Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Pear And Arugula Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

This recipe was developed by my longtime friend Justin Wangler, executive chef for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens in Fulton, California.


For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces arugula (10 to 12 cups)
  • 2 ripe but firm red Bartlett pears
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted, salted sunflower kernels
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces arugula (10 to 12 cups)
  • 2 ripe but firm red Bartlett pears
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted, salted sunflower kernels
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
Step 1

Prepare the vinaigrette: In a mixing bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. (The dressing can be prepared up to one week ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Step 2

Transfer 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to a large bowl. Quarter, core, and seed the pears. Cut each quarter in thin slices; add to the dressing in the bowl. Let the pears stand for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Add the arugula to the pears; toss lightly to coat. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with sunflower kernels and Parmesan. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from Kendall-Jackson Winery

Carrot Salad

Garden-fresh carrots with feathery tops are preferred for this simple but colorful salad. It is perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, or picnics.


  • 1 pound whole carrots, preferably with tops
  • 1/2 cup golden or dark raisins (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon or coarse-grained mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt, to taste


Step 1

Remove the carrot tops and chop 2 tablespoons for the salad; add to a medium mixing bowl. (Save the remainder of the tops for vegetable stock, carrot top pesto, etc. You can substitute chopped parsley if carrots with tops are not available.) Peel the carrots and finely grate on a box grater or in a food processor.

Step 2

Combine the carrots with the chopped carrot tops, raisins, if using, and chives.

Step 3

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, mustard, cumin, if using, and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt. Add the dressing to the carrot mixture and toss gently to combine. For the best flavor, allow the salad to sit for 30 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl. If covered and refrigerated, the salad will keep for several days.

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

Dukkah-Spiced Yogurt Dip with Toasted Pita

Dukkah (pronounced dook-ah) has Middle Eastern origins but is a very popular seasoning in Australia. It is also good on fish, raw vegetables, and pita bread toasted with olive oil.

  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon whole dried coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried orange or lemon peel
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Step 1

In a small, dry skillet over low heat, briefly toast the nuts, shaking the pan often, until fragrant. Add the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds, sesame seeds, peppercorns, and orange peel. Toast for one minute more, then remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step 2

Let the mixture cool. Crush it using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. (Avoid overprocessing to a paste-like texture.) Mix the yogurt with salt and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dukkah on top and drizzle generously with olive oil. Store any remaining dukkah in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from

Pear Crostini

The proprietress of Nullamunjie, Annetta “Annie” Paterson, served these delectable crostini to me and my Merry Band of Tasters at a dinner at her home in Melbourne. We loved them and implored her to share the recipe, which she adapted from one of the many cookbooks in her collection.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, plus extra to finish the crostini
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 slices sourdough, 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 semi-ripe pears, unpeeled
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 ounces good quality goat cheese
  • A few leaves fresh cilantro, watercress, or purple basil


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of oil, the garlic, a pinch of salt, and a little pepper in the bowl of a food processor and work to a coarse, wet paste. Use a pastry brush to spread on one side of each slice of bread, then lay these on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until lightly colored. Remove and leave to cool slightly.

Step 2

Meanwhile, stand each pear on a cutting board, then cut each pear lengthwise into four thick slices. Remove the core with the tip of a knife. Place the slices in a bowl along with a tablespoon of oil, the lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Toss gently.

Step 3

Take a ridged grill pan and place on the stovetop over high heat until piping hot. Lay in the pear slices and leave for about a minute, then ip over and leave for another minute to get grill marks on both sides. Remove with a pair of tongs, trying not to break the pears.

Step 4

To assemble the crostini, thinly slice the cheese and arrange over the toasts, alongside the pears. You want to be able to see both clearly, so allow them to overlap and rest on each other to create height. Put the crostini in the hot oven for three to four minutes to warm through and for the cheese to partly melt. Remove from the oven and place a pile of fresh herbs in the center of each toast. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot or warm.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghiby Yotam Ottolenghi (Chronicle Books, 2011)