Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

The Olive Oil Hunter News #2

Mediterranean Chicken Wing Recipe with Healthy Ingredients, Spotlight on Cumin and Garlic, Bone Health and Social Media

As fall gears up, I love to get in the kitchen and revisit recipes from around the world. Sharing them with you and highlighting super-healthy ingredients are very important to me because this message is so important: Delicious food can, and should be, healthy food…and healthy food can be delicious! Whether you follow the Mediterranean diet, have adopted a Keto or Paleo plan, or are vegetarian or vegan, once you have access to a repertoire of great recipes with fresh pressed olive oil, you can tailor them to your diet by swapping healthy ingredients as needed. Below you’ll find my favorite alternative chicken wing recipe.

Let’s get cooking with…

Piri-Piri Drumsticks with Blue Cheese Dip

You don’t have to be a football fanatic to love sports bar food like Buffalo hot wings, named for the city that lays claim to them. I like to indulge not only by recreating this favorite dish at home, but also by elevating it with an alternative chicken wing recipe with fresh pressed olive oil that switches from wings to drumsticks—more meat!—glazed with piri-piri, a Portuguese chile sauce available in larger supermarkets or online.

  • The Olive Oil Hunter Newsletter Vol. 1 Piri-Piri Drumsticks with Blue Cheese Dip

    Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce is my go-to brand (both spellings are correct!). For the blue cheese dip, the ultimate is Cabrales, an artisanal blue from Asturias, Spain. And for even more flavor, I’m replacing celery sticks with fresh fennel. The only prep work—still fast and easy—is the marinade for the drumsticks. Since they need time to absorb all the spices, I like to do this early in the day.


    For the drumsticks

    • 2 tablespoons pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika) 
    • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard 
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
    • 12 meaty chicken drumsticks
    • Extra virgin olive oil 
    • Large fennel bulb

    For the glaze

    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce or your favorite hot sauce
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    For the dip

    • 1/2 cup crumbled Cabrales or other artisanal blue cheese 
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream (optional) 
    • Extra virgin olive oil


    Step One

    Combine the pimentón and other spices in a small bowl. Place the drumsticks in a large bowl (or a large resealable plastic bag) and coat them with olive oil. Add the spice mixture and use your hands to distribute it evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

    Step Two

    To cook, preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then top with a wire rack. Oil the rack and arrange the drumsticks on it. Bake until cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes, turning once or twice with tongs. (Alternatively, you can grill the drumsticks.) 

    Step Three

    While the chicken is cooking, make the dip and the glaze. For the dip, mash the blue cheese in a bowl with a fork. Whisk in the sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. If desired, thin with the milk or cream. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

    Step Four

    For the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the piri-piri sauce and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. When the drumsticks are cooked through, remove from the oven, brush on all sides with the glaze, and return to the oven for 5 minutes to set. 

    Step Five

    To plate, trim the fennel bulb, reserving the feathery fronds. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the core, and then slice each half into small wedges. Arrange them on a platter with the drumsticks, garnish with the fronds, and serve with the dip.

    Yields 4 appetizers or 2 hearty main dish servings. ​

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Cumin

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

Earthy Cumin

Cumin, the seed of the Cuminum cyminum plant, is a relative of caraway, fennel and parsley and has been used in medicine and cooking for over 4,000 years. Originally found in Egypt, cumin was introduced to the Mediterranean region and Asia (notably India and China) before being brought to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spaniards. Its earthy flavor adds a unique richness to dishes, and it’s a mainstay in countless cuisines…from Indian curries and chutneys to Moroccan tagines to Mexican salsas and moles. Buy cumin in seed form. When a recipe calls for ground cumin, do it yourself in a spice grinder.

Healthy Kitchen Tip: Garlic and Allicin

Healthy Kitchen Nugget

Garlic’s Key Enzyme: Allicin

Eating garlic every day is one of the tastiest ways to enhance your health. To maximize garlic’s benefits, whenever you chop or crush cloves, wait 15 minutes before adding to a recipe. That’s the time it takes for a key enzyme to trigger allicin, one of many compounds in garlic that help fight heart disease, inflammation and damage from oxidative stress. For the greatest benefits, eat garlic raw, as in salad dressings, or minimally cooked, like in a fast stir-fry.

