Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Olive Oil-Marinated Feta

This recipe is simplicity itself, plus you can really make it your own by swapping your favorite fresh or dried peppers and herbs for the jalapeño and thyme. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks—just bring it to room temperature before serving. The marinated cheese cubes are delicious as is or served over a bed of greens. If they start to lose their shape, use it as a spread on crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce block of feta
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cut into rings
  • ½ lemon, sliced into rings
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed

Directions

Step 1

Cube the feta and place in a shallow glass bowl with a lid or a 2-cup mason jar. Tuck the pepper, lemon rings, and thyme in the spaces between the cheese cubes. Cover with the olive oil and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2

If not serving right away, cover the bowl or close the mason jar and refrigerate. The flavors will infuse the cheese over time.

Yields 4 appetizer servings ​

Clam Cakes Remoulade

These clam cakes come together in minutes. The remoulade sauce is a delicious garnish—use any leftovers as a flavorful sandwich spread. 

Ingredients

For the remoulade:

  • 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Obrycki’s or Old Bay
  • 1 large pickle spear, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

For the clam cakes:

  • 6 ounces of clams, freshly steamed or canned and drained
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 12 spicy corn tortilla chips, such as Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Cholula or Sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Step 1

For the remoulade: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed.

Step 2

For the clam cakes: If you’re steaming fresh clams, reserve the juice they release for another recipe. If you’re using large cherrystones, use kitchen shears to cut them into pieces for easier processing. Pulse the clams, vegetables, and chips in a food processor until you get a fine dice. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in half the flour, the mayo, hot sauce, and parsley. Form into about 10 small or 6 large patties. 

Step 3

Place the rest of the flour in a pie plate. Heat a heavy skillet and then add the olive oil. Very lightly dip both sides of each patty into the flour, shake off any excess, and place in skillet. Cook until a light crust develops, about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer the clam cakes to a serving dish or individual plates. Top with dollops of the remoulade and pass more on the side. 

Yields 3-4 servings

Spaghetti with Fried Eggs

This is a substantial, very satisfying breakfast. It’s great for brunch or overnight guests. We like to serve it with freshly squeezed fruit juice and extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/2 pound uncooked thin spaghetti
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
  • 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese, optional

Directions

Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Start the sauce in the next step, and start cooking the pasta when the water boils.

Step 2

Warm a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the garlic, pressing it into the oil occasionally to release its flavor; it should barely color on both sides. Remove the garlic and add the remaining oil.

Step 3

Fry the eggs gently in the oil until the whites are just about set and the yolks are still quite runny. Drain the pasta, and toss with the eggs and oil, breaking up the whites as you do this. (The eggs will finish cooking in the heat of the pasta.) Season to taste and serve immediately. Top with the cheese.

Serves 2-3 — Recipe from nytimes.com

Whipped Ricotta Dip

This simple but flavorful dip takes just minutes to make and is easily customizable. Add hot red pepper flakes or jarred Calabrian chiles for a bit of heat. Chopped brined olives (black or green) are good additions, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, thyme, oregano, or chives), plus an additional sprig or two for garnish
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, olive oil, lemon juice (if using), honey, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about one minute. You can also blend everything together in a food processor. Give the dip a taste, adding extra olive oil, lemon juice, honey, or salt and pepper, if needed.

Step 2

Transfer to an attractive serving bowl, drizzle more olive oil on top, and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with crackers, breadsticks, crostini, or fresh vegetables.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from aheadofthyme.com