Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Olive Oil-Marinated Feta

This recipe is simplicity itself, plus you can really make it your own by swapping your favorite fresh or dried peppers and herbs for the jalapeño and thyme. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks—just bring it to room temperature before serving. The marinated cheese cubes are delicious as is or served over a bed of greens. If they start to lose their shape, use it as a spread on crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce block of feta
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cut into rings
  • ½ lemon, sliced into rings
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed

Directions

Step 1

Cube the feta and place in a shallow glass bowl with a lid or a 2-cup mason jar. Tuck the pepper, lemon rings, and thyme in the spaces between the cheese cubes. Cover with the olive oil and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2

If not serving right away, cover the bowl or close the mason jar and refrigerate. The flavors will infuse the cheese over time.

Yields 4 appetizer servings ​

Roasted Butternut Bisque

This soup is hearty enough for a meal—just add salad and crusty bread. It’s equally delicious made with Hubbard squash when you can find it! You can also get creative with toppings—a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of pomegranate arils, and perhaps roasted and chopped nuts.

Ingredients

  • One 2-pound butternut squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 apple, such as Macoun or Gala, cut into chunks
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Yields 4 servings

Directions

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice the squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds (you may roast them separately for a crunchy snack). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the parchment and roast for one hour or until a knife tip easily pierces the flesh. Let the squash cool while you continue with the recipe.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet until hot—a few drops of water sprinkled on the pan will sizzle when it’s ready. Add the rest of the olive oil, the onions, carrots, apple, and scallions; slow-cook until soft but not browned. Add the sherry and cook for another 10 minutes.

Step 3

Peel the skin from the squash and cut the squash into chunks. Working in batches as needed, place the squash, the other cooked ingredients, and the broth in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the soup to a large saucepan and heat through before serving. Season with the curry powder, if desired, and a few pinches of pepper.

Clam Cakes Remoulade

These clam cakes come together in minutes. The remoulade sauce is a delicious garnish—use any leftovers as a flavorful sandwich spread. 

Ingredients

For the remoulade:

  • 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Obrycki’s or Old Bay
  • 1 large pickle spear, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

For the clam cakes:

  • 6 ounces of clams, freshly steamed or canned and drained
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 12 spicy corn tortilla chips, such as Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Step 1

For the remoulade: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed.

Step 2

For the clam cakes: If you’re steaming fresh clams, reserve the juice they release for another recipe. If you’re using large cherrystones, use kitchen shears to cut them into pieces for easier processing. Pulse the clams, vegetables, and chips in a food processor until you get a fine dice. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in half the flour, the mayo, hot sauce, and parsley. Form into about 10 small or 6 large patties. 

Step 3

Place the rest of the flour in a pie plate. Heat a heavy skillet and then add the olive oil. Very lightly dip both sides of each patty into the flour, shake off any excess, and place in skillet. Cook until a light crust develops, about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer the clam cakes to a serving dish or individual plates. Top with dollops of the remoulade and pass more on the side. 

Yields 3-4 servings

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Salsa Verde

This is an easy and flavorful entrée, and so healthy, too. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, and salmon delivers Omega-3 fatty acids. Win-win!

Ingredients

  • 1 skinless side of salmon, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 loosely packed cup of roughly chopped dill fronds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Step 1

Heat the oven to 325°F. Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish that fits it with at least 1 inch around all sides. Coat the salmon fillet (top and bottom) with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Bake until the salmon is opaque on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted into
the thickest part of the fillet reads 130°F for medium, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the salsa verde: Toast the fennel and cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and crush to a rough powder (or crush the seeds with a heavy skillet on your cutting board). Finely grate the zest from the lemon into a bowl then halve and juice the lemon into the same bowl. Stir in the crushed spices, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the dill and walnuts. Season the salsa verde with salt and pepper.

Step 4

Remove the salmon from the oven and spoon the salsa verde all over the top of the salmon. Let the fillet rest for 5 minutes, then serve family-style straight from the baking dish.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe from latimes.com