Recipes: Spotlight on Olive Oil
To enjoy the exquisite flavours of fine olive oils, try these recipes for roasted vegetables, crostini and potato salad.
Must-Go Roasted Veggies
Several good lashings of fresh, robust extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh vegetables (almost anything from bok choy to broccoli will work—make it colourful)
Fingerling potatoes (if serving without pasta or rice)
1 red bell pepper, diced to ½ inch
1 yellow bell pepper, diced to ½ inch
1 red onion, peeled and diced to ½ inch
3 scallions, sliced
4–6 smashed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup dark balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
1/3 cup robust extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
3/4 pound block feta, diced to ½ inch (optional)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). On a large, deep baking sheet, toss the peppers, onion and other vegetables with the smashed garlic and several lashings of olive oil. For dressing, combine lemon juice or dark balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and fresh ground pepper, and pour over vegetables. Mix well. Roast for 20 minutes. Pull the baking sheet out, toss all vegetables once, return the vegetables to the oven, and continue roasting for another 15 to 20 minutes until browned. Let cool to room temperature. Add the diced scallions, pine nuts or almonds, and feta; then toss, sprinkle basil on top of mixture and serve.
This can be served as a side dish or with rice or pasta for a main dish.
Avocado and Goat Cheese Crostini With Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
15 cherry or mini plum tomatoes
A drizzle of fresh, robust extra virgin olive oil
A drizzle of traditional balsamic vinegar
½ a lemon, juice and zest
75 grams fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 thin baguette
1 big clove of garlic
Chives to garnish
Wash and halve the tomatoes, placing them in an ovenproof casserole dish. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper, then sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place casserole dish in oven. Roast at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn heat up to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and cook for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
Spread: Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash with fork, add lemon juice and zest, and combine. Work the goat cheese into the avocado until creamy. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Base: Cut the baguette into 30 equal slices about 1 centimetre thick. Place on baking tray and grill for 1 to 2 minutes until browning. Turn over and repeat. When they come out of the oven, peel clove of garlic and cut it in half lengthwise. Rub the bread with the cut side of the clove. Put spoonful of spread onto the bread, place tomato on top, and garnish with chives.
Red Potato Salad With Bacon Vinaigrette
2 pounds of red or new potatoes
1 cup of fresh, medium-robust extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
5 slices bacon
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons traditional balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves (more or less to taste)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Scrub potatoes well and cut into 1½-inch chunks. Boil potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and then drain. In a separate bowl, mix the potatoes and ¼ cup of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, cracked pepper and rosemary.
In a skillet, sauté bacon with shallots until bacon is crisp. Stir in chopped garlic as bacon begins to cook. Do not allow garlic to brown. In the separate bowl, add remaining olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Chop bacon and stir bacon, vinaigrette and parsley into the warm potatoes. Season to taste with a bit more salt and pepper.
Recipes courtesy Myrna Burlock of Liquid Gold Tasting Bar and All Things Olive