Sheep outnumber Australians by 3 to 1, so it’s no surprise lamb is popular on restaurant menus and in Aussie homes. This elegant entrée can be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes. We like to serve extra virgin olive oil on the side so it can be drizzled on the meat like a sauce.
- 1 rack of lamb (about 2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium slice rye bread, broken into pieces
Heat the oven to 450°F. Trim the lamb of excess fat, but leave a layer of fat over the meat. Cut about halfway down the bones between the chops; this allows the meat between them to become crisp.
Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan. Put the oil, garlic, rosemary, paprika, and salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each) in a food processor and purée; add the bread and pulse a few times to make rough crumbs. Rub this mixture over the meat side of the rack and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
Roast the lamb for 18 to 20 minutes, then insert an instant-read meat thermometer straight in from one end into the meatiest part. If it reads 125°F or more, remove the lamb immediately. If it reads less, put the lamb back for 5 minutes, no more. Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve, separating the ribs by cutting down straight through them.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from today.com
Here, beef tenderloin is steeped in pungent fresh herbs, olive oil, and Aussie wine, and cooked to perfection in a two-step process called “reverse searing.” The method yields meat that is uniformly pink from edge to edge. Great for entertaining!
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh basil (stems and leaves)
- 1 sprig fresh sage (stems and leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1/4 cup red wine, such as an Australian Shiraz
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 1 trimmed 2-pound center-cut beef tenderloin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Additional extra virgin olive oil for serving
Strip the leaves from the thyme and rosemary sprigs and accumulate on a cutting board. Add the basil, sage, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to the pile and coarsely chop. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the wine and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, then slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Place the steaks in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the meat. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250°F.
Drain the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. If you own one, insert a remote temperature probe in the thickest part of the meat. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on an instant-read meat thermometer. Roast the meat until the internal temperature reaches 110°F. (The time will depend on the temperature of the meat when you started.) Remove the meat from the oven and tent with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a cast iron grill pan or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. (You can also nish the tenderloin on a grill.) Rub the tenderloin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sear on all sides until the outside is deeply browned and caramelized and the internal temperature is 125°F for rare; 135°F for medium rare. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Carve into 1/2-inch-thick slices, reserving the juices. Shingle the slices on a warmed platter. Drizzle the meat with the juices and additional olive oil and garnish with thyme and rosemary sprigs.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club
Native Australian, celebrity chef, and restaurateur Curtis Stone has put down roots in Los Angeles. (Check out his acclaimed restaurants Gwen or Maude if the opportunity presents.) In the meantime, here’s an easy dinner that will put the spotlight on your fine Australian olive oils.
For the orzo:
- 1 1/2 cups dried orzo
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 3 cups, not packed)
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
For the salmon:
- Four 5-ounce skinless salmon fillets
- Extra virgin olive oil, for coating the fish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the orzo in a sieve and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, and garlic together. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the warm orzo, spinach, tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
Coat the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oil the cooking grate. Place the salmon on the grill with the top right corner of each fillet facing the two o’clock position and cook for 4 minutes, without moving the salmon. (This will help give the salmon a good sear of nice grill marks and help it release from the grate.) Using a thin metal spatula, starting at the corner of each fillet nearest you, flip over the fillets. Grill for about 2 minutes, or until the fish is opaque with a slightly rosy center when flaked in the thickest part with the tip of a small knife.
Mound the salad in the center of a large serving platter or four dinner plates. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Top with the salmon, sprinkle with the chives, and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe from What’s for Dinner by Curtis Stone (Ballantine Books, 2013)
Outstanding extra virgin olive oil allows you to achieve big flavors effortlessly. Case in point? This sheet pan chicken dinner that goes together in minutes. If you don’t have olives on hand, feel free to substitute marinated artichoke hearts and a couple of tablespoons of brined capers.
- 2 lemons, preferably seedless
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin on
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice the ends off the lemons. Cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Quarter each slice. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the olives, garlic, and thyme. Set aside.
Oil a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the chicken thighs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus the salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, if using. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on the pan.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and let the chicken roast for 25 minutes. Scatter with the lemon and olive mixture. Continue roasting until the chicken skin is crispy and brown and flesh is tender. It should measure 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes more. Transfer the chicken, lemons, olives, and accumulated juices to a platter or plates. Serve with additional olive oil for drizzling.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from the Chicago Tribune, December 6, 2017