagrette and fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up any dressing left on the platter/bowls.
Serves 4-6

Got Muffuletta?

 

 click here for printable version

Ingredients

1 cup Delizia Garlic Stuffed Gordal Olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup black Mission olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Delizia Fire Roasted Red Peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1/2 cup Green Piri-Piri Chili stuffed Gordal olvies, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup marinated cocktail onions
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup oregano white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup basil infused olive oil
2 (1 pound) loaves crusty Italian bread
8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
8 ounces sliced Mortadella
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

Directions

To make the olive condiment: In a medium bowl, combine the two types of gordal olives, black mission olives, cauliflower, capers, celery, carrot, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, oregano balsamic vinegar, and basil olive oil. Mix together and transfer mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). If needed, pour in more oil to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate at least overnight.

To Make Sandwiches: Cut loaves of bread in half horizontally; hollow out some of the excess bread to make room for filling. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts olive salad, including oil. Layer ‘bottom half’ of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella and Provolone. Replace ‘top half’ on each loaf and cut sandwich into quarters.
Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours; this will allow for the flavors to mingle and the olive salad to soak into the bread.

Serves 8-10

Traditional Paella with Shrimp, Chorizo, and Spicy Gordal Olives

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper – cut into thin strips
1 Green Bell Pepper – cut into thin strips1 Yellow Bell pepper – cut into thin strips
5 large cloves or garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
salt pepper to taste
1 pound Spanish Chorizo sausage sliced into ¼ inch slices
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut in strips
One large tomato diced or one 14 oz can diced
1 cup Spicy Red Piri-Piri Pepper stuffed Gordal olives drained, halved
One medium onion chopped
Shrimp – 16 jumbo shrimp, shell on
Smoked Paprika – 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon saffron
1 pound Valencia Rice
Chicken broth – 6 cups
Lemon wedges

Instructions

Heat the broth in a pot over medium heat until it simmers.  Turn off the heat and add the saffron threads, crumbling as you add them to the stock.  Set aside to steep.

In a 16″ paella pan or equally large, shallow, heavy duty oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil  and saute peppers and onions until translucent. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pan, saute the chorizo for about 5 minutes.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.  Add the chicken to the sausage and cook until just barely golden brown, remove and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan.  Add the rice and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until it begins to toast scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t burn.

To the pan with the toasted rice add the tomato, thyme, garlic and chili flakes and cook down, stirring until almost a paste consistency, about 15 minutes, scraping the bottom so that the contents don’t burn.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Add the chorizo, chicken, cooked vegetables, and olives over the top of the rice, add the broth, stir once, and then no more stirring from this point on. Bring to a simmer on the stove top for 10 minutes. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 10 minutes longer.  Remove the foil and allow the top of the paella to become golden, approximately another 5 minutes.

Remove for oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes covered.

Serve with lemon wedges

 

Oven Baked Spicy Harissa Olive Oil Kale Chips

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Oven Baked Spicy Harissa Olive Oil Kale Chips

Ingredients:
4 cups kale leaves, washed, dried, and cut into 1/2″ pieces, with tough stems removed
2 tablespoons Harissa Olive Oil
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

In  a large bowl toss the kale with harissa, paprika, and salt.  Arrange the leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake until crisp and beginning to turn golden-brown at the edges, about 20-25 minutes.

 

Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Olive Oil Bundt Cake

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Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour +1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil +1 tablespoon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar. Tilt and rotate the pan to evenly distribute the sugar in the bottom and sides of the greased pan. Tap out any excess sugar. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift. With an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are pale and light; slowly pour in the sugar while beating. Next whisk together the sour cream, UP Certified extra virgin olive oil, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the flour to the wet ingredients, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl a couple times in the process. Bake in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate-Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate in chip form, or chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons UP Raspberry Balsamic

Instructions

In a microwave proof bowl, heat the cream on high for 1 minute. Add the chocolate to the bowl and allow to sit for 2 minutes without stirring. Whisk well until all the chocolate has melted and there are no lumps. Add the balsamic and whisk well. Pour the still warm liquid glaze over your cooled cake. Allow the glaze to set on the cake at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serves 8-12

Avgelomono Soup

Click here for printable version.

Avgelomono Soup with Olio Nuovo Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil Drizzle

Avgelomono is a comforting Greek chicken, lemon, egg, and rice soup. This is standard interpretation of avgelomono with the added benefit of a savory, spicy note from freshly made Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups good quality chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup short grain starchy rice
  • 2 large shallots, or 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut in 1″ dice
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Fresh (olio nuovo) Agrumato Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
  • Copious amounts of fresh cracked pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and sauté until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, chicken breast, bay leaf, and rice to the pot and bring to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is very tender, and the soup is slightly thickened.

