Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Philly-Style Cheesesteaks

While delicious and beloved, the classic sandwich is somewhat of a greasy hot mess. With just a few tweaks, including a leaner cut of meat than usual and polyphenol-rich olive oil, it becomes a satisfying meal with a better health profile. If you prefer, swap mozzarella for the provolone.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds flank steak
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 thin baguettes or 4 seeded rolls, whole grain if possible 
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices provolone cheese 
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly 
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced

Directions

Step 1

Prep the flank steak: To make the meat easier to thinly slice, place it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes to firm it up and get it frosty, but not to the point it’s frozen. For already frozen meat that you’re defrosting, slice before it thaws out completely. While you’re waiting, set out a platter and grab your raw meat-only cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife. (As an alternative, you can use the thin-slice blade of your food processor and work with chunks that will fit into the spout.) When the meat is ready, slice it against the grain—in the opposite direction of the meat fibers. Toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside.

Step 2

Cut each baguette in half and then slice each bread section about three-quarters of the way through. For each sandwich, spread mustard on one side of the bread and layer on the provolone.

Step 3

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion and bell pepper slices; lower the heat and slow-cook until the onions are fully caramelized. Use a large slotted spoon to move the veggies to a bowl. 

Step 4

Raise the heat back to medium-high and then add the rest of the olive oil. Add the meat (work in batches if needed to avoid crowding). Sear the meat, then use tongs to flip each piece and continue to sauté until well cooked with the edges slightly crispy.  

Step 5

To finish assembling the sandwiches, place equal amounts of the hot meat over the cheese—the heat will melt it. Top each with a generous amount of onions and peppers and a drizzle of olive oil.

Yields 4 servings

Asparagus Frittata with Piquillo Pepper Sauce

Frittatas are infinitely customizable—you can add to them nearly any cooked meat or vegetable you would like—and don’t require any scary maneuvers (like flipping the entire dish multiple times as it cooks, as you do with a tortilla Espagnole). Feel free to substitute a couple of roasted, peeled, and seeded red peppers for the piquillos if you don’t have the latter on hand.

Ingredients

For the frittata:

  • 8 to 10 stalks fresh asparagus, medium width 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided use
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk

For the piquillo pepper sauce:

  • One 6.5 ounce jar piquillo peppers, seeded and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon best-quality sherry or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pimentón
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste

Directions

Step 1

Trim the tough, fibrous ends off the asparagus, then slice into 1-inch lengths. Warm a 10-inch oven-proof nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium- high heat. Add the olive oil and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Sauté the asparagus for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Set aside and allow the pan and asparagus to cool. Distribute the asparagus evenly in the pan, then sprinkle with half the cheese; reserve the remaining cheese. In the meantime, heat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2

Break the eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Add the cream. Whisk just until the egg yolks, whites, and cream are combined. (Do not overbeat, or the frittata will be dense.) Carefully pour the egg mixture over the asparagus and cheese. Transfer the pan to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the frittata is just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the frittata in the last 5 minutes of baking. Let the frittata cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Step 3

While the frittata bakes, make the piquillo pepper sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Process until the sauce is smooth. Taste, adding more vinegar or salt as needed. Drizzle over the plated frittata wedges or serve the sauce on the side. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days if not using immediately.

Serves 6

Skillet Shrimp with Leeks and Beans

This dish uses two of the more delicate members of the allium family—leeks and chives—to add oniony taste without overpowering the shrimp. If you want more zest, be generous with the red pepper flakes.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds shrimp (18-20 count), peeled 
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick discs, and rinsed if sandy
  • 1/2 cup white wine or shrimp stock
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (if canned, rinsed and drained)
  • Juice and zest of a medium lemon
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives

Directions

Step 1

Toss the shrimp with the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; set aside.

Step 2

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan. When hot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the leeks; sprinkle them with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to sweat them. Cook over low heat until they soften. Once tender, push them to the sides, add the last tablespoon of oil to the center of the pan, then add shrimp in one layer to sear. When the undersides turn opaque, after 2-3 minutes, use tongs to flip them and cook 2 more minutes.

Step 3

Deglaze the pan with the wine or stock. Add the beans, lemon juice and zest, and red pepper flakes, if using; stir well. Add the butter and stir it into the sauce as it melts. Top with the chives and serve.

Yields 4 servings

Pan-Sauteéd Cod

This simple prep creates a delicious sauce for the fish, and it cooks in a single pan. If you can’t find wild-caught cod, you can substitute another white-fleshed fish, fresh or frozen, preferably sustainably caught. There are now wonderful online fishmongers that ship expertly frozen fish to your door.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds cod, loin cut
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

Step 1

Use paper towels to thoroughly pat the fish dry; season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and then the fish, skinned side up. Arrange the garlic and cherry tomatoes around the fish and cook for 8 minutes (overall cooking time will be longer than for a thin fillet). Use a wide spatula to flip the fish, then add the wine. After 3 minutes, cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking until cooked through, about another 5 minutes.

Step 2

Take off the cover, add the butter, squeeze the lemon over the fish and tomatoes, and sprinkle with the oregano. Once the butter melts, spoon the sauce over the fish, then transfer to a serving platter for an elegant presentation or slice into individual sections and plate. (If you’d like a thicker sauce, remove the fillet and turn up the heat, cooking the sauce until it reduces.)

Step 3

Serve with the tomatoes, pan sauce, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Yields 4 servings