Although raw extra-virgin olive oil is one of the kings of the Mediterranean diet and is a staple of vegetable salads all year round, we don’t make as much use of it as we should. Few foods are as special and versatile as extra-virgin olive oil, which can work wonders with any dish. These eight ideas will help you reap the benefits of this unique product by using it in lots of different dishes:
For breakfast. How about replacing your traditional butter and marmalade with a round of bread with extra-virgin olive oil? A well-balanced breakfast your heart will thank you for, without the saturated fats in butter. Finish off with a piece of fruit or fruit juice.
In salads. Forget about the typical lettuce leaves or bean sprouts. Extra-virgin olive oil also goes perfectly with pasta salads, couscous, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, peas, runner beans and broad beans, among many others… We’ve still got a long way to go in the wonderful world of multicolour salads.
In marinades. Simply marinate any meat or fish in a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and spices to give it an irresistible taste.
In preserves. How about making some homemade preserves and enjoying the properties of extra-virgin olive oil and your favourite foods? Cheeses, anchovies, tuna, octopus and even meat such as pork loin make fantastic preserves in extra-virgin olive oil. In addition, they also have another great benefit: you can make them when you’ve got time, pop them in the fridge (where they’ll keep for weeks at a time) and open them when you need to whip up an improvised dinner.
Tenderising meat. Marinating meat in extra-virgin olive oil before cooking brings out its flavour and ensures a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
As an appetiser. Why not recreate the restaurant table, with its little bowl of extra-virgin olive oil, some herbs or spices and some crusty bread, at home? It makes for an elegant, original appetiser for when you have guests.
In carpaccio. The 21st century is seeing a return to raw food, as shown by the boom in sushi, sashimi, tartar, tataki and carpaccio. Any kind of carpaccio will taste better with a dash of extra-virgin olive oil.
In soups. Hot and cold soups are much tastier if you add a dash of extra-virgin olive oil at the end just before serving.