Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Antipasto Bites

For a carb-free version of these colorful, festive skewers, replace the cheese tortellini with cherry tomatoes, marinated mushroom caps, or pepperoncini.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon,
  • divided use
  • 9 ounces fresh cheese tortellini
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces mozzarella balls, such as Ciliegine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper akes
  • 4 ounces sliced salami
  • 1/4 pound roasted red peppers,
  • cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 14 ounces marinated artichoke hearts,
  • drained and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Large brined green or black olives, or a mix

Directions

Step 1

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot of boiling water. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Step 2

Season the cooked tortellini with salt and pepper. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil and mix to combine. Set aside.

Step 3

Marinate the mozzarella: Add the mozzarella balls to a small bowl along with the Italian seasoning, hot red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix to combine and set aside.

Step 4

Assemble by threading one piece each mozzarella, salami, roasted red pepper, tortellini, basil, artichoke heart, and olives on skewers.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from delish.com

Ribolitta

In the spirit of cucina povera (poverty cuisine), Italian mothers and grandmothers have repurposed for generations a thick vegetable stew (every family has their own recipe) by submerging bread and cheese in it and reheating.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, trimmed, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled garlic
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans
  • One 15-ounce can whole
    peeled tomatoes, crushed with a spoon or your fingers
  • 4 cups vegetable or other stock, such as chicken or beef
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 3/4 pound chopped kale or escarole
  • 4 large, thick slices country-style bread, toasted
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Step 1

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large oven-proof pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 450°F. Drain the beans; if they’re canned, rinse them under cold running water, then drain again. Add them to the pot along with the tomatoes and their juices, as well as the stock, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the soup bubbles steadily; cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the flavors meld, 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 3

Fish out and discard the rosemary and thyme stems and stir in the kale. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Lay the bread slices on top of the stew so they cover the top and overlap as little as possible. Scatter the red onion slices over the top, drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Step 4

Put the pot in the oven and bake until the bread, onions and cheese are browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. (If your pot fits under the broiler, you can also brown the top there.) Divide the soup and bread among 4 bowls and serve with extra virgin olive oil for drizzling.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

Sweet Potato Soup with Sage Pesto

A cornucopia of seasonal flavors comes together in this creamy vegetarian soup. It’s homey, yet you can serve it to the most sophisticated palates in your best china or rustic soup bowls. It gets a double hit of fresh-pressed olive oil, which is used in the vibrant, herbaceous pesto as well as the soup.

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, plus more if needed
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (3 or 4 potatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cayenne, or to taste
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 14-ounce can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese

For the pesto:

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup shelled green pistachios, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and hot red
  • pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1

Make the pesto: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the sage and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant and crisp. Remove from the heat.

Step 2

In a food processor, pulse together the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, the kale, pistachios, and Parmesan until finely chopped. Add the sage and season to taste with salt and hot red pepper flakes. Pulse to combine.

Step 3

Make the soup: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and butter and cook another 30 seconds. Pour in the broth. Add the sweet potatoes, cayenne, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Step 4

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup directly in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, use a blender to puree the soup in batches.) Stir in the coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of the sage pesto and cook another 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, thin with additional broth.

Step 5

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Swirl each bowl of soup with a spoonful of the sage pesto. Break the burrata and spoon some over the top of the soup.

Serves 6 — Recipe from halfbakedharvest.com