Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Spicy Roasted Almonds

This take on a tapas staple is marvelous when made with Spanish Marcona almonds, but you can also experiment with hazelnuts, cashews, walnut halves, or pistachios. If you own a smoker, smoke-roast the nuts the next time you fire it up. They’re great served with a glass of Spanish sherry.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole skinless almonds
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pimentón
  • Coarse sea salt

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Put the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon or toss with your fingers until they are evenly coated, and then spread them out in a single layer. Roast until they turn a light golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Once out of the oven, blot them with paper towels to remove any excess oil. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and toss with the pimentón, adding salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Yields 6-8 servings.

Ottolenghi’s Burrata with Grilled Grapes and Basil

Delight family or dinner guests with this decadent cream-filled cheese (a member of the pasta filata, or “pulled cheese,” family). Here, it’s partnered with sweet grilled grape skewers and exquisite best-quality olive oil. For the salt, I recommend Australia’s flaky, apricot-colored Murray River salt.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces seedless red grapes, pulled off the vine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed, divided use
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds, lightly crushed, divided use
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Murray River (see above) or Maldon
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 balls of burrata or buffalo mozzarella
  • Small basil sprigs, for serving

Directions

Step 1

Put the grapes in a medium bowl with the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of flaked salt, and plenty of pepper. Mix well and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Thread 5 or 6 grapes onto each of 12 skewers. Reserve the marinade for serving.

Step 2

Place a grill pan over high heat and ventilate your kitchen well. Once hot, add the grape skewers in batches and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning after 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Step 3

To serve, tear the balls of burrata in half and place one-half on each plate. Lean 2 grape skewers against each piece of cheese and spoon 1 1/2 teaspoon of the marinade over the cheese. Or arrange the cheese and grape skewers on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed. Garnish with basil before serving.

Serves 6 as a starter — Recipe adapted from food52.com

Smoked Salmon and Nori Rolls

Luscious hot-smoked salmon is a specialty of the island of Tasmania, an offshore Australian state. A bit of wasabi gives these colorful rolls a “devilish” flavor profile. If you prefer, replace the edamame spread with a schmear of cream cheese mixed with wasabi paste. A mandoline is a handy tool for slicing the cukes.

Ingredients

For the edamame wasabi spread:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi powder mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

To assemble the rolls:

  • 8 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 cup edamame wasabi spread
  • 8 ounces of smoked wild salmon
  • Sixteen 1/4-inch slices of English cucumber, cut lengthwise
  • 16 thin strips stemmed and seeded red bell pepper
  • 16 slices ripe but rm avocado (about 2 large, pitted and peeled)
  • 24 fresh mint leaves
  • 24 fresh cilantro leaves
  • White or black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Step 1

Make the edamame wasabi spread: Put the edamame, sea salt, water, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, and wasabi paste in a small food processor and process until smooth. Add more lime juice, salt, or wasabi, if needed; you want well-balanced flavors.

Step 2

Place a sheet of nori on a work surface with the rough side facing up. Carefully spread 2 tablespoons of the edamame wasabi mixture over the nori, leaving 1 1/2 inches bare along the bottom edge of the nori (the edge facing you) and 1/2 inch bare along the top edge.

Step 3

Place 2 pieces each of the salmon, cucumber, bell pepper, and avocado about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom edge. Top with 3 mint leaves and 3 cilantro leaves. Starting with the bare edge, roll the nori around the fillings, pressing gently to make a compact roll. Run a water-moistened finger along the inside edge of the nori and press gently so it adheres to the roll.

Step 4

Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cut each roll into 8 pieces using a sharp serrated knife. Sprinkle the cut sides with sesame seeds, if desired. Can be made several hours ahead.

Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from drweil.com

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes with Mojo Colorado

Mojo colorado is a classic red chile sauce from Spain’s Canary Islands. Great on smashed potatoes, it’s also wonderful as an accompaniment to anything you cook on the grill—meat, fish, or veggies.

Ingredients

For the mojo colorado:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pimentón
  • 1 small, fresh, hot red chile, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

For the potatoes:

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimentón

Directions

Step 1

Make the mojo colorado: Char the bell pepper over a gas burner or under a broiler until it is blackened and blistered on all sides. Peel, stem, seed, and tear it into several pieces. Place in a blender jar with the other sauce ingredients, and blend until smooth. Add more salt if needed or water to thin. Set aside.

Step 2

Bake the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 375°F. (If you used your broiler to roast the pepper, let the oven cool to 375° before continuing the recipe.) Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat a baking dish large enough to accommodate the potatoes. Bake the potatoes until they are soft when pierced with a knife or a bamboo skewer, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and gently smash each potato with the back of a large spoon. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with salt. Top with the grated Manchego cheese and dust with pimentón. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Drizzle with the mojo colorado before serving.

Yields 4 to 6 side-dish servings.