Extra virgin olive oil becomes the base for a savory “board sauce” when mixed with fresh herbs and the natural juices of the meat. Substitute bone-in beef rib eyes or tomahawk steaks if veal is unavailable.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- Four 12-ounce veal rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
Light a charcoal grill. On a platter, mix the 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic, rosemary and sage. Season the veal chops with salt and black pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil.
Grill the chops over moderately high heat, turning once, about 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the chops to the platter and turn to coat with the olive oil and herbs. Generously drizzle the veal with olive oil and let stand for 3 minutes, turning the chops a few times. Spoon the juices and oil over the chops and serve.
Serves 4—Recipe from Food and Wine, June 2007
Well-suited for smaller gatherings, this attractive and flavorful roulade of turkey breast will be the centerpiece of your festive table. And because I consider fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil to be Mother Nature’s perfect sauce, I suggest providing the table with extra oil for drizzling.
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for serving
- 1 whole skin-on turkey breast (5 to 7 pounds), boned, or 2 boneless skin-on turkey
- breast halves (2 to 3 pounds each)
- Eight 1/8-inch-thick pancetta slices, unrolled into strips, or
- 8 strips thick-cut bacon
In a large mortar, pound the coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle to form a coarse powder. Add the rosemary and sage and pound to crush and bruise the herbs. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon salt and pound until a paste begins to form. Stir in 2 teaspoons pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.
Pat the turkey breast dry with a paper towel and lay it skin side down on a work surface. Rub half the spice paste over the meat. Turn the turkey over and carefully separate the skin from the meat without tearing the skin. Rub the remaining spice paste under the skin. Reform the breast and tie with 4 to 6 loops of butcher’s twine to make a roll. (If you’re using boneless halves, season the two halves, lay them on top of each other, skin side out, and tie them together.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey breast and sear until golden-brown on all sides. Transfer the breast, seam side down, to a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Crisscross the pancetta over the top of the breast.
Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Let the turkey breast rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pancetta and chop or crumble it. Remove the butcher’s twine. Slice the turkey breast into 1/4-inch slices and serve, sprinkled with the pancetta. Serve additional olive oil on the side.
Serves 7 to 9—Recipe from Fine Cooking, Issue 107
This finger food is very popular in Abruzzo. It is traditionally grilled over a fornacella, a shallow trough of charcoal just wide enough to cook 4 inches of skewered meat. (We use a hibachi or grill pan.) The garlic is my addition.
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 branch of fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
Soak 16 bamboo skewers (8 inches long, including the handle) in water to cover for 30 minutes. Bruise the garlic and rosemary branch with the flat of a knife on a cutting board and place in a small bowl with the olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Set the oil aside while you prepare the lamb.
Tightly thread cubes of lamb onto the skewers to make uniform-looking kebabs, each bearing 4 inches of meat cubes. (Leave only 1 inch of the tip of the skewer exposed.) Using the rosemary branch, brush the lamb with some of the olive oil to coat lightly.
Sear the lamb skewers over a medium-hot grill (alternatively, use a grill pan). Cook about 2 minutes, or until the lamb is browned and a little crusty. Turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and place on a serving plate.
Brush the lamb skewers with more of the olive oil, then season with salt and red pepper flakes, if using. Serve hot with a glass of red wine, such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and country-style bread drizzled with olive oil.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer — Recipe adapted from food52.com and italymagazine.com