Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

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

  • 1/4 cup best quality prepared mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, such as Vinaigre de Banyuls, plus more to taste 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons 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 smooth. 

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. 

Yields about a 1/2 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

Olive Oil Lemon Curd

Extra virgin olive oil gives classic lemon curd all the silkiness of butter without the saturated fat. It’s delicious spooned over Greek yogurt and topped with berries—serve it in a champagne glass for an indulgent yet good-for-you dessert. You can also use it to make a lemon tart—fill a baked and cooled 8″ tart shell with the chilled curd, and top with dollops of whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 3 large or 5 small lemons
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 10 tablespoons sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons mild extra virgin olive oil 

Directions

Step 1

Rinse the lemons, dry them thoroughly, and then zest them with a microplane grater. You should have a generous tablespoon of zest. Juice the lemons. You should have a generous cup of juice. Some pulp is fine to include, but remove any seeds.

Step 2

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, use a silicone whisk to blend the eggs thoroughly, and then whisk in one ingredient at a time in this order: sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, vanilla, and salt—this will give you the silkiest results without needing to strain the mixture after cooking.

Step 3

Place the pan over medium heat and continue to whisk as you bring the mixture to a very low boil. Cook for two minutes (this activates the cornstarch), lowering the heat if necessary to prevent a rapid boil. The curd should be thick enough to coat the whisk.

Step 4

Off the heat, slowly whisk in the olive oil until it’s completely blended in. Pour the curd into a glass pitcher or jar and allow it to come to room temperature before covering and placing it in the fridge to thicken further.

Yields 1-¾ cups.