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

Manchego and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Rich and creamy with a puddle of olive oil on top, these mashed potatoes make a perfect accompaniment to roast chicken. Use a ricer for the fluffiest texture. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of good mashing potatoes, such as Yukon gold, peeled and cut in half
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese, preferably aged
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (optional) 

Directions

Step 1

Add the potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pot; dry over low heat. Mash with a potato masher, or pass through a ricer. 

Step 2

In the meantime, heat the cream, milk, butter, salt, and olive oil in a small saucepan until warm. Gradually add the cream mixture to the potatoes, stirring or mashing to incorporate. Fold in the cheese. Taste, adding more salt if desired. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Top with chives, if desired. 

Serves 4 to 6Recipe adapted from spanishsabores.com 

Roasted Asparagus with Marcona Almonds and Manchego

Spanish Marcona almonds, once obscure in the US, are now widely available. They are usually roasted in olive oil, then salted. If you cannot find them, substitute regular toasted almonds or hazelnuts. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted, salted Marcona almonds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving
  • 1 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Manchego cheese 

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes, until tender. 

Step 2

Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the cheese over the asparagus, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve with lemon wedges. 

Serves 6 Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, December 2003 

Boon’s Brussel Sprouts

Roasted until golden brown and then doused in a flavorful vinaigrette, these brussels sprouts are addictive. If you can find them, buy brussels sprouts on the stalk. They are often available in farmers’ markets in the fall. Simply cut off what you need.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2

In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 3

Roast the brussels sprouts in the oven, tossing periodically, until crisp and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Toss the brussels sprouts every few minutes for even coloring.

Step 4

While the brussels sprouts are roasting, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes to form a dressing.

Step 5

When the brussels sprouts are roasted, toss them with the dressing. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.

Serves 4 — Recipe from the Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2011

Greek-Style Mushrooms and Leeks (Manitaria Yiahni)

Melbourne has the largest population of Greeks of any city in the world outside of Greece. Originally discovered in an old monastery cookbook, this recipe is representative of many Greek dishes called lathero, meaning vegetables cooked with olive oil, tomato, and herbs. If you eat dairy, serve it with a briny chunk of feta cheese.

Ingredients

  • 6 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned, the white and pale green part sliced crosswise
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped at-leaf parsley

Directions

Step 1

In a large pot add the olive oil and sauté the scallions at medium to low heat for about 2 minutes.

Step 2

Add the mushrooms and leeks and a bit of salt, and continue sautéing for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 3

Add the tomato and the tomato paste and stir, and then add just enough hot water to partially cover the vegetables.

Step 4

Cover the pot and simmer (it should not be boiling) for about 30 to 35 minutes. It should not be watery. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4 as a side dish; 2 as a main course — Recipe adapted from olivetomato.com

Chilean Salad

This refreshing salad is ubiquitous throughout Chile and is routinely served in homes and restaurants alike.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
  • Optional ingredients:
  • Canned or jarred hearts of palm, drained and sliced
  • Sliced ripe avocado
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced fresh mushrooms
  • Canned or jarred artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • Fresh green beans or haricots verts, trimmed, steamed until tender-crisp

Directions

Step 1

Arrange the lettuce leaves, tomatoes, onions, and any of the optional ingredients, if desired, on a large plate or platter. Top with the cilantro leaves. 

Step 2

Make the vinaigrette: Combine the lemon juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Whisk in the olive oil and adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice or salt or pepper if needed. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving.

Serves 6 Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Pear Salad with Blue Cheese, Olive Oil, and Mint

One of our favorite restaurants in Chile is Fuegos de Apalta (Fires of Apalta) in the Colchagua Valley. It was opened by celebrity chef Francis Mallmann in 2017. Here is one of his recipes.

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe red Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and cut into thick wedges
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces blue cheese (such as Saint Agur), brought to room temperature and cut into wedges
  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, toasted and lightly crushed
  • Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style white bread

Directions

Divide the pears among 4 salad plates and season with salt. Arrangea wedge of cheese and 3 dates on each plate. Drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with the mint and peppercorns. Serve with the sliced country bread for dipping in the olive oil.

Serves 4 Recipe adapted from Mallmann on Fire by Francis Mallmann (Artisan 2014)

Radicchio Grilled with Olive Paste and Anchovies

Colorful Treviso, which resembles Belgian endive in shape and texture, often appears in markets in the spring. Feel free to use the more familiar round radicchio, if Treviso is not available. 

Ingredients

  • 4 Treviso radicchios, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus more as needed
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained if packed in oil
  • 3 tablespoons prepared olive paste or tapenade 

Directions

Step 1

Arrange the radicchios, cut side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 to 60 minutes. 

Step 2

Prepare a grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Brush and oil the grate. Place the anchovies in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the olive paste or tapenade, and mix. Arrange the radicchios on the grill, cut side down, slightly on the diagonal to the bars of the grill grate. Grill until lightly browned, 6 to 10 minutes, rotating each radicchio a little halfway through to create a crosshatch of grill marks. Baste with some of the marinade. 

Step 3

Turn the radicchios over. Spread each with a little anchovy and olive paste. Continue grilling and basting until a skewer or knife pierces the radicchio easily, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to plates. Drizzle with a little fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Serves 4Recipe by Steven Raichlen, adapted from Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco 

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This colorful side dish is potluck-worthy, and with the addition of sliced grilled chicken, pork, or steak, is substantial enough to serve as a main course. Diced avocado is an optional ingredient. If you’re short on time, substitute canned black beans (drained, thoroughly rinsed, and drained again) for the dried.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ears grilled or boiled corn, kernels cut off
  • 2 grilled red peppers, finely diced
  • 8 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

Directions

Step 1

Place the beans, onion, carrot, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan and add water until the beans are covered by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the beans are almost tender, about 2 hours, adding water as needed.

Step 2

Add the salt and continue cooking until tender. Drain the beans, discarding the onion, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf.

Step 3

In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn kernels, red pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Stir in the olive oil, lime juice, and chili powder, and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10 — Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2004

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Bacon

My wife, Meghan, and I enjoyed this simple salad on the first day of our Chilean olive oil expedition, and we recreated it as soon as we returned to Asheville.

Ingredients

  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, sliced
  • into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 quart ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Directions

Step 1

Place the bacon in a cold skillet and bring the heat to medium. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the bacon and reserve.

Step 2

Place the spinach and strawberries in an attractive serving bowl.

Step 3

Make the dressing: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk to mix. Taste, adding more honey or salt or pepper as needed. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to mix. Top with the reserved bacon and almonds, if using.

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