Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Japanese Eggplants with Olive Oil and Tomatoes

A few years ago, I met Australian celebrity chef Kylie Kwong at the Eveleigh farmers’ market in Sydney. Kylie’s well known for her Asian fusion food, which often features extra virgin olive oil. Serve this as a starter or side dish. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Japanese eggplants 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • Several sprigs (about 1/4 bunch) fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon Freshly ground black pepper 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Halve eggplants lengthways, leaving the stems intact. Place in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the 1/3 cup of olive oil, sprinkle with the garlic and thyme sprigs, and season with salt. Tightly cover the baking sheet with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until eggplants are tender. Remove from oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Remove the foil and the thyme sprigs. Bake the eggplants, uncovered, 15 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Arrange the eggplants on a platter and top with the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Serves 6 to 8Recipe adapted from Cooking with Heart and Soul with Kylie Kwong, abc.net.au 

Grilled Halloumi and Greek Salad Wraps

Halloumi, a brined goat’s milk cheese from Cyprus, is having a moment in Australia. On my most recent trip, it seemed to be everywhere! Because it has a high melting point, this firm, somewhat salty cheese can be grilled, fried, or sautéed without losing its shape. You can cut it into cubes, sauté it, then anoint with EVOO and coarse salt. Voila! An easy appetizer. 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced
  • One head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and torn
  • 12 brined Kalamata olives, drained, pitted, and halved
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 ounces of halloumi, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch thick slices
  • 4 flatbreads or wraps, or use lettuce leaves for a low-carb option
  • 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt 

Directions

Step 1

Make the salad: In a bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, olives, and parsley. Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the dressing. 

Step 2

Coat the slices of halloumi with olive oil. (To do this easily, pour some oil on a rimmed sheet pan and gently dredge the cheese through it, coating both sides.) Heat a grill pan to medium and grill the cheese for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning with tongs or a thin-bladed spatula. (Work in batches if needed.) 

Step 3

Spread each of the flatbreads (or a lettuce leaf) with a tablespoon of the yogurt. Top each with a quarter of the salad and the halloumi. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4Adapted from olivemagazine.com 

Curtis Stone’s Pan-Roasted Salmon and Beets

Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone champions healthy eating while minimizing dinner dishes with this recipe. Generally, we’ve noticed Aussies love their beets, even putting them on hamburgers. 

Ingredients

  • 4 medium beets, preferably golden (1 pound total), scrubbed and very thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 1/2 pound skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh chives, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups mixed baby greens
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a baking sheet, toss the beets with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the beets in the center of the baking sheet forming a bed large enough to hold the salmon. Roast the beets for about 20 minutes, or until tender-crisp. 

Step 2

Place the salmon on top of the beets. Brush the salmon with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Step 3

In a large bowl, mix the parsley, chives, and tarragon. Sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the mixed herbs over the salmon. Roast the salmon for about 15 minutes, or until cooked to medium-rare (slightly rosy in the center). Remove from the oven. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, the shallots, lemon zest and juice into the remaining mixed herbs. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. 

Step 4

Toss the mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Drizzle the remaining dressing over and around the salmon and beets and serve the greens alongside. 

Serves 4Recipe from Curtis Stone