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Olive oil recipes

SPANISH GARLIC SOUP

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 medium head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices

1 quart chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

4 large eggs

Salt to taste

1/2 cup packed small fresh cilantro sprigs

4 lime wedges

Directions:

Cook garlic in oil in a deep, 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer garlic to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Add bread slices to skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Divide toasts among 4 large soup bowls.

Add broth, red pepper flakes and garlic to skillet, and bring to a simmer. Break 1 egg into a cup and slide egg into simmering stock. Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach eggs at a bare simmer until whites are firm but yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer eggs with slotted spoon to toasts and season with salt. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

— Olive Press

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Pinch of fresh thyme

2 cups pitted, cured olives

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Remove rosemary from stem and mix with thyme in a blender or food processor. Add olives and blend thoroughly until the mixture forms a paste. Remove from blender and place in bowl. Stir in anchovy paste. Add olive oil a teaspoon at a time to keep more on the dry side.

Serve with toasted crostini.

— Carol Firenze, "The Passionate Olive: 101 Things To Do With Olive Oil" (Ballantine Books, $20, 245 pages)

Makes 36 to 40 small truffles

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup arbequina extra-virgin olive oil

A pinch of fine sea salt

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably non-alkalized)

1 bright-skinned orange for zesting, washed

Directions:

Place the chocolate, butter, olive oil and salt in top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days) to harden. Remove and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 14 minutes or longer to soften slightly.

Spread the cocoa in a shallow pie or cake pan. Use a microplane zester to grate zest from half of the orange directly over the cocoa. Scrape a tiny scoop or melon baller across the surface of the chocolate mixture to form an irregular round truffle, 1 inch or less in diameter. Place the truffle in the pie pan. Shake the pan to roll the truffle in cocoa. Repeat until all the truffles are shaped and coated.

Remove truffles from cocoa to a covered container. Refrigerate to store. Remove truffles from fridge about 10 minutes before serving.

— Alice Medrich for the California Olive Ranch