Recipe: Salmon Baked with Olé extra virgin olive oil & Herbs

Serves 4

This is a great and foolproof way to make a delicious salmon dinner.

The fish is basically poached in a very shallow pool of olive oil, protected from the heat by the oil below and a paste of herbs on top.

Together the oil and the herbs keep the fish from overbaking, so even if it cooks for 5 minutes too long, it will still be moist, tender, and falling apart on the fork.

Ingredients:
1 1/4-pound salmon fillet
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Olé extra virgin olive oil
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh dill fronds
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley or tarragon leaves
Zest of 1 lemon

The Process:
Heat the oven to 250°F.
1. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in a small baking pan, just large enough to hold the entire piece of salmon.
2. Lay the salmon skin-side down in the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3. Blend the shallot, dill, parsley, and lemon zest in a food chopper or small food processor.
4. Blend in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat this herb paste over the salmon.
5. Bake the salmon for 22 to 28 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet).
6. To check for doneness, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fillet and gently pull. If the fish flakes easily, then it is done. If it is still gooey, and if the fork is difficult to pull out, bake the salmon for 5 more minutes and check again.
7. Serve with rice or fresh bread and a generous green salad.

Enjoy!!

 

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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!

Olé olive oil and rosemary flatbread

This super easy-to-make flatbread is delicious and a real crowd-pleaser at your next dinner party.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

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

Steps:

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

2. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, cover 2 of them with clingfilm and roll out the other on a sheet of baking paper into a 25cm round disc.

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

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

Enjoy!

Garlic Sauteed Kale & Tomatoes with garlic and olive oil

This kale sauté is a great starter. Try it served with salmon or grilled chicken.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup Olé extra virgin olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
• 2 bunches of curly kale, stems removed, and chopped
• Juice of 1/2 a lemon
• Sea salt, to taste
• Cracked black pepper (to taste)

Steps:
1. Heat the garlic and Olé extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.
2. Add the chopped kale and sauté until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
3. Add the garlic and grape tomatoes.
4. Sauté for an additional 2 – 3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
5. Add the lemon juice.
6. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.Kale

Dark ChocOlé Olive Oil Gelato

Chocolate gelato and olive oil – together at last!

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups whole milk
5 egg yolks

1 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cups sugar
½ cups double-dutch dark cocoa powder
4 ounces 72% chocolate bits or broken bars
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Pinch salt
3 ounces Olé extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients but the Olé extra virgin olive oil in blender (must be capable of generating frictional heat of about 160F).
  2. Turn blender on to its highest setting and blend for 6 minutes
  3. While continuing to run on high speed, pour in the Olé extra virgin olive oil and process for 2 minutes. The mixture should reach a temperature of 185-195F.
  4. Pour mixture into bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until well chilled. At this point, the custard can rest up to overnight before processing.
  5. Turn mixture into ice cream or gelato maker and process according to manufacturer’s direction.

Enjoy the heck out of it!

Bruschetta Caprese with extra virgin olive oil

This Bruschetta is great served as a starter before the main meal is cooked, It is ideal for large groups of people at parties; it looks lovely on a big platter and tastes delicious.
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
4 slices good country bread
1 large garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoons Olé extra virgin olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 ball buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn
12 pitted black olives
pinch of dried oregano
salt
8 Fresh Basil leaves

Directions:
1. Grill the bread, then immediately rub the garlic over one side and drizzle with half the Olé extra virgin olive oil
2. Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, oregano and salt in a bowl.
3. Divide between the grilled bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and top with basil leaves.
4. Serve and Enjoy!