In association with our friends from Domenica Fiore
We often think of olive oil as a staple in the kitchen, a staple, not the star of the show. We toss the vegetables and meat with olive oil before grilling or grilling them. It is the base of most dressings and vinaigrettes. And almost all stir fry recipes list two tablespoons to start.
This is all fine, of course, but using olive oil only as a basic component, and using any olive oil, could be a missed opportunity. High-quality olive oils can have a wide range of flavors depending on the variety of olive and the growing region. They can be buttery, spicy, fruity, bitter, or herbaceous. And they can help balance and add nuance to your dishes when used in different ways.
There are a couple of reasons why you may not be using the best quality olive oils yet. One is that it can be difficult to understand what is what when you are looking at a wall of bottles in the supermarket. Another is that olive oil can be expensive because olives are a labor-intensive crop to grow, harvest, and process. So some olive oils are more of an investment. To get the most out of each bottle, check the label, store it with some thought, and use recipes that let the olive oil shine.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The first thing we look for: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). This means that it is of higher quality and cold pressed.
If possible, look for a bottle with the harvest date and the specific names of the varieties of olives used to make the oil. When producers share that level of information with consumers, it is generally a good sign (similar to when top-tier coffee companies list a roast date on the bag).
Look for oil that is packaged in very dark glass, aluminum, or ideally stainless steel. These materials help block the light from the oil, which preserves it.
CURRENTLY IN OUR KITCHEN
Domenica Fiore’s organic olive oils are something special. Not only are they delicious, but every part of the process, from harvest to packaging, is intentionally designed to preserve the flavor and health benefits of extra virgin olive oils.
The Reserva is a blend of olives grown on the Domenica Fiore estate in Umbria. It’s smooth with a long, spicy finish, and we’ve been using it to dress salads or drizzle over grilled fish.
The Novello di Notte is one of the most innovative products we have come across. It is an early harvest olive oil (“novello“Means” new “in Italian): historically a favorite of olive pickers that was traditionally enjoyed with bread under the trees. The different thing about this oil is that it is harvested at night, hence the name Novello di Notte (“notte“Which means” night “). Because the early harvest season can be quite warm, Domenica Fiore harvests and presses the olives at night, protecting the product from light and heat at every step of the process, making it the most novella olive oil. pure and powerful. It has a bright, herbaceous and almost herbaceous flavor. Stand out with burrata, grilled steak, and honey ice cream.
Organic Extra Virgin Reserve
NEWS BLOCK, $ 48
Novello di Notte Organic extra virgin olive oil
NEWS BLOCK, $ 74
WHERE TO STORE YOUR BOTTLES
When it comes to storage, olive oil has four enemies: light, heat, air, and time. These elements have a negative effect on the flavor of the oil, accelerate rancidity, and can reduce the levels of some antioxidants present in your oil over time.
If you get olive oil bottled in very dark glass, aluminum, or stainless steel, your oil should be protected from light. However, even with protective bottles, it is best to store the olive oil bottle away from the sunniest parts of the kitchen, such as window sills. Many of us store olive oil next to the stove, which is convenient but detrimental to the oil itself. Protect oil from the ambient heat of your range and oven by keeping it away from the range completely and in a cool, dark place.
Air and time influence the deterioration of the oil. Olive oil should not age like wine; It should be used generously in a timely manner, so don’t feel like you need to put it away. Some producers use high-tech bottling processes that can extend the shelf life of their olive oil. Domenica Fiore uses nitrogen to seal her stainless steel bottles. This means that, unopened and stored in a cool place, they can be kept for years and, once opened, are good for eight to ten weeks.
HOW TO USE OLIVE OIL
The best way to experience the taste of high-quality olive oil is in simple applications where it can really shine. Start by dipping some crusty bread or drizzle it over some heirloom tomatoes with flaky sea salt. You will probably notice that its flavor is more pronounced than the everyday oils you have cooked with before. It can be herbaceous and vegetable, spicy, fruity, even slightly bitter. Bitterness is usually a sign of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant (you may have experienced a similar sensation from the tannins in red wine, another source of polyphenols). While this is one of the most treasured health attributes of extra virgin olive oil, it can take a minute to get used to. Instead of fighting that bitterness, embrace it and use it to balance rich foods like meat, cheese, and beans or sweeter foods like fruits.
Our favorite way to use olive oil is to finish with it. “Finish” sounds like a chef’s term, but you probably already finish your meal with a drizzle, a pinch, or a final splash of something before serving: flaked sea salt, ground black pepper, or fresh citrus, for example. And almost everything can be finished with olive oil. Try it on anything on the grill – the charcoal and olive oil flavor go very well. Olive oil makes a wonderful final garnish for soups, stews, beans, and pasta. Even a little about something as simple as soft scrambled eggs can be revealing.
Also: it is a common misconception that you should not cook with olive oil, but it is absolutely possible, even with the most sophisticated things. It’s not the most direct way to taste an olive oil or get its health benefits, but olive oil has a smoke point of 500 ° F, so you can cook a bit.
These dishes are creamy, fatty and rich and are wonderfully balanced when finished with a spicy, grassy extra virgin olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a Dessert – It’s bright and fruity, and that slight bitterness cuts through the sweetness.