One of my Merry Band of Tasters highly recommends these crisp potato wedges. If desired, substitute Dijon for the yellow mustard, or chopped fresh rosemary for the dried oregano. Parboiling the potatoes (especially with the added alkalinity of baking soda) contributes to their crispiness.
- 2 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided use, plus coarse salt for serving
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Parboil the potatoes: Bring a large pot of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the baking soda to a boil over high heat. Add the potato wedges. Set a timer for 2 minutes. In the meantime, position a large colander in the kitchen sink. After 2 minutes, drain the potatoes in the colander. Rinse with cold water and drain again.
Make the marinade: In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, combine the remaining teaspoon of salt with the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, oregano, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the potato wedges and stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
When ready to roast the potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the potato wedges in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the potato wedges are nicely browned. Season with salt. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with lemon wedges, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from itstodiefor.ca
Shrimp cocktail gets a much-needed makeover! Make the dip just before serving.
- 2 fresh jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 lime, rind finely grated, juiced
- 1/2 cup at-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked and chilled jumbo prawns or shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, for serving (optional)
Remove the stem, seeds, and veins, from the jalapeños. Finely dice one jalapeño. Set aside. Coarsely chop the remaining jalapeño and place in a blender with the avocado, sour cream, lime rind, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, parsley, mint, cilantro, garlic, salt, and ground cumin.
With the motor running, add the olive oil and water in a slow, steady stream until smooth and well combined, scraping sides of blender once. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add 2 tablespoons red onion and most of the reserved diced jalapeño. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining onion and jalapeño.
Arrange the prawns on a serving platter. Scatter with the edible flowers, if using. Serve with the dip.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer — Recipe adapted from taste.com.au
The appeal of this autumnal soup lies in its simplicity. The sweetness of the butternut squash is enhanced by roasting and by the addition of a small amount of maple syrup.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or brown sugar, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 cups rich vegetable broth, as needed
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the cut sides (about 1 tablespoon). Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash cut sides down and roast until it is very tender and cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes (don’t worry if the skin or flesh browns—that’s good for flavor). Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Transfer the contents to your blender.
Use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into your blender. Discard the skin. Add the
maple syrup, nutmeg, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender. Pour in 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to ll the container more than halfway. Work in batches unless you have a high-capacity blender.
Securely fasten the lid and top with a folded dish towel. Hold down firmly. Blend on high, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once your soup is ultra-creamy. Return to the saucepan and reheat, if necessary, over medium-low heat, stirring often.
If you would like to thin your soup a bit, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of
olive oil and blend well. Taste, and stir in more salt and pepper, if necessary. (Note: The soup can be
cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 2 days.)
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com
There’s no need to follow this recipe slavishly. Feel free to add shredded purple cabbage, snow pea pods, sliced water chestnuts, and so on. You can even turn the salad into a light lunch or dinner entrée by topping it with shredded rotisserie chicken or thinly sliced grilled steak.
For the dressing
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
- 1 head Napa cabbage
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
- Coarsely chopped roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), for garnish (optional)
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Trim the cabbage, removing any blemished leaves. Trim the stem end. Cut the head in half, lengthwise (or cut into quarters if it’s especially large), then slice crosswise into thin strips. Place in a large serving bowl. Add the carrot, bell pepper, scallions, tomatoes, and cilantro leaves. Toss.
Vigorously shake the jar of dressing until emulsified (or re-whisk, if in a bowl) and pour over the salad. Toss again to lightly coat the salad. (Pull a few of the tomatoes to the top as their weight sometimes makes them sink to the bottom of the bowl.) Sprinkle with peanuts, if using.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club