Food For Thought — July 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Flavor Your Life with Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe

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DSC02253No doubt that olive oil is one of the staples in your kitchen. You probably use it almost every day, yet many people don’t know much about this delicious cooking necessity. Flavor Your Life is an ongoing campaign to help raise awareness of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe here in the Northeast and we are excited to learn so much about one of our favorite acoutrements in the kitchen!

Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, refers to a specific type of olive oil; it must be low in acid (.8% or below), have a low peroxide content, and the olives, or drupes, must be harvested without heat or chemicals. And of course, it must taste phenomenal, so EVOO designation will only be applied to those oils that are carefully considered by expert tasters. All of these factors combine to ensure freshness, purity, and flavor.

Experts in the industry often compare olive oil to wine, and sampling it requires the same nuances as wine tasting. First, its customary to warm the oil in your hands for a few minutes, followed by smelling and then tasting. To taste olive oil, one puts a small quantity on your tongue, clenches their teeth, and then swiftly breath in air for optimal tasting. Olive oils are similarly classified by fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness, with scales from light to intense. Blending it into something tasty is truly an art form.

Many people know to use EVOO in cooking or drizzled atop bread, veggies or as a salad dressing, but there are so many more uses to this complex ingredient. Here are some new ways to try incorporating it into your life:

  • Preserve roasted and grilled vegetables for days by submerging in olive oil and storing in a cool place; they’ll last even longer if frozen.
  • Fry unafraid; olive oil has a high smoke point, and can even handle deep frying.
  • Use it instead of butter, and not just on bread. Try it IN bread, and cakes, and muffins, and even oatmeal.
  • Pair oils just as you would wine, adding robust oils to complement hearty or spicy dishes, and lighter oils for milder preparations.
  • Think outside of the Mediterranean. Olive oil can liven up a ceviche, handle an Asian stir fry, and embolden the humblest pea soup.
  • Olive oil makes a very nice moisturizer for dry skin, as well, but we’ve known that for millennia.

Don’t want to wait to get started? Try out this amazing cookie recipe!

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Olive Oil Citrus Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 1/3 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, and olive oil and mix with a spatula until it forms a grainy paste. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Fold in dry ingredients until just incorporated. You should have a soft, oily dough.

Fill a small dish with more granulated sugar. Scoop dough by the tablespoonful into balls and roll in sugar to coat. Arrange on a nonstick baking sheet, 2″ apart.

Bake for 11-13 minutes until tops are puffed, cracked and begin to turn light brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Best eaten on the same day they are made!


To learn more about Flavor Your Life and Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe go to https://www.facebook.com/FlavorYourLifeNA/ or https://twitter.com/Flavor_YourLife.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I have received compensation. Opinions are my own.

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