Your Guide to Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
By Grace Hoffman, edited by Teagan Lehrmann
High quality extra virgin olive oil elevates every ingredient it touches. It is unrivaled in its flavor, contains a variety of health benefits and is a kitchen staple that remains exciting and luxurious.
True extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed—meaning there is no heat in the making of it, and it is the purest expression of the olive. As Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, likes to say, a good olive oil should taste alive. Extra virgin olive oil pops on the tongue with notes of pepper and florals, tasting almost spicy. Unlike other oils that remain shelf stable almost indefinitely, extra virgin olive oil’s freshness should be taken advantage of within eighteen months of pressing. The best way to do that? Use your extra virgin olive oil lavishly for cooking, finishing, and drizzling over… just about anything!
Can You Cook With Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
First things first: extra virgin olive oil can be used in high heat cooking. Yes, that means it’s okay to use your extra virgin olive oil for frying, sautéing, baking, and so much more! Olive oil makes a great base for any meal of the day- in every season.
Every Day Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For a hearty winter breakfast, use your extra virgin olive oil extra virgin olive oil to make a rich and spicy shakshuka, with a healthy drizzle of oil on top, just before serving. For a light and refreshing summer dinner, try a cold gazpacho soup, with a luscious dollop of yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. In spring and in fall, roast tender baby vegetables coated in oil under a broiler, and add a touch of fresh oil after removing from the heat for a savory and filling side dish.
You’ve got the hang of it: use your extra virgin olive oil olive oil for cooking and for finishing for maximum flavor.
Gettin’ Fancy with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You can take your olive oil to the next level by infusing it with other flavorful ingredients like peppercorns, chili flakes, garlic cloves, and kitchen herbs. To achieve a complex & spicy garlic oil, you can take a healthy dose of olive oil, a handful of peeled and smashed garlic cloves, and simmer on a medium-low heat (to 180°to 180°) for 10-30 min (avoid boiling or bubbling the oil for best results). Or, you can simply submerge slightly bruised herbs and peppercorns into oil and store it in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks to allow the flavors to merge. Use your infused oil as a dip for fresh crudité, or as the basis for your next simple salad dressing.
Feeling extra fancy? Try your hand at using your extra virgin olive oil as the basis for other condiments. Elevate your cheese and charcuterie board with these marinated peppers and garlic and basil from Bon Appétit, or try marinating a block of sheep feta in extra virgin olive oil with orange peel, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
Enhance your cheese plate with marinated olives and figs drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
Treat Yourself with Extra Virgin Olive Oil!
Not only for savory foods, the addition of a fresh extra virgin olive oil makes desert time extra elegant. Hosting a brunch or attempting to wow your inlaws? Try this gluten and dairy free olive oil almond cake, which is moist, rich, and the perfect mix of salty and sweet. For an extra virgin olive oil treat on the go, Melissa Clark’s olive oil granola is a must. Eat it over yogurt, with the milk of your choice, or simply by the handful.
Our favorite way to indulge is perhaps the simplest: top a scoop of high quality vanilla bean ice cream and freshly cut seasonal fruit with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of crunchy Maldon sea salt. Mamma Mia!
Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to use extra virgin olive oil. Get creative, and let us know the delicious ways you enjoy your extra virgin olive oil!
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