Cilantro and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Company coming?  Try this quick and easy Pesto, to spread on toast or crackers for a great starter or snack.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed, not in oil)

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup Olé extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon diced green chiles from a can or fresh jalapeno, (if you like it spicy.)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

 

Steps:

1. Soak sun-dried tomatoes in the Olé extra virgin olive oil for 2 hours or overnight, if possible.

 

2. In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients except the salt and pepper until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender or bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

 

3. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Olé Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Coconut Brownies

Our olive oil is great in desserts too! Try this recipe for delicious coconut brownies.

Ingredients:

– ¾ cup Olé extra virgin olive oil, plus more to grease pan
– 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
– 2 large eggs
– 2 large egg yolks
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ⅓ cup cocoa powder
– 2 ½ cups sugar
– 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
– ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
– 2 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
– 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
– Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Preparation:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water until smooth.

3. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted.

4. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the eggs, yolks and vanilla, and continue to whisk until combined.

5. Add the sugar, whisking until fully incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the flour and salt until just combined. Fold in the bittersweet chocolate pieces.

6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.

7. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded coconut on top of the batter.

8. Pour in the remaining batter and smooth. Top with remaining coconut. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake until just set and firm to the touch, (about 25 to 30 minutes).

NOTE: These brownies solidify as they cool, so inserting a toothpick to check if the’re done will not work; it does not come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.

ENJOY!

Olé Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Olé Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is very easy to make, and super healthy, with the benefits of the high antioxidants of Olé extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients needed:

2 pounds yellow potatoes, (Yukon Gold or German Butterball), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.
8 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt
Quarter cup Olé extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.

2. Add potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces), garlic and 2 teaspoons salt and cook at a brisk simmer until potatoes are tender – about 15 minutes.

3. Drain potatoes and garlic, keeping 1 cup of cooking liquid.

4. Mash potatoes and garlic.

5. Beat in the Olé extra virgin olive oil and then thin to desired consistency with reserved cooking liquid.

6. Check seasoning and enjoy!

Black Olive & Herb Loaf

Another delicious use for Olé extra virgin olive oil. This rustic olive and herb loaf is light-textured, flavorful, aromatic and crisp on top. These loaves make for a great accompaniment to hearty soups and stews.
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 tablespoons (about 2 packets) active dry yeast, or 1 tablespoon quick-rising yeast
• 2/3 cup lukewarm water, plus 2 1/2 cups hot (110-115°F) water
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 tablespoons Olé olive oil, plus more for brushing
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 2 teaspoons dried
• 1 1/4 teaspoons (generous) dried oregano and dried thyme leaves, or 3 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
• 3 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour, (see Tip), plus a little more for dusting
• 2/3 cup well-drained, pitted and finely chopped flavorful brined black olives

Preparation

Step 1.
In a 1-cup measure, sprinkle yeast over 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the yeast dissolves.

Step 2.
Place all-purpose flour, oil, sugar, chives, oregano and thyme (or rosemary) and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the 2 1/2 cups hot water with an electric mixer on low speed (using a paddle attachment if possible) until well blended and smooth. Slowly beat in the yeast mixture until evenly incorporated. Gradually raise the speed to medium (or almost to the point the mixture begins to splatter), and beat for 4 minutes if using a heavy-duty stand mixer or 5 minutes if using a hand mixer.

Step 3.
Using a large wooden spoon, vigorously stir whole-wheat flour and olives into the dough until evenly incorporated; it’s all right if the dough is slightly sticky and wet. Turn out the dough into a very large lightly oiled bowl. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil until evenly covered. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot (see Tip) until the dough doubles in bulk, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 4.
Generously coat 2 round 1 1/2- to 2-quart (6- to 8-cup capacity) ovenproof casseroles or souffle dishes with cooking spray. Coat your hand with cooking spray; press down the dough in the bowl, then divide it between the prepared baking dishes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each; with your fingertips, smooth out the dough and evenly brush it with the oil. Sprinkle each loaf with about 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour until evenly coated. Loosely cover the dishes with plastic wrap. Set in a warm spot until the dough rises to the plastic wrap, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the temperature of your room).