In a heatproof bowl whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. Add one cup of hot stock to the egg and lemon mixture whisking constantly. Add the egg and lemon mixture back in to the stock pot while stirring constantly. The soup will instantly thicken and become somewhat creamy. Simmer for an additional minute over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust the seasoning with additional pepper, and salt if desired.

Serve each bowl with a healthy drizzle of Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil.

Serves 6-8

Balsamic Ganache Truffles

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup steaming hot heavy cream
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 8 ounces best quality dark chocolate in chip form, or chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dark or white balsamic – my favorite options for this are: coconut, raspberry, apricot, tangerine strawberry, maple, espresso, lavender, or traditional
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling the truffles, or use 6 oz. tempered (melted chocolate) for coating the truffles

Instructions

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size heatproof bowl.

Heat the cream and salt in a heavy-bottom sauce pan over low heat until it just begins to steam. Do not allow it to simmer or boil.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring. Stir the mixture gently until all the chocolate is melted. Add the balsamic and stir to combine well. Cool to room temperature and then place the bowl in the refrigerator, covered, until the ganache has become cold and can be scooped and formed into balls.

Have a baking pan with a sheet of parchment ready that will fit into your fridge or freezer.

Take 1 teaspoon of cold balsamic ganache and quickly roll between your hands to form a ball. If you spend too much time trying to get the shape just right, you’ll begin to melt the ganache and it will be a mess!

Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and then place the sheet in the fridge or freezer to firm up the truffles when you’re done rolling all of them.

Now you can roll the balls into cocoa powder or in tempered (melted) chocolate. However, these are best stored in single layers, separated by parchment or wax paper in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They can be taken out and served at room temperature.

Makes approximately 30-40 truffles

Caramelized Broccoli & Cauliflower Croquettes

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Caramelized Broccoli & Cauliflower Croquettes with Poached Eggs & UP Gremolata Hollandaise

Ingredients

Caramelized Vegetable Croquettes

  • 2 cups coarsely mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Oro Bailen Picual for sauteing & frying
  • 1/3 cup cherve (fresh goat cheese) creme fraiche, or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Mixed baby greens (optional)

Gremolata Hollandaise Sauce*

  • 3 large room temperature egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup UP Gremolata Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper (optional)

Instructions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan until very warm, about 180 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor or in the jar of a blender, add the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and egg yolks. Process briefly to blend everything. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in warmed olive oil and butter.

*Raw egg warning

In a sauté pan set over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of extremely fresh, low FFA below .3, high phenol (above 300 ppm) fruity-green extra virgin olive such as Oro Bailen Picual. Add the shallots, broccoli, and cauliflower and sauté until golden brown, and slightly caramelized (about 20 minutes), adding the garlic at the last minute.

Add the coarsely mashed potatoes to a large bowl and add the goat cheese, pepper and salt. Add the caramelized veggie mixture to the potatoes and mix gently, keeping the veggies in tact as much as possible.

Add the beaten egg to a wide flat container or bowl, and add the Panko bread crumbs to another bowl. Season the egg with a little salt.

Once the potato mixture has cooled enough to handle, form six patties, about 4″ wide and 1″ thick. Dip each patty in to the seasoned egg, and then in to the Panko bread crumbs making sure to gently press the crumbs on to the patty. Set the patties onto a lined baking sheet and set aside.

Heat 1/2″ of Oro Bailen Picual in a wide heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 325 on a deep fry thermometer. Pan fry the patties until golden brown on both sides – set aside on a lined baking sheet.

Poach 6 large eggs.

To assemble, arrange the mixed baby greens on the plate. Top with the warm veggie patty. Set a poached egg atop the veggie patty and ladle the Hollandaise over the top.

Serves 6

Cherry, Almond, & Lemon Agrumato Olive Oil Biscotti

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Agrumato Olive Oil
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, eggs, sugar, and almond extract. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cherries, almonds, and salt. Add the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients and knead until no spots of dry flour remain (The dough will be very stiff, and is typically best mixed by hand unless you have a very powerful mixer).

Portion the dough into two equal parts, and then shape each in to a long rectangle approximately 1/2″ thick, by 4″ wide, by 12″ long.

Bake each sheet in the center of the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes until the log is just turning golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and using the sharpest knife in your possession, slice the log into1″ long cookies – for approximately 12 cookies per log.

Return the cookies to the oven, cut side up to bake again until golden brown and crisp for 10-15 minutes.

