Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Penne with Warm Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is also delicious as a topping for bruschetta or pizza. And you can let it cool to room temperature and use it as a dressing on cold dishes as well as salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound farfalle
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Directions

Step 1

Cook the pasta as directed. While it’s cooking, heat a sauté pan over medium heat, and add two tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots, and cook until softened, stirring frequently. 

Step 2

Add in the cherry tomatoes, and cook until they blister, about 5 minutes, pressing down on them with a wooden spoon to release their juices and smash them a bit. Add the vinegar and the rest of the olive oil, and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Step 3

Drain the pasta, top with the mozzarella and the cherry tomatoes, and toss well. Garnish with the chives and serve. 

Yields 4 servings

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Salmoriglio

With origins in Sicily, this simple yet zesty sauce is also excellent with grilled salmon, beef, poultry, or vegetables. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the fish
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1 tablespoon brined capers, drained (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tuna steaks, each 6 to 8 ounces and 1-inch thick 

Directions

Step 1

Make the salmoriglio: Put the 1/2 cup olive oil in a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Whisk in the lemon juice and hot water. Stir in the garlic, parsley, oregano, capers if using, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt if you’re using capers). Keep warm. 

Step 2

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high (450ºF). Lightly brush the fish with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grill grate, and grill until the fish is opaque and easily flakes when pressed with a fork—about 12 minutes, turning once with a spatula. (If you prefer your tuna on the rare side, cook the steaks for less time.) 

Step 3

Transfer the tuna to a platter or plates, and drizzle with the salmoriglio. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. 

Yields 4 servings

Roast Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This South American-inspired olive oil-rich pesto elevates simple roasted chicken and packs an herby punch. 

Ingredients

  • 1 3-1/2- to 4-pound chicken 
  • 2 tablespoons, separated, plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), unsalted 
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons water, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 

Directions

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the inside and outside generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 60 to 70 minutes or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of a thigh is 165°F. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.  

Step 2

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the pesto. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-hot skillet, and add the pumpkin seeds. Sauté until the seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes, but don’t let them burn. Cool, and then transfer the seeds to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cilantro, parsley, garlic, water, lime juice, and cumin, and pulse several times. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil until you get a purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more lime juice if needed. (If it’s too thick, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time.) Serve with the chicken. Refrigerate any leftover pesto to use as a dip. 

Yields 2-3 servings

Citrus Pork Rib Roast with Roasted Fennel

This recipe serves a large crowd. For smaller gatherings, cook just one rib roast and cut all the other ingredients in half. If you can’t get bone-in pork rib roasts locally, substitute pork loin roast or even thick pork chops—adjust the cooking times accordingly. The citrus marinade is also excellent with chicken. 

Ingredients

  • Two 5-bone pork rib roasts, each about 4 pounds 
  • 3 lemons, sliced into eighths and seeded
  • 3 navel oranges, sliced into eighths
  • 1/2 grapefruit, sliced into quarters and seeded 
  • 1/2 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 small sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds 
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 fresh or 5 dried bay leaves
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed, or 1/4 cup gin
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground fresh black pepper 
  • 3 large fennel bulbs 
  • 15 kumquats
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Directions

Step 1

Put the pork roasts in one or two jumbo-sized resealable plastic bags, a large glass bowl, or baking dish. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemons, oranges, grapefruit, onion, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, and 1/4 cup of olive oil and pulse until the mixture is roughly chopped and juicy. Take the bowl off the processor base, remove the blade, and stir in the cloves, bay leaves, and juniper berries or gin. Pour the marinade over the pork roasts. Seal the bags and place them in a roasting pan to contain any leaks or, if marinating in a large container, cover well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours, turning periodically to redistribute the marinade. 

Step 2

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a very large roasting pan by lining it with foil (for an easy cleanup) and placing a roasting rack in it; set aside. Scrape the marinade off the roasts and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Sear one roast until caramelized, turning as needed with tongs, and then transfer it to the roasting pan. Repeat with the other roast. Place the pan in the upper two-thirds of the oven (you’ll need a second oven rack placed in the bottom third for the fennel and kumquats). Set a timer for 40 minutes. 

Step 3

While the pork is roasting, prepare the fennel. Cut off the fronds, the feathery green tops of the fennel stalks, chop a few and set aside. Refrigerate the rest of the fronds for other uses. Trim the bottoms of the bulbs and cut off the stalks; reserve the stalks for another dish or the next time you make stock. Cut each bulb vertically through the core into 4 sections. Drizzle the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with some of the remaining olive oil and arrange the fennel pieces on top. Drizzle more olive oil over the fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the kumquats among the fennel. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of your oven when the timer goes off. Roast, turning once, until the fennel is tender and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer the fennel and kumquats to a platter. Dust with the grated cheese and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. 

Step 4

Remove the pork roasts from the oven when the internal temperature in the thickest part is 140°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes total (this should coincide with the fennel/kumquat cooking time). Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into chops. Serve with the roasted fennel and kumquats. 

Yields 10 servings