Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Towpath Olive Oil Cake

This recipe was recommended to us by a talented baker who pronounced it a keeper, one of the best cake recipes in her files. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • Juice of 1 orange 

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 

Step 2

In a small bowl, stir the flour and baking powder together. 

Step 3

Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Step 4

Add the olive oil, milk, orange zest, and orange juice and beat for another minute or two. Turn off the machine and fold in the flour mixture by hand. 

Step 5

Scrape into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely before serving. 

Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 8 to 10Recipe from The London Cookbook by Aleksandra Crapanzano, Ten Speed Press (2016) 

Grilled Shrimp with Deconstructed Pesto After-Marinade

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. 

Ingredients

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 

Directions

Step 1

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. 

Step 2

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.) 

Step 3

Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush and oil your grill grate. 

Step 4

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. 

Step 5

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 4Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen, host of Project Fire 

Broccoli Frittata

This easy frittata is a great choice for either breakfast or lunch. 

Ingredients

  • 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) 

Directions

Step 1

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. 

Step 2

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 6Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, March 2012 

Black Bean Hummus

Unexpected company? You likely have everything you need in your pantry to quickly put together this twist on conventional hummus.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans, cooked and drained, some juice reserved (canned okay)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 jalapeño, deveined and seeded, or a few pickled jalapeño rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste

Directions

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a creamy purée. If the hummus is too thick, blend in a tablespoon of water or reserved bean juice. Serve with baked tortilla wedges, pita bread, raw vegetables, or tortilla chips.

Serves 4Recipe adapted from healthyseasonalrecipes.com

Chilled Tomato Soup with Créme Fraiche

Like a refined version of gazpacho, this soup is refreshing and can be served as a starter or light main course. Make the soup and the herbed crème fraîche a day ahead of time, if desired, and refrigerate. (Let the crème fraîche come to room temperature before serving.)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, plus tarragon leaves for garnish

Directions

Step 1

Working in a blender in 2 batches, puree the tomatoes with the vegetable broth, olive oil, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and sugar until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Step 2

In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the chopped tarragon and season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of the crème fraîche, garnish with the tarragon leaves, and serve.

Serves 6Recipe from foodandwine.com

Chimichurri Shrimp

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.)

Step 3

Serve the shrimp with rice, pasta, or cauliflower “rice.”

Serves 4Recipe adapted from feastingathome.com

Grilled Salmon with Watercress and Cherry Tomatoes

With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, you can imagine how wonderful Chile’s seafood is. We prefer to grill salmon with the skin on, as it protects the fish from the high heat of the grill.

Ingredients

  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, preferably wild-caught
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons merquén, chili powder, or smoked paprika
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups watercress, rinsed, drained, and dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably a colorful heirloom mix, halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

Directions

Step 1

Rinse the salmon fillets under cold running water and dry on paper towels. Run your fingers over the flesh side and remove any pin bones with kitchen tweezers or pliers. Using a pastry brush, brush 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on both sides of the salmon fillets. Season evenly with the merquén as well as salt and pepper. 

Step 2

Make the vinaigrette: In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 3

Combine the watercress and tomatoes in a mixing bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

Step 4

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. Arrange the salmon, skin side down, directly on the grill grate. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the salmon is opaque and flakes easily when pressed with a fork. Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the salmon fillets to a plate or platter.

Step 5

Shake the jar with the vinaigrette ingredients vigorously until the dressing is emulsified. Immediately pour over the watercress and tomatoes, and toss gently. Divide among four dinner plates and top with the salmon fillets.

Serves 4Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Broccoli Rabe with Chile and Garlic

Blanching in salted water before sautéing takes some of the bitterness out of broccoli rabe.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Directions

Step 1

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Working in 2 batches, cook the broccoli rabe just until bright green, about 10 seconds. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze excess liquid from the broccoli rabe and coarsely chop.

Step 2

Cook the garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the garlic is just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and red pepper flakes and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes; season with salt. Serve broccoli rabe drizzled with more olive oil.

Serves 4Recipe from bonappetit.com

Scrambled Eggs with Sumac and Pine Nuts

Sumac was long used in the Mediterranean to add tartness to dishes before the Romans introduced lemons. It gives an exotic “spice market” flavor to scrambled eggs. 

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Warm flatbread such as pita or lavash 

Directions

Gently beat eggs with a big pinch of salt and some pepper in a medium bowl with a fork. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until they are barely set and still slightly runny (they will continue to cook after removal from the pan), about 1 minute. Immediately transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with pine nuts, sumac, and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately with flatbread. 

Serves 3 to 4Recipe from seriouseats.com 

Escalivada

This is Spain’s answer to ratatouille, a platter of smoky, jewel-like vegetables in a simple olive oil and sherry vinaigrette. Serve on bread, with cheese, or with meat or fish. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped chives, for garnish 

Directions

Step 1

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the onion slices and whole peppers and eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the vegetables on the grill, and cook, turning as needed, until charred and soft, 15 minutes for the onions, 20 minutes for the peppers, and 30 minutes for the eggplant. (Alternatively, roast the vegetables in the oven.) 

Step 2

Place the peppers and eggplant in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the vegetables stand for 15 minutes, and then uncover and peel; discard their skins, stems, and the seeds from the peppers. 

Step 3

Still in the bowl, use your hands to tear the peppers and eggplant into long strips, and then arrange them, alternating, on a platter with the onions. Mix the juices left behind in the bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and then drizzle the dressing over the vegetables. Sprinkle with chives before serving. 

Serves 4Recipe from Saveur, June 27, 2015