Makes approximately 24 generously portioned biscotti.

Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms Fried To A Delicate Crisp in UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Click here for printable version.

As complicated as it may look at the outset, there are really just a handful of ingredients that come together to make this dish shine, and as you would expect, olive oil is among them.

Filling

  • 1 small shallot, chopped 1 green onion, chopped 1 tablespoon UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup Mascarpone 1 large egg, beaten
  • 8 oz. jumbo lump crab meat (Dungeness, if you can get it), picked through for shells
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 12 medium to large fresh zucchini squash blossoms

Batter

  • 1 cup seltzer water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying (I used the Hojiblanca from Melgarejo for this)

Instructions

Combine the shallot, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, mascarpone, egg, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to finely chop the ingredients and combine. Place the filling in a medium size bowl, and with the utmost of care, gently fold in the crab meat being very careful not to break it up too much. Adjust the seasoning, cover, and refrigerate the filling for 1/2 hour.

In a shallow dish or bowl whisk together the seltzer water, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Heat 2 inches of UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil up to 350 F in a heavy bottom pot or pan.

To Assemble

Make sure the blossoms are clean of debris. Gently remove the flower stamens. Using a spoon, gently fill each blossom with approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of chilled crab filling. Gently twist the ends of the petals to seal. Swirl each filled blossom in the batter rotating it in the same direction that you twisted the petals so as not to undo your blossom. Place in the heated oil and fry each blossom for approximately 2 minutes, turning once until light golden brown on all sides.

Remove the blossoms from the oil to a rack to drain. Serve warm.

Empanadas

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Olive Oil Pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water

Empanada Filling

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or infused Olive Oil made with UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 jar Delizia Roasted Red Peppers in UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 /2 cup shredded Asiago cheese Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions

To make the filling, heat olive oil of choice in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground meat of your choice. Sauté until well browned. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the roasted peppers, garlic, oregano and cook for another few minutes until most of the moisture in the mixture has evaporated. Add the cheese, mix well, taste and season with salt and pepper, and then set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix the UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil and water together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well until a dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out to 1/8″ thickness and then using a round glass or a large circular cutter (4″-5″ diameter would be perfect), cut out rounds of dough. Fill each with 2 tablespoons of cooled filling, brush one half of the inner edge of the circle and then pinch firmly closed to form a half moon shaped empanada. Use the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge and help seal the empanadas.

Arrange on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes until each empanada is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. Can be frozen and reheated with excellent results.

Makes approximately 1 dozen empanadas

Granola

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Granola with Olio Nuovo Mandarin Agrumato Olive Oil, Coconut, Cherries, and Cashews

Ingredients

  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup cashews (or almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts)
  • 1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I use cherries,but you can use blueberries, dates, raisins, cranberries… etc.)
  • 1/2 cup Olio Nuovo Mandarin Agrumato Olive Oil (or Blood Orange, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Tangerine, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the first four dried ingredients and spread out into an even layer over the lined baking sheet.

In a medium pot set over low heat, or in your microwave, gently warm the honey so that it becomes more fluid. Whisk the olive oil into the warm honey along with the vanilla. It won’t emulsify, but that’s alright.

Evenly drizzle the honey-olive oil mixture over the oats on the baking sheet. Toss everything gently to coat as much of the oats with honey and olive oil as possible. Redistribute in to an even layer and pop into the oven on the middle rack.

Every 10 minutes for about 1/2 hour, check and stir the granola, the honey and olive oil with continue to coat the remainder of the granola as you do this. When the granola is fragrant and golden brown, remove it from the oven and stir it one last time to ensure even distribution of olive oil and honey.

Allow it to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Makes approximately 9 cups, or 9 servings, of granola.

Grilled Wild Salmon and Asparagus

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Grilled Wild Salmon and Asparagus in Wild Fernleaf (Anithos) Dill Olive Oil-Lemon Cream Sauce over Dill Infused Pappardelle

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh wild salmon fillet(s)
  • 1 bunch of thin, tender asparagus, woody stems discarded
  • 1 pound dried pappardelle pasta cooked al dente (or see my recipe for fresh dill pappardelle below)
  • 1 thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons Wild Frenleaf Dill Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill and/or flat leaf parsley to garnish
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Rub the salmon and toss the asparagus spears with a mixture of 2 tablespoon of dill olive oil whisked with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Amply season both the salmon and asparagus with salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill or broil until just cooked, being careful to err on the side of under-cooking both the salmon and asparagus.  The most important thing here is to sear the salmon and asparagus on the exterior.  After grilling, cut the asparagus in to 2″ pieces and break the salmon in to large meaty chunks and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the dried pasta based on the package directions.  If using the fresh pasta recipe below, cook for two minutes and drain well.

