Few foods have such a delicious taste and velvety texture as extra-virgin olive oil. Versatile and healthy, it’s no wonder it’s the standard bearer for Mediterranean cuisine all over the world. But have you explored all the possibilities of raw extra-virgin olive oil? Here are some ideas to broaden your horizons beyond salads.
Vinaigrettes for all tastes
Extra-virgin olive oil can be used to prepare a whole range of different vinaigrettes. The classic combination of olive oil and wine vinegar (a powerful detoxifier and antioxidant) has inspired many tasty dressings by adding all kinds of different spices and honey, among others.
How about putting the frying pan away and opting for healthy, low-calorie cooking? Steaming is great for cooking vegetables and fish, as they’ll lose none of their flavour or nutrients. Simply finish off with a dash of raw extra-virgin olive oil, salt and your favourite spices (how about adding some cloves to cauliflower or sprucing up some broccoli with tarragon?). Before you know it, you’ll have a tasty, healthy and nutritious dish bar none, thanks to the vitamins from the vegetables and the cardiovascular-friendly olive oil.
What about drinking it?
More and more cafes and restaurants are now offering olive-oil smoothies, a great idea you can replicate at home. Add a spoonful of raw extra-virgin olive oil to a green smoothie and give your imagination free rein. One good option is pineapple, soya drink and ginger, although olive oil also works wonders with green juices. Apple, avocado, cucumber, celery and extra-virgin olive oil, for example, packs a great punch to give you the energy to do anything.
Gazpacho, salmorejo and pizporrete and other summer soups made with seasonal vegetables are another great way to make the most of raw extra-virgin olive oil. In fact, any summer soup we invent for ourselves when you’re feeling inspired, making the most of whatever vegetables you’ve got in the fridge, will do fine. You can also add a dash of olive oil to decorate hot and cold soups at any time of year. Top off with some crushed nuts!
Olive oil and bread, food of the gods
Many restaurants already know how to whet diners’ appetites by offering some good-quality extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl, together with some salt and different kinds of crusty bread: wholegrain or with olives, tomatoes, oregano, for example. Throw in a good chilled rosé wine and good company and it’s hard to think of a better appetiser.
The simplest dessert
We can sometimes overcomplicate things by making fancy cakes with unpronounceable ingredients and forgetting about the simplest and tastiest dessert in the whole world: bread with olive oil, salt and chocolate. Who needs more?