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.
- 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
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 8 — Recipe adapted from Cooking with Heart and Soul with Kylie Kwong, abc.net.au
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.
- 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
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.
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.)
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 4 — Adapted from olivemagazine.com
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.
- 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
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.
Place the salmon on top of the beets. Brush the salmon with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
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.
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 4 — Recipe from Curtis Stone
If you typically accompany your beef with Port wine or horseradish sauce, trade those for this bright, Asian-inflected “dressing” from Australian chef and restaurateur Kylie Kwong.
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus
- 2 tablespoons, divided use
- 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, preferably center-cut
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small mixing bowl, combine the scallions, ginger, cilantro, shoyu, vinegar, and brown sugar. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set aside.
Rub the meat on all sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then season with salt. Preheat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the meat on all sides until nicely browned, turning as needed, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the meat to a rack in a roasting pan. (Line the pan with foil for easier clean-up.) Roast until the internal temperature of the meat is 130°F for medium-rare, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Do not overcook. Let the meat rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from Tree to Table by Patrice Newell (Penguin Global, 2009)
Australians love their lamb, eating more than ten times per year the amount Americans eat. “Scottadito” translates from the Italian as “burned fingers,” as these chops are so good, people eat them with their fingers as soon as they come off the hot grill.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs for garnish
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 lamb rib chops
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them, turning the chops to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Start a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. Place the chops on the grill grate over high heat and grill, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. The outside will be well seared with the insides still pink.
Transfer to a warm platter, garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from italianchef.com
This is a great casserole to make while gardens are still yielding—substantial enough to serve as a vegetarian main course. We love recipes that command you to drizzle extra virgin olive oil straight from the bottle! Yes, I’m a profligate drizzler.
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 small zucchini (1/2 pound), sliced on a diagonal, 1/4 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread the potatoes in the dish in an even layer; drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Arrange two-thirds of the bell pepper mixture over the potatoes and drizzle with oil. Top with the tomatoes and the zucchini; drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with the remaining bell pepper mixture and sprinkle with the cheese.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Uncover the casserole and bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender and glazed on top. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Serves 4 — Recipe from Food and Wine, August 2010
One of the most pleasurable evenings on this trip was cooking dinner in the kitchen of food entrepreneur Melissa Wong and her husband, Robert. A simple vinaigrette whipped up in minutes became the unifying factor in this dish, serving as a salad dressing, a marinade, and a sauce. If you can’t find barramundi (a popular fish in Australia), substitute halibut or other mild white fish.
- 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 sliced lengthwise into quarters
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as dill, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, etc.
- 4 barramundi fillets, each 6 to 8 ounces
- 4 loosely packed cups of baby arugula, spinach, or other mixed greens
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 small Persian cucumbers, diced
- Quick Pickled Red Onions (optional; see below)
Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Whisk until the salt and honey dissolve. Continue to whisk while slowly adding the olive oil; whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Stir in the minced herbs. Taste the vinaigrette, adding more vinegar or salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/3 of the vinaigrette into a separate container, reserving the remainder.
Lay the fish fillets on a rimmed sheet pan and lightly brush both sides with the smaller portion of vinaigrette. (Dividing the vinaigrette into two containers prevents cross-contamination.) Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Toss the greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved vinaigrette (you want them coated lightly) and divide among 4 plates. Top with a few rings of Quick Pickled Red Onions, if desired.
Light a grill or preheat a stovetop grill pan to medium-high. Arrange the fillets, skin side down, on a well-oiled grill grate. Cook until the edges begin to look opaque, 2 to 3 minutes for thin fillets and 4 to 5 minutes for thicker fillets. Gently turn and cook the other side until the fish is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. (Do not overcook.) Arrange the fillets on the prepared plates. Drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette. Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge.
Quick Pickled Red Onions: Thinly slice a red onion into rings and place in a pint-size canning jar. Bring 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Pour over the onions. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club
We’ve been known to marinate shrimp before grilling, but giving the already-grilled shrimp a romp in this flavorful marinade is pure genius. (We’re grateful to longtime Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club member Steven Raichlen for the idea.) It’s equally good with scallops.
For the shrimp:
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the deconstructed pesto after-marinade:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tablespoons, divided use
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Finely grated zest and juice of l lemon
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Prepare the pesto after-marinade: Place half the olive oil (1/4 cup) in a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Add the pine nuts and garlic and fry until golden, 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic chips burn. Pour the mixture into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set the cheese in a small bowl. Right before serving, stack and roll the basil leaves (work in batches), and thinly slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.
Generously season the shrimp on all sides with salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, if using. Toss with the olive oil. If grilling large shrimp, you can arrange them directly on the grill. For smaller shrimp, use a grill grid or grilling basket, or thread them on bamboo or metal skewers. (It’s easier to turn 5 kebabs on the grill than it is 30 small shrimp.)
Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush and oil your grill grate.
Arrange the shrimp on the grate and grill until sizzling and browned on the outside and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Stir the hot shrimp into the pine nut-garlic-lemon mixture in the large bowl and toss to mix. Add the slivered basil and toss. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the hot shrimp to a platter or plates and sprinkle with the cheese.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen, host of Project Fire
This easy frittata is a great choice for either breakfast or lunch.
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook over moderate heat until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 minutes; let cool.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Stir in the broccoli. Return the skillet to the stovetop and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Pour in the eggs and cook over moderately low heat until set around the edge, 3 minutes. Sprinkle the frittata with the cheese. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the frittata until the center is just set, about 12 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with extra olive oil for drizzling.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, March 2012
The bright flavors of freshly made chimichurri (one of South America’s most popular sauces) complement shrimp beautifully. Try it with other kinds of seafood, too, like grilled salmon, sea bass, or lobster. We have also enjoyed it with eggs and chicken.
- For the chimichurri sauce:
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- For the shrimp:
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Make the chimichurri sauce: Place the onion and garlicin the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until chopped. Add the cilantro and parsley; pulse again until chopped. Add the lime juice. Slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube with the machine running. Season with salt.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Toss with half the chimichurri, then transfer the remainder of the sauce to a lidded jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (See suggested uses above.)
Serve the shrimp with rice, pasta, or cauliflower “rice.”
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from feastingathome.com