For Your Best Health: Selenium

For Your Best Health

Selenium for Bone Health

When it comes to bone health, most of us think of calcium and vitamin D. But another needed nutrient is the trace mineral selenium. New research shows that a shortage could lead to problems including increased bone turnover, reduced bone mineral density and a higher risk for bone disease. Selenium is also important for reproductive health, proper thyroid hormone function, and combating oxidative damage and infections. All it takes is 55 micrograms a day. You can get about that much from 1.5 ounces of yellowfin tuna, 3 ounces of halibut, 4 ounces of shrimp or sardines, 7 ounces of light meat chicken or just one Brazil nut—a crazy-rich source!

Fitness Flash: Screen Time and Stress

Fitness Flash

Screen Time and Increased Stress

There’s no doubt that we’re all spending more and more time on social media and tapping into streaming services, sometimes as a way to cope with stress or as an antidote to physical distancing. But these are trends that started long before the pandemic. Problem is, excessive screen time can take a toll on emotional and physical health. It can actually increase stress thanks to bad news overload and lead to weight gain, sleep disorders and even addiction to social media or other outlets, like computer games or online gambling. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the takeaway is that media in general and social networks in particular can help you cope when they provide support and fact-based, positive information and when you steer clear of both sensationalized and false news. Also, put exercise in your playbook—it can work wonders on stress, anxiety and insomnia as well as give you a break from day-to-day problems.

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Cheese, Herb, and Olive Frittata

This meatless, keto-friendly frittata can be thrown together in minutes, perfect for times when you have unexpected lunch or overnight guests. For a carnivorous version, add diced ham, cooked bacon, cooked breakfast sausage, or even slivered pepperoni. Great served with a simple green salad.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives, preferably oil-cured
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, Gruyère, or other melting cheese, divided use
  • 8 large eggs, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup milk, cream, or half and half
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2

Put the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet with an oven-proof handle and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, if using, and the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool.

Step 3

Sprinkle the olives and 3/4 cup of cheese evenly over the onion mixture.

Step 4

Whisk the eggs until frothy in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the herbs, milk, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Give a final stir, then pour evenly over the onion mixture and cheese.

Step 5

Place the frittata in the oven and bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. The last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the frittata. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges for serving. (The frittata can also be served at room temperature.)

Note: Use a mix of tender herbs like parsley, chervil, basil, chives, or dill for this recipe.

Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Olive Oil Egg Salad

We like to mound this salad in the middle of an attractive plate or bowl and surround it with Belgian endive in a flower petal pattern. It makes a lovely keto-friendly appetizer.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced bread, endive or treviso spears, crackers, or lettuce leaves, for serving


Step 1

In a large skillet set over medium-low heat, heat the oil until it’s shimmering. Add the garlic and onions, stir to coat with the oil, and then cover. Cook, stirring now and then, until the garlic and onion are very soft, about 30 minutes. It may be necessary to reduce the heat slightly to keep them from scorching and to add a touch of olive oil if anything starts sticking to the skillet.

Step 2

Remove the skillet from the heat. Use the back of a fork to mash the warm garlic and onion until the mixture is a soft, jam-like consistency. Push the onions and garlic to the side and use the back of the same fork to mash the eggs into a soft spread. Incorporate the mushy garlic-onion paste into the eggs and stir until fully incorporated. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Serve the egg salad on toasted bread as a sandwich or with endive, crackers, or lettuce leaves as an hors d’oeuvre.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from Straight Up Tasty by Adam Richman (Clarkson Potter, 2015)


Here’s another great recipe I picked up from chef Arantxa Lamas during my time in Spain. It’s keto-friendly, too—a plus in my book.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, each cored and sliced into eighths
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste
  • Optional garnishes: Finely diced red or green bell pepper, red or white onion, or cucumber


Step 1

In a nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Stir to macerate the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2

Use an immersion blender to puree the gazpacho. Strain through a food mill. Taste, adding more salt or vinegar, if needed. Cover and chill until serving time. Serve in chilled bowls with your choice of garnishes and a few drops of olive oil.

Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of chef Arantxa Lamas