Step 5.
Remove the plastic wrap; let the dough rise until it’s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the rims, 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 6.
Transfer the loaves to the middle of the oven; avoid jarring, as they may deflate. Bake until the tops are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Remove the loaves from the dishes (run a table knife around the edge to loosen if necessary), place top-side up on a baking sheet, and continue baking until they are well browned on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cut into thick wedges.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon & Olé Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. asparagus, preferably thin spears (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup Olé extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more as needed

 

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 450°F with rack in the center of the oven.
2. Snap off and discard the bottom ends of the asparagus spears.
3. Put the asparagus on a large, baking sheet and drizzle with the Olé extra virgin olive oil.
4. Gently toss the asparagus with the Olé oil until it’s evenly coated.
5. Distribute the asparagus evenly on the baking sheet.
6. Sprinkle generously with salt and roast until tender about 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Transfer the asparagus to a platter, toss with lemon juice, Olé extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste, and serve.

Enjoy!

Beef with green olives…and cinnamon!

You’ll love this recipe with cinnamon and Olé extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients:

• 1 kg beef
• ½ kg green olives
• 3-4 ripe tomatoes
• 1 clove of garlic
• Cinnamon
• Salt, pepper
• 1 cup Olé extra virgin olive oil
Preparation:

1. Cut the meat into medium-sized pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meat until it browns.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper and 1 cup of water.
4. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the green olives into scalding hot water and when the meat is half cooked, add them to the pan. Cook for another 30 minutes.

 

What does the term “Extra virgin olive oil” really mean?

When it comes to olive oil, one question often asked is about the terms ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’ and just what they really mean. Compared to a product labeled simply “olive oil” These terms have very specific meaning and relate to the way the oil is produced and should be used.

You can think of extra virgin and virgin olive oil, as fresh fruit juice, produced simply by crushing olives. Virgin olive oil is the only cooking oil made without the use of chemicals and industrial refining. Extra virgin olive oil is the most premium pf this category.

The term “first cold pressed” is often used and displayed prominently on bottles of extra virgin olive oil, but by definition, extra virgin olive oil must be “cold” extracted which really means that it can’t be heated, nor can solvents be added to the fruit pulp to yield more oil.

While the term “first cold pressed” is typically used, it is far more common in modern, efficient production facilities to extract the oil through spinning in a centrifuge rather than actually pressing, which is considered by many to be antiquated and less efficient.

The first oil extracted is the highest quality and has the lowest acidity. Later, virgin olive oil is produced, then many producers will treat the remaining olive pulp with chemicals to extract what is referred to as simply ‘olive oil’, then finally ‘olive pomace oil’ is produced through even further processing.

The acidity levels of the oil is one of the key determining factors in the grade it receives. Extra virgin olive oil contains no more than 0.8% free acidity and is judged to have a superior taste, having a fruity flavor and no defined sensory defects.

Virgin olive oil is of slightly lower quality, with free acidity of up to 1.5%, and has good taste, but according to experts, may have some sensory defects.

In short, extra virgin tastes better than virgin, hits higher scores in terms of its chemical composition and it has more nutrients. Refined olive oil, while having a very low acidity, has virtually no taste as these elements are lost in the filtering process. Later, extra virgin olive oil is often added to refined olive oil to produce a product marketed as “Pure olive oil” or simply “olive oil”.

Apart from the production and acidity requirements, classification as extra virgin specifically, requires specific taste components as judged by olive oil tasting experts.

Fruitiness, bitterness and pungency are the three areas assessed.

A fruity oil is described as having the pleasant spicy fruit flavor characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Fruitiness also varies with the variety of olive, of which there are hundreds.

Typically more mature olives yield oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral, while greener, younger olives produces a grassier, stronger tasting oil.

Pungency refers to the peppery sensation in the mouth and throat. Most high antioxidant extra virgin olive oils give this peppery sensation.

We hope you’ve find this description of different grades of olive oil interesting and useful!

 

Happy sizzling and drizzling!