There is nothing as versatile as extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen. It provides aromas and flavors without overpowering the taste of other ingredients, it actually heightens the flavors in each dish. It is also perfect for any cooking technique.
Most importantly, the main difference between using olive oil as opposed to refined vegetable oils is its aroma and taste. Olive oil is not just a cooking oil; it is an ingredient that can add depth and flavor and enhance the more traditional tastes of the dishes you love. No other oil can match the organoleptic complexity of olive oil and the thousands of varieties that carry their own unique flavor characteristics.
Healthy and delicious: frying in Olive Oil: Frying with Olive Oil is one of the oldest methods of cooking in the world, and makes any fried meat, fish or vegetable tastier.
Using Olive Oil for frying is beneficial in the following ways: With it, food can be fried at high temperatures, between 130ºC/266ºF and 180ºC/380ºF. It creates a thin, consistent, crunchy and golden layer that prevents food from absorbing too much oil, thus resulting in food that’s lighter and easier to digest. At the same time, it allows food to retain all of its juiciness, preventing it from losing its nutritional value and making it much more appetising. Olive Oil fries and doesn’t boil, unlike other oils. It maintains its properties at 180ºC/380ºF.
When heated, Olive Oil is the most stable of fats owing to its high oleic-acid content. In addition, it retains all of its properties when used for fryingat high temperatures(180ºC/380ºF). Another advantage of Olive Oil is that its smoke point is higher than that of other oils, which makes it ideal for frying.
How To Use Olive Oil With Food
Extra virgin olive oil is a perfect companion for meats given its peppery qualities. Whether sautéing chicken or dressing a steak, olive oil will bolster the rich, mesquite flavors we know and love. Finishing red meats with a robust olive oil can make a world of difference for a food that is already so rich in flavor. Try drizzling a Picual variety olive oil on steak, lamb and pork for a flavor explosion. For poultry, sauteing chicken or duck in olive oil can crisp the edges and lock in flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil and fish are staples of the Mediterranean diet. Many varieties of extra virgin olive oil work well with fish, but the more delicate the better. We recommend Arbequina.
Nothing complements a delicious bowl of pasta more than a flavorful extra virgin olive oil – a concept as old as Italian cuisine itself – will do just the trick. An obvious choice for pesto, another excellent way to use extra virgin olive oil with pasta is as a finishing oil, lightly drizzled over the final dish just before serving, to experience a gourmet restaurant taste right at home in your own kitchen. In fact, an oil packed with fruitiness and pungency provides enough flavor for simply dressing freshly cooked pasta noodles with nothing more than parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.
Countless soups – including chowders, bisques and stews – are perfect for garnishing with olive oil. Not only does it intensify the flavors but it also adds a little pizzazz since the oil usually floats in mini green puddles on the top of the broth.
A section about olive oils and vegetables is a bit silly given it’s the oldest combination in the book. The most common use for olive oil is to drizzle it on salads. Sounds easy enough, but it’s worth mentioning that specific varieties work differently with different types of salads.
Olive oils are rarely touted for their strengths with fruits (minus the “fruit or vegetable” argument for tomatoes and cucumbers), but there is one tried and true strength. Fruit salad, when dressed in with olive oil, works quite well and enhances and harmonizes the sweetness of the dish.
An excellent flavor combination common in the Mediterranean diet is that of extra virgin olive oil and protein-rich pulses, also known as legumes. Common pulses such as black eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils and broad beans can be significantly elevated in flavor by simply dressing the cooked legume of choice with a fruity extra virgin olive oil and light balsamic.
Snacks & Desserts:
The most common olive oil snack is simple: bread and EVOO. Many people learn the flavor complexities of olive oil through dipping, and it sure makes for an easy appetizer for any gathering. However, there are other less common ways to snack with olive oil that are worth exploring. Also intriguing and gaining in popularity is drizzling olive oil on ice cream.
Enjoy and Expan your Experiences!