Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Olive Oil-Fried Eggs with Chile and Sprouts

This “healthyish” version of huevos rancheros takes only minutes to make and is both satisfying and colorful—perfect for breakfast or a light lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouts (such as sunflower, radish, or alfalfa)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large eggs
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprouted grain tortillas or flatbreads
  • 1 ounce feta
  • Wedges of tomato, avocado, and lime, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

Step 1

Toss the sprouts with the lime juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, crack both eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. The oil should be bubbling around the eggs from the start.

Step 3

Cook, rotating the skillet occasionally, until the whites are golden brown and crisp at the edges and set around the yolks (which should be runny), about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes to the oil and remove the pan from the heat.

Step 4

Meanwhile, heat the tortillas over a gas burner until just warmed and slightly charred in spots (or
warm in the oven or a toaster oven).

Step 5

Mound the sprouts on the tortillas and top with the fried eggs. Crumble the feta over the eggs and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with wedges of tomato, avocado, lime. Serve hot sauce on the side.

Serves 1 to 2 — Recipe adapted from bonappetit.com

Olive Oil Martini

This unusual libation features a technique professional bartenders call “fat washing.” And once you strain the infused gin, you can reuse the olive oil in another recipe. Saveur quipped that it could (tongue in cheek) be called a “quarantini.”

Ingredients

  • One 750 milliliter bottle London dry gin
  • 4 ounces (1/4 cup) best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme

For each cocktail:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil and herb-infused gin (see above)
  • 1 tablespoon white vermouth
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • Pitted green olives, for garnish

Directions

Step 1

A day before you plan to use the gin, start the infusion: To a large jar or airtight glass or plastic container, add the gin, olive oil, rosemary, and thyme. Shake vigorously, then set aside at room temperature to infuse for 12 hours.

Step 2

Transfer the jar to the freezer for another 12 hours (or overnight). This will cause the olive oil to solidify and separate. Place a fine mesh strainer over a second large jar or container, then strain the gin. Wash and dry the original jar and the strainer then line the strainer with a coffee filter. Strain the gin once again to remove any remaining sediment and oil. Use immediately or cover tightly and use within 6 months.

Step 3

Mix the martini: In a mixing glass filled with ice, add 2 1/2 ounces of the infused gin, along with the vermouth and salt. Stir until well-chilled, then strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe and garnish with as many olives as you like. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail (with enough infused gin for several) — Recipe from saveur.com, April 24, 2020

Hangar Steak with Olive Oil and Herbs

Hanger steak—sometimes called bavette—is beefy-tasting and relatively economical. If you can’t find it at your butcher counter (we all have to be flexible these days), substitute flat iron steak. Allow 2 hours for the steak to marinate.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • One 1-pound hanger steak, trimmed and divided in two
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces small potatoes, quartered
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces greens, preferably baby spinach or stemmed chard
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

Step 1

Combine the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and maple syrup. Coat the steak with the
mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate 2 hours at room temperature.

Step 1

About an hour before serving, heat the oven to 375°F. Coat the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast until crisp, turning once or twice. Keep warm. Heat the grill. Or a grill pan. Grill the steaks until medium-rare. Set aside. Briefly sauté the greens in a tablespoon of oil. Drain well. Place on dinner plates. Slice the steaks crosswise on a sharp diagonal and arrange on the greens. Top with the potatoes.

Step 2

Warm the remaining olive oil in a small skillet, add the herbs and lemon zest, and cook about 30 seconds, or until herbs are fragrant. Pour herbs and oil over potatoes and steaks. Serve.

Serves 2 — Recipe adapted from nytimes.com

How to (O)live Longer

Some olive oils fight heart disease and cognitive decline. But to get the greatest benefit, you need to pick the right stuff

Reprinted from an article in AARP Bulletin by Clint Carter, April 2020

In normal times, Italians outlive Americans by an average of four years. But in the Sicani Mountain region of Sicily, marked by rolling hills covered with olive trees, the locals live past 100 at a rate more than four times greater than Italy as a whole.

Sicani Mountain villagers eat a Mediterranean diet, snacking on olives and using the fruit’s oil to prepare dinner. As a result, their arteries are as supple as those of people 10 years younger, researchers say.

“We’ve known for 50 or 60 years that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for health, but olive oil is emerging as the most important ingredient,” says Domenico Praticò, MD, director of the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University. Among people in olive-growing regions, the incidences of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and even cognitive decline are very low.

How Olive Oil Offers Hope

Praticò and others have been exploring the effect of extra-virgin olive oil, or EVOO, on the brain. They’ve discovered that compounds in the fat of this high-grade oil can flush out proteins that gum up the communication channels between brain cells. That might delay, and even possibly reverse, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

One compound that seems to drive this effect is an olive-derived polyphenol called oleocanthal. In animal studies at Auburn University, oleocanthal demonstrated an ability to “rinse out” amyloids, which form the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. In mice EVOO can “flush out” tau, a protein that hinders language skills and memory in humans.

Buyer, Beware!

But not all the EVOO sold at the supermarket is as potent as the oil that researchers use to “flush out” neurotoxins. In lab tests more than half of imported EVOO purchased at retail failed to meet standards of quality and flavor (a marker of antioxidant content) established by the Madrid-based International Olive Council. In a 2015 analysis from the National Consumers League, 6 in 11 EVOOs obtained from reputable stores such as Safeway and Whole Foods failed the extra virgin test. They were either mislabeled or had degraded during shipping and storage. So what does all this mean? You need to know a few shopping tricks if you want to get all the protection that EVOO offers to the centenarians of the Sicani Mountains.