This pleasing appetizer goes together in 5 minutes or less, and is a perfect way to showcase fragrant fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 ripe but firm avocados, halved, peeled, and pitted, each sliced lengthwise into 6 wedges
- 6 very thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto, halved
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Crunchy sea salt, such as Maldon
Wrap each avocado wedge in a piece of prosciutto. Arrange on a platter or plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Top with a few grains of crunchy sea salt. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club
Fresh tomatoes usually get all the love, obscuring the fact that canned tomatoes, preserved at their peak in their own juices, are wonderful, too! This soup, though made of humble ingredients, is transformed when drizzled with exquisitely fresh olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juices
- 2 sprigs fresh basil, plus torn leaves for serving
- 1/3 pound (about 6 ounces) fresh or stale rustic bread, crusts removed, torn or cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups warm vegetable or chicken stock, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Add the onion and cook, stirring, just until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices, along with the basil sprigs, and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the bread. Ladle the stock on top, stirring to combine. Simmer the soup, adding more stock as needed, until the bread is completely softened and custardy and soup has thickened to a porridge-like consistency, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs.
Divide the soup between four bowls, generously drizzle the soup with olive oil, and grind black pepper on top. Garnish with torn basil leaves and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com
Unexpected company? You likely have everything you need in your pantry to quickly put together this twist on conventional hummus.
- 1 cup black beans, cooked and drained, some juice reserved (canned okay)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 jalapeño, deveined and seeded, or a few pickled jalapeño rings
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a creamy purée. If the hummus is too thick, blend in a tablespoon of water or reserved bean juice. Serve with baked tortilla wedges, pita bread, raw vegetables, or tortilla chips.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from healthyseasonalrecipes.com
Like a refined version of gazpacho, this soup is refreshing and can be served as a starter or light main course. Make the soup and the herbed crème fraîche a day ahead of time, if desired, and refrigerate. (Let the crème fraîche come to room temperature before serving.)
- 4 pounds tomatoes, quartered and seeded
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, plus tarragon leaves for garnish
Working in a blender in 2 batches, puree the tomatoes with the vegetable broth, olive oil, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and sugar until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the chopped tarragon and season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of the crème fraîche, garnish with the tarragon leaves, and serve.
Serves 6 — Recipe from foodandwine.com