Here’s another great recipe I picked up from chef Arantxa Lamas during my time in Spain. It’s keto-friendly, too—a plus in my book.
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, each cored and sliced into eighths
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste
- Optional garnishes: Finely diced red or green bell pepper, red or white onion, or cucumber
In a nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Stir to macerate the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Use an immersion blender to puree the gazpacho. Strain through a food mill. Taste, adding more salt or vinegar, if needed. Cover and chill until serving time. Serve in chilled bowls with your choice of garnishes and a few drops of olive oil.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of chef Arantxa Lamas
Never before have I been so aware of the many varieties of beans and other legumes grown in the Mediterranean and the resourceful ways they are utilized by the region’s talented cooks. The white bean bruschetta Meghan and I ate in Florence (splashed with just-pressed EVOO) was delicious beyond description.
- 2 cups cooked white beans (like cannellini or great northern), drained and rinsed
- 3 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, diced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided use, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup basil, julienned
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/3-inch slices
Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, mix the beans, tomatoes, olives, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
Place the bread on a baking sheet. Brush with the remaining olive oil. Broil a few inches from the heat for about 1 minute per side, or until golden. (Alternatively, you can grill the bread on an outdoor grill.)
Drizzle olive oil on each slice of bread and top with the bean mixture. Drizzle more olive oil on top, if desired.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com
This popular Greek meze relies on simple ingredients, meaning they must be of the highest quality (like your fresh-pressed olive oil). If desired, the eggplant can be grilled indirectly on a charcoal or gas grill.
- 3 large purple eggplants
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Using a fork, pierce the eggplants all over and place them on a clean rimmed sheet pan. Transfer to the oven and bake until the eggplants are completely soft and the skins have browned, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the garlic, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Stir to combine.
Transfer the eggplants to a clean cutting board. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Chop the eggplant flesh and transfer to the bowl with the olive oil mixture. Stir to combine. Season with salt. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from saveur.com
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