The Culinary Staples
When mixing EVOO and balsamic vinegar for dipping or salad dressings, our general rule is: 1/2 EVOO and 1/2 Balsamic, but it is personal, so feel free to experiment with the ratio!
Bread Dippers & Marinades (an instant success)
Serve mixture with cubed fresh focaccia or baguette. Top pairings include (and definitely not limited to):
* Tuscan Herb EVOO + Traditional / Pomegranate / Fig / Grapefruit balsamic
* Garlic EVOO + Neapolitan Herb / Fig / Sicilian Lemon / Pineapple balsamic
* Chipotle or Baklouti EVOO + Espresso / Dark Chocolate / Tangerine / Maple balsamic
* Medium or Robust EVOO + Serrano honey vinegar or your favourite balsamic!
Salad Dressings (easy and healthy)
Lisa’s favourite: Mixed green salad topped with grilled tuna and tossed in two parts aged fig balsamic and one part Tuscan herb EVOO. Thick, luscious, rich and herbaceous – a perfect pairing!
Check out more salad recipes in-store or under “Cold Recipes.” Top pairings include:
* Tuscan Herb EVOO + Traditional / Pomegranate / Fig / Sicilian Lemon / Grapefruit
* Persian Lime EVOO + Blackberry-Ginger / Raspberry / Honey-Ginger
* Lemon or Blood Orange EVOO + Cranberry-Pear / Cascadian Raspberry
* Mild, Medium or Robust EVOO + Blueberry / Neapolitan Herb / Red Apple
* Garlic or Chipotle EVOO + Maple / Tangerine / Espresso / Serrano Honey Vinegar
A Charcuterie Board (a low-maintenance appetizer for any event or crowd)
Amanda’s aunts love creating their own boards for all their summer parties and birthdays. Once you have all the components, it is super easy to compile and set it up before guests arrive; plus, it won’t distract who ever is managing the grill, cooking the mains, or serving the wine, haha! The key is choosing an array of each category, to appeal to everyone’s tastes. This is another great way to incorporate your favourite olive oils and balsamic vinegars (oh yeah!), as they pair amazingly with all the goodies on the board. Our 60ml bottles are perfect for this, just serve next to the board!
* A variety of cured meats and salami with varying sweet and spicy notes
* A variety of soft and hard cheeses with varying milk types
* Fruits (such as fresh figs, grapes, berries) and nuts (such as shelled walnuts)
* Olives, pickles, and your favourite antipasti and spreads
* Your favourite EVOO, optional (herbed, spicy and/or Mild/Medium/Robust)
* My top balsamic choices, not optional: Black Mission Fig, Espresso, Blueberry, Traditional
Snack Time – Popcorn!
A fabulous treat for a crisp night: Popcorn popped in our butter-flavoured EVOO and then sprinkled with black truffle sea salt (or another of our infused salt blends) + some grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast (optional). A healthy taste of heaven!
Back to Basics
Jamie Oliver’s Best Hummus
“Hummus is proof that some of the best tasting things are the simplest to make. All you need is a handful of ingredients and a food processor. This recipe provides a solid base, and feel free to experiment with flavours! Hummus is a great appetizer served with crackers and chopped vegetables, or as a dipper for grilled meats such as lamb or chicken kebabs. It can be a healthier and vegan alternative to butter or mayo in sandwiches, and when in doubt, just scoop it up with warm flatbread. The only rules for making hummus is to use the highest quality extra virgin olive oil, and to have fun making it!”
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and few chickpeas for decorations)
4 tsp. tahini paste or our toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp. Mild, Medium or Robust EVOO (extra for drizzling**)
3.5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)
Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini (or sesame oil), crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.
When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil** and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.
**Variations: Drizzle with our Garlic, Lemon, Chipotle or Cilantro & Roasted Onion EVOO
Jamie Oliver’s Classic Pesto
“This easy, beautiful pesto recipe is absolutely bursting with fresh herby flavour. ”
Serves 4. Gluten-free and vegetarian.
For maximal flavour and authenticity, use a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have one, add it to your Christmas list, and throw all ingredients in a food processor in the meantime.
Tip: If not using while warm and making pasta, use 1 Tbsp of pasta water to loosen the cold pesto before combining with pasta. Try freezing the leftovers in ziplock-covered ice cube trays for perfectly sized single servings ready to defrost for later.
Amanda’s notes: This is the “traditional pesto” in that it is made of fresh basil, pine nuts and Parmesan. The beauty of pesto is that the gorgeous EVOO is the spotlight, and all other ingredients are the supporting cast. Feel free to experiment with different leafy herbs, nuts, cheese (or none), infused EVOOs and optional vinegar splashes. Pesto is so easy to make, and you can make it in any batch size, so have fun with it!
1/2 a clove garlic
3 good handfuls of fresh basil
1 handful of pine nuts**
1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil (Mild, Medium or Robust)
A small splash of lemon juice or Sicilian Lemon or A-Premium white balsamic (optional)
Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then bash to a paste (or pulse in a food processor).
Add the pine nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and pound again, then stir in half the Parmesan.
Drizzle in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.
Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Have a taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice or white balsamic at the end to give it a little twang, if you like, but it’s not essential.
** You may think it’s nice to toast the pine nuts until they’re golden, to give them a nutty taste, but the really good pestos Jamie tasted in Italy just have them very lightly toasted, to give a creaminess rather than a nuttiness.