When Dave from eRecipeCards invited me to participate in a recipe contest, I was intrigued.
Dave said the company hosting the contest is O Olive Oil, and the assignments were to review the product and create an original recipe – a recipe worthy of winning the contest.
This would be no easy task – but the notorious health benefits of olive oil fit perfectly with the theme of this blog, so I decided to give it a shot.
I don’t take on any task without doing my homework first, so off to Google I go . . .
Olive oil is reported to have a variety of health benefits thanks to the long list of phytonutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids it contains. It’s no wonder that the ancient Greeks revered it as a magical elixer, and Homer referred to it as liquid gold.
But not all olive oils are created equally. Varieties can differ in aroma, consistency, taste and health benefits. Most importantly for the home cook, different grades have specific uses in the kitchen.
For cooking purposes, an extra virgin or extra light olive oil has a high smoke point making it a good alternative for sautéing and frying. Must of the flavor is destroyed by the cooking process, so investing in a cost effective product makes sense.
For vinaigrettes and dipping sauces a fine extra virgin olive oil fits the bill, and is worthy of an investment in a quality product like those sold by O Olive Oil.
The timing for this contest was perfect as I had just finished listening to a cooking lecture where the chef recommended taste testing a variety of staples like salts, vinegars and olive oils.
When it came to tasting oils, Chef Flinn suggested using leafy greens along with crusty bread as a vehicle for taste, texture and aroma.
Fine by me! After all, oils can be calorie intensive and I’m a bread fanatic – one bite is never enough for me. Note that to get my husband on board, there had to be bread on the table.
Chef was right on target. When I dipped those leafy greens into the brand of olive oil I have in my cupboard the flavor was flat, and almost acrid. Those same greens dipped into O Clementine olive oil felt fresh and vibrant.
This is not to say that I have any intention of dumping the olive oil in my cupboard. It’s perfect for many uses. But if I want to make an impressive vinaigrette that brings out the flavor in my freshest fruits and vegetables, or create a dipping sauce worthy of the crustiest piece of artisan bread?
I’ll stick with an amazing olive oil.
Stay tuned on Friday for a sweet and healthy dessert recipe using O Clementine Olive Oil and their smooth white balsamic vinegar.
Happy, healthy cooking!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned above for free in the hopes that I would write a review on this blog. I only recommend products or services I use and believe will be beneficial for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”