O is for Olive Oil

My absolute, number one, favourite ingredient is for the letter O: Olive Oil.

I prefer any type of oil over butter, but the Queen of oils is the one for me. With so many different olive variations, producing techniques and regions, there is an endless supply of this golden liquid.

extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil straight from Rome, Italy!

It all started an immense long time ago, probably around 5000 BC (wow.) when the smart people back then thought of a way to use all those olives that fell from the trees; namely, by pressing the olives until a liquid comes out. During the time of the Egyptians (1200 BC), the cultivation of olives for oils was a regular thing, not only using it for their food but also to light up oil lamps, for religious rituals, and as a medicine.

The Ancient Greeks used olive oil as a way of maintaining hygiene. The atlethes rubbed their skin with the oil, after which they scraped all the grease and dirt with an instrument called the strigiles. Ofcourse, the Romans found olive oil to be quite an exquisite thing as well, thus planting the trees everywhere in Italy – except for the northwest.

Olive oil is not solely cultivated in Italy, but also in other European countries such as Spain, Turkey, France, and Greece. Famous Italian olive varieties are the Taggiasca, the Frantoio, the Moraiolo and the Coratina.

extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

The best olive oil there is, is the extra virgin oil which I have mentioned in quite some posts I believe. This variety of the oil is highly concentrated, resulting in the dark colour. It is a great oil to use in dressings (such as the one below!), in the Bruschetta or over the Crostini. Or simply pour some oil in a bowl, add some salt and pepper, and dip with bread. That’s the way to go to enjoy this olive oil.

Classic Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 1 portion
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Shallot
  • 1 part red or white wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • 5 parts extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Fresh pepper

Used kitchen appliances

  • 1 bowl
  • Knife

Preparation

  1. Finely chop the shallot. Place in bowl.
  2. Add the vinegar and olive oil. Stir.
  3. Season to taste.

Serve with an avocado salad, green salad, or over oven roasted potatoes.

 

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m showing this one to my better half. Thank you for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. basilandoil says:

      Hope they’ll like it too! Thanks for your comment:)

      Like

  2. garland0130 says:

    I love it! My mini-life goal for 2015 is to press my own olive oil. We moved to California and there are many Olive groves near us. I’ll be trying this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. basilandoil says:

      Amazing! Would love to know if it worked out!

      Like

  3. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love olive oil! It was an acquired taste for me, but once I got used to it and started to like it, I haven’t stopped using it since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. basilandoil says:

      Me too, it has such a stunning flavour!

      Like

  4. Lisa 🙂 Olive oil! I didn’t use to like it until I had some freshly pressed in Morocco & of course then had to bring a litre of it home… in a plastic soft drink bottle no less (just for transportation)! However, that was when I learnt the importance of keeping the oil stored in a dark place to lessen oxidisation and rancidity. At that time most olive oil in the UK was sold in clear bottles with shelf lives much too long which is probably why I thought I didn’t like it! Oil and balsamic together? Yes please! 🙂

    Like

    1. basilandoil says:

      Ooh Moroccan olive oil, not too bad ;)!! With me, oil never even gets the chance to start oxidisation lol! Such a divine combination, olive oil and balsamic, isn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 making me hungry…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hannah G says:

    Everything’s better with olive oil. Bread dipped in herby olive oil: Best thing ever.

    Liked by 1 person

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