In a sauté pan, heat two tablespoon dill olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sliced shallots and cook until tender.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the wine and lemon juice.  Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half.  Add the cream and the remaining dill olive oil.  Stir until the mixture simmers and thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, add the asparagus to the pan with the sauce and cook for an additional two minutes, being careful not to make mushy.  Add the salmon chunks and cook to warm through, being careful not to break the chunks up.  Ladle over drained pasta and serve garnished with dill and or flat leaf parsley.

Fresh Dill Infused Pappardelle Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons Wild Fernleaf Dill Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh dill (optional)

Instructions

In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, mix together the flour.  Make a well in the center of the flour if not using a food processor, and add the eggs, olive oil, and dill if using.  Begin incorporating the flour into the eggs a little at a time, mixing until a very loose messy dough forms.  If using a food processor, blend until a shaggy dough forms, and either case finish by kneading the dough by hand until a smooth dough forms.  Wrap the dough and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.  Roll it out with a pasta machine, or by rolling pin, and then cut in to desired shapes.

Lemon Agrumato (Fused) Olive Oil & Polenta Cake

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Super simple, extremely delicious, relatively healthy, and adaptable for so many other applications (think trifle, strawberry short cake, glazed lemon cake, with fruit compote, layered cake etc.)

It has a lovely, bright lemon aroma and moist crumb exclusively owed to the addition of fused lemon agrumato olive oil, a gentle tang from yogurt, and a pleasing delicate crunch and extra complexity from a little cornmeal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal (regular cornmeal will work here too)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fused lemon (agrumato) olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Grease a 9″x9″ baking pan with lemon olive oil.  In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and lemon olive oil.  Whisk until pale and well combined.  Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes in the center of the oven until golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and invert onto a rack and cool fully before serving.

Serves 6-8

Oro Bailen Picual Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme

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Oro Bailen Picual Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme with Blood Orange Agrumato Whipped Cream

Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme

  • 2 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
  • 3 cups Half & Half
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olio Nuovo Oro Bailen Picual
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Blood Orange Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange agrumato
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Place the chocolate and olive oil in a blender. Whisk the Half & Half, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Sir the mixture constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom and edge of the pot with a heatproof spoon or spatula so that the mixture does not burn. Continue to stir until the custard coats the spoon and almost begins to simmer, about 5 minutes.

Immediately pour the custard over the olive oil and chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among 6 ramekins or cups and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Whip the cream and blood orange olive oil with the confectioners’ sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de crème with whipped cream before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Panzanella Salad with Mozzarella Fresca

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Salad

  • 1 sweet or sour baguette (torn in to pieces)
  • 2 pounds sweet, perfectly juicy heirloom tomatoes, diced 1″
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives, your choice on variety
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 8 oz. mozzarella fresca (you guessed it… torn)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino
  • 2 tablespoons freshest UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the planet

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshest UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the planet
  • 3 tablespoons Oregano White Balsamic
  • 1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves super finely minced
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Instructions

Preheat the grill or your broiler.  Toss the torn bread with UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil and either grill it until nicely browned on the edges and crisp, or place on a sheet pan and broil until well toasted.

Arrange the bread on a nice platter or in a large bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together well in a large bowl.  Add the cut tomatoes and gently toss with the dressing.  Spoon the tomatoes and their juice mixed with the dressing lovingly over the top of the toasted bread.

Scatter the mozzarella, olives, parsley, and basil leaves over the top of the tomatoes.  Just before serving, top with grated Pecorino and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Serve immediately while the bread still has a bit of crunch.

Serves 6-8

Popcorn with Grated Asiago and more

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Popcorn with Grated Asiago, Cracked Black Pepper, and UP Certified Wild Mushroom-Sage Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • 6 cups freshly popped, warm popcorn
  • 1/3 cup UP Certified Wild Mushroom-Sage Olive Oil + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese + 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

In a bowl large enough to hold the popcorn, drizzle 1/3 cup of the mushroom sage olive oil over the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Alternatively, you can use an oil mister to spray the oil onto the popcorn.

Add the still warm popcorn to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.  Add 1/2 cup grated Asiago, and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper, and salt to taste.  Toss to coat again.  Finish by drizzling the remaining mushroom-sage olive oil over the top along with two tablespoons of Asiago, and more black pepper.

Other excellent variations include:

  • UP Certified Lime Olive Oil + Olio Nuovo Baklouti Agrumato Olive Oil for chili-lime popcorn
  • Up Certified Garlic Olive Oil + Up Certified Butter Olive Oil for garlic-butter popcorn
  • Tuscan Herb + freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese for Paisano Popcorn
  • Olio Nuovo Cayenne Agrumato Olive Oil + Olio Nuovo Baklouti Agrumato
  • Olive Oil for “Three Alarm Popcorn”
  • Olio Nuovo Cayenne Agrumato Olive Oil + Up Certified Garlic Olive Oil  for Chili-Garlic Popcorn
  • Olio Nuovo Lemon Agrumato Olive Oil + Up Certified Garlic Olive Oil for Lemon-Garlic Popcorn

Roasted Red Pepper & Caramelized Balsamic Onion “Jam”

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Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced (about one cup, packed)
  • 1 jar Delizia roasted red peppers drained, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Aged Fig Balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon (+/- to taste) Cayenne (Fused) Agrumato Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt – to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan (cast iron if available) heat 2 tablespoons of Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and season with salt.  Slowly cook down the onions gently until the slowly become caramelized.  This will take about 20 minutes with constant stirring.  The goal here is to coax out the sweet, complex flavor of golden caramelized onions without actually burning them, as charring them will create bitterness.

During the last five minutes of cooking, add the chopped peppers, balsamic, ground black pepper, and thyme – increase heat to medium and continue stirring and cooking to reduce the balsamic.  Add the still hot mixture to the bowl of a food processor or blender along with one tablespoon (if desired) of Cayenne (Fused) Olive Oil, and one tablespoon of UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Process to desired consistency – I like a smooth paste. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Spoon into a jar and allow to cool.  Serve with vegetable crudités, crackers, pork, chicken, sausages, roasted potatoes, fries, eggs, or as a replacement for Sriracha or ketchup.

Can be stored in a sealed jar, chilled, for up to a week.
Makes about 1 cup of savory onion-pepper “jam.”

Shrimp & Andouille Over White Cheddar Grits

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Shrimp & Andouille Over Baklouti Chili Olive Oil-White Cheddar Grits

Shrimp & Sausage

  • 1 1/2 pounds (21-25) wild shrimp
  • 1/2 pound Andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Baklouti Fused Olive Oil
  • Shrimp Stock (optional, chicken broth or stock will work here)
  • 3 cups water
  • shrimp shells
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Grits

  • 2 1/2 cups shrimp stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup quick grits
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Fused Baklouti Chili Olive Oil

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup shrimp stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Fused Baklouti Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

(Skip this step if using chicken broth or stock) Peel the shrimp and reserve the shells.  Heat 3 cups of water with shrimp shells in a stock pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, and then set aside to steep for 5 minutes.  Strain the stock and reserve.

Mix together the garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, thyme, black pepper and then toss the shrimp in the spice mixture to coat. Heat the Baklouti olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the cut up Andouille sausage and sauté until just barely golden brown.  Add the shallots and cook for another minute.  Finally add the garlic and shrimp.  Sauté until the shrimp is just barely cooked though, another minute or two. Do not overcook!!!  Remove the shrimp and sausage mixture and reserve.

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of shrimp stock and heavy cream to a boil. Whisk in the grits and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese, Baklouti Olive Oil, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and whisk just until the cheese is melted. Cover and remove from the heat.

In the same pan that the shrimp and sausage was cooked in, add a tablespoon of Baklouti Olive Oil, over medium high heat add the flour to the olive oil and whisk until the roux becomes a medium-tan color, scraping up all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and stir in to the roux, cooking for another minute.  Add the shrimp stock and cream to the pan, and whisk until the mixture is thickened, another minute or two.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the reserved shrimp and sausage mixture to the sauce and stir, heating until warmed though.  Again, do not overcook the shrimp!

Serve the shrimp and sauce over the hot grits with more Baklouti drizzled over the top, if desired.

Serves 6

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Melgarejo Arbequina, Lemon Agrumato Olive Oil & Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stem end trimmed off
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shave Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Melgarejo Arbequina
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Agrumato (fused) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Shave or slice the Brussels sprouts as thinly as possible. This can be done on a mandolin, using the slicing disk of a food processor, or simply by using a very sharp knife coupled with decent knife skill.

In a large sauté pan, heat the arbequina olive over medium-high heat. Begin by sautéing the shallots until they just begin to caramelize on the edges. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts and sauté, stirring frequently until they are just barely softened, and begin to caramelize on the edges a bit.

Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and toss well to combine.  Serve drizzled with the fused lemon olive oil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 as a side