Fresh asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, especially when paired with a luscious olive oil sabayon. If not using the asparagus immediately, trim the ends (as you would cut flowers) and stand upright in a tall glass of water. Cover the tips with a plastic bag and refrigerate for a day or two.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 pound green or white asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black or white pepper
Place the wine and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the mixture by three-quarters and let cool.
Steam the asparagus in a double boiler over medium-high heat until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes; set aside but keep warm.
Transfer the wine reduction to the top of a double boiler and add the egg yolks. Set over simmering water over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the yolks thicken enough to fall into thin ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the olive oil. Thin, if necessary, with one to two tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the asparagus on a platter, spoon on the sauce, and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from saveur.com
A splash of sherry or red wine vinegar cuts the richness of the chorizo and brightens the flavors. Find cured Spanish chorizo online or in the international aisle of your supermarket. (Do not confuse cured, salami-like Spanish chorizo with raw Mexican chorizo, which must be cooked before using.)
- 2 slices country-style bread, crusts removed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 4 skinless cod or halibut fillets, each about 6 ounces
Heat the oven to 425°F. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring often, until the bread crumbs are golden and crisp, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the parsley and oregano, and toss to combine. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil as well as the shallot and chorizo, and cook, stirring often, until the chorizo is just crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Season the cod with salt and pepper and cook until the bottom side begins to turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Serve the cod topped with the chorizo mixture and toasted breadcrumbs.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from bonappetit.com
The cuisine of the Iberian peninsula was heavily influenced throughout history by its many conquerors. This dish, a popular one throughout Spain, was no doubt introduced to the country by the Moors. The key to its texture and flavors is to cook each vegetable slowly and individually. Your patience will be well rewarded!
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and crushed by hand
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For the vegetables:
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced (for about 2 cups)
- 2 red bell peppers, stemmed and diced (for about 2 cups)
- 1 Cubanelle or Anaheim pepper, stemmed and diced
- 2 medium zucchini squash, stemmed and diced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for serving
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese, for serving
Make the tomato sauce: Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir-fry the garlic. Add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low (your stovetop’s minimum setting) and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Make the vegetable mixture: Heat a second heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat
and, when hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and stir in the onion. Cook the onion until it becomes translucent and golden. (Do not let the onion brown.) Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and stir in the peppers. Cook over low heat, stirring from time to time. Add the peppers to the onions. Cook the zucchini the same way as the peppers. Leave in the pan. Return the onions and peppers to the pan with the zucchini; add the tomato sauce. Turn the heat to very low. Cook for 45 minutes, seasoning to taste with the salt, black pepper, and sugar.
Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for several hours to allow the flavors to develop. Reheat gently, then transfer to warmed shallow bowls. Top each serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from food52.com
Extra virgin olive oil is featured twice in this lovely lemon tart—in the crust and the filling. But if you’re short on time (or don’t own a tart pan), pour the lemony filling into a prepared graham cracker crust before baking.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3 large eggs, plus 3 additional egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F.
Make the crust: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl. Add the oil and water and stir until the dough forms. (Do not overwork.) Using your hands, crumble three-fourths of the dough over the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough to an even thickness in the bottom of the pan. Crumble the remaining dough and scatter it evenly around edge of the pan, then press the crumbled dough into the fluted rim to achieve an even thickness. Place the pan on a rimmed sheet pan and bake until the crust is golden brown and firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
About 5 minutes before the crust is finished baking, make the filling: Whisk the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan until combined. Whisk in the eggs and yolks until no streaks of egg remain. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan, until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 160°F, 5 to 8 minutes.
Off the heat, whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Pour the curd into the warm tart shell.
Bake until the filling is set and barely jiggles when the pan is shaken, 8 to 12 minutes. Let the tart cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours. Remove the outer metal ring of the tart pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the tart and the pan bottom, then carefully slide the tart onto a serving platter. Cut the tart into wedges, wiping the knife clean between cuts, if necessary, and serve.
Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from peteandgerrys.com