Extra virgin olive oil is not just a pantry staple; it's a versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavour and nutrition of almost any dish. This liquid gold can elevate your cooking, whether sautéing vegetables or making salad dressing.
So, let's explore some creative ways to use extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen and discover how it can transform your meals from ordinary to extraordinary!
One simple and delicious way to enjoy extra virgin olive oil's flavour and health benefits is by drizzling it on toast. To do this, toast a slice of bread until it's golden brown. Then, drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the toast, using a spoon or a brush to spread it evenly.
You can also sprinkle some salt, pepper, or herbs to add flavour. The toast will absorb the oil, creating a deliciously moist and flavorful base for toppings such as avocado, tomatoes, cheese or eggs. Not only is this a quick and easy breakfast or snack idea, but it's also a healthy and tasty way to incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your daily routine.
Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants and helps your body absorb more nutrients from the salad ingredients. Mix EVOO with some balsamic vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard for a tasty salad dressing that will impress your guests. For variations on the salad dressing, add according to your preference, other ingredients such as garlic, your favourite fresh herbs, ginger etc.
You can incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your baking recipes with some experimentation to create delicious and healthy treats.
EVOO can be used in baking to add moisture and flavour to your favourite baked goods. Instead of using butter or shortening, substitute EVOO in your recipes for a healthier alternative. It works well in cakes, brownies, and bread. EVOO will give you a more elastic and moist sponge, that gets less crumbly and dry. The reason is that butter solidifies at room temperature whereas extra virgin olive oil does not. In addition you get a healthier, low-in-saturated fat with beneficial antioxidants in it.
Roasting vegetables is a healthy and easy way to add flavour to your meals. Toss your favourite veggies with EVOO, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven for a tasty side dish. The EVOO will help the vegetables caramelise and add a rich flavour. It will also make the nutrients in the vegetables more bio-available to you, meaning your body will be able to absorb them better.
Pesto is a versatile sauce that can be used in pasta dishes, sandwiches, and as dip. It's easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Blend basil, pine nuts (or almonds), garlic, parmesan cheese and EVOO for a delicious pesto sauce in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar for a more rustic result.
Marinating meat is a great way to add flavour and tenderise tougher cuts of meat. Incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your marinade can enhance your meat's taste and nutritional value. It will also keep your meat from releasing harmful carcinogenic compounds (called heterocyclic amines) during the cooking process by 80-90%. When marinating meat with extra virgin olive oil, it's essential to use an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to help the oil penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavour.
You can also add herbs and spices to your marinade to enhance flavour. Just be sure to do it with the oil sparingly, as too much can make the meat greasy and overpower the other flavours.
Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy and versatile ingredient and adds a unique flavour and texture to various dishes. By experimenting with different recipes and techniques, you can discover new and extraordinary ways to enjoy the benefits of extra virgin olive oil in your daily meals.
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