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

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

Chimichurri Aioli

This olive-oil based recipe turns chimichurri into an aioli, a highly flavored, garlicky mayonnaise. It’s great as a veggie dip, a condiment, and even a dressing for cold pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg*
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 

Directions

Step 1

Combine everything except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process until the garlic and herbs are finely chopped.

Step 2

With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube until the mixture is thick and smooth and has the consistency of mayonnaise. 

Step 3

Taste, adding more vinegar or salt as needed. If the mixture is too thick, add a few drops of water and process for a few seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Note: The USDA advises for recipes that call for eggs that are raw, to use either shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products. This is especially important for pregnant women and young children. Alternatively, you can leave out the egg and, if the aioli needs thickening, add up to 3 tablespoons of high-quality mayonnaise at the end.

Yields a generous cup

Marinated Fish with Salmoriglio Sauce

Nearly any kind of mild fish can be enhanced with salmoriglio, a centuries-old sauce with uncertain beginnings that is popular in southern Italy. We also love it on potatoes, chicken, and shrimp or other shellfish.

Ingredients

For the Fish:

  • White vinegar
  • 2 pounds fish fillets, such as trout, halibut, or wild salmon, with or without skin
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Salmoriglio Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Step 1

Pour a little vinegar over the fish fillets, then rinse them under cold, running water. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and arrange them on an ovenproof glass or ceramic platter. Rub a little salt over the skinless sides of the fillets and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Spread half of the bread crumbs over the fillets and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; turn the fillets and repeat with the remaining bread crumbs and olive oil. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2

In a mini food processor, combine the thyme leaves, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Pulse for 1 minute. Add the butter and process until smooth. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin, constant stream until fully incorporated. Season the sauce with salt, then pour into a sauceboat.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 400°F or light a grill. Bake the fish on a rimmed sheet pan until just cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, grill the fish, skin side down for skin-on fillets, for about 5 minutes; turn the fillets and grill just until they flake, about 4 minutes longer. (Cooking times are approximate and could vary depending on the type of fish and the thickness of the fillets.) Transfer the fish to a platter. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets and serve.

Serves 4 — Recipe from Food and Wine September 2007