Ratatouille in French, Tourlou in Greek or Briam in Turkish. It's a classic, versatile dish that works beautifully as a side dish to a meat or chicken main but can stand alone as the main attraction. Just add good, crusty bread, feta and olives on the side and you're good to go.
Start with onions, garlic and tomatoes and add the veggies of your choice. The traditional recipe calls for eggplant and zucchini but green beans, artichoke, okra can all be added in or used as a substitute.
Fresh, ripe tomatoes are best but if they're not available, chopped canned tomatoes (without herbs or salt) do a fine job as stand-ins.
1/4 cup (plus more for drizzling) Extra virgin olive oil
5-6 ripe or 28 oz of canned tomatoes
2 - 3 medium onions
5 cloves of garlic
2 medium eggplant
3 - 4 medium zucchini
fresh basil leaves
Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the eggplant and zucchini into large cubes or thick strips. In a large casserole, toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven. Stir occasionally until just cooked through (15 to 20 minutes, on average).
While the eggplant and zucchini roast, rough chop your tomatoes (if using fresh), rough chop the garlic and thickly slice the onion.
In a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil, saute the onion 5 - 7 minutes, add garlic and continue sauteing for another minute then add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
Lower oven heat to 350 degrees, combine tomato mixture with the vegetables in the casserole and return to the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Serve as a side dish to chicken or meat or as a main course with crusty bread and feta.
I know, that title is loaded but we promise, it's true. This recipe uses a "soured" milk and our buttery oilladi extra virgin olive oil for always fluffy, delicious pancakes.
1 cup milk (any fat content, soy milk is fine)
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (can substitute a white wine or apple cider vinegar but either of those will change the taste of the pancakes which may be fine, just be aware)
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar (optional and wholly unecessary if you plan to serve the pancakes with syrup or jam)
2 tablespoons oilladi extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the milk and the vinegar and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
In a separate larger bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
in a third small bowl, whisk together the egg and the olive oil until well blended.
After about 5 - 10 minutes, combine all ingredients, whisk until smooth, and let sit for another 10 minutes.
In a skillet, heat a small amount of oilladi or, if you prefer, a pat of butter (we prefer clarified).
Pour a quarter cup of the batter and cook until lightly browned on both sides and fully cooked through.
Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam or a little powdered sugar.
It's snowing out. That means I'll either be making a stew or a soup for dinner... but that's later.
This is now and I have a jar of NY Buzz honey in my possession , patiently waiting for me to use it in a way that will be worthy of its deliciousness.
Olive oil cake it is!
Here's a really quick and easy version for you with an absolutely dreamy honey syrup to drizzle on top.
FOR THE CAKE
3 cups all purpose flour (and two tablespoons for prepping the pan)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk (any fat content) at room temperature
1/4 cup brandy or orange liquor
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one lemon
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 whole cloves
2 strips of orange or lemon zest
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil the bottom and side of a cake pan, cut out a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place in the oiled pan. Oil the parchment paper and dust with two tablespoons of flour.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine milk, brandy, orange juice and lemon zest.
In a third, large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add the olive oil to the egg and sugar mixture, and continue beating with the whisk until well emulsified.
Add liquid ingredients to the egg/sugar/olive oil mixture, combine well and then add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, combining well in between each addition. Don't overbeat, just make sure the ingredients are well combined and the batter is smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour and ten minutes.
While the cake bakes, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, water, orange zest and cloves and bring to a low simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
When the cake is done, let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Place a large platter or cutting board over the cake pan and invert the cake. Peel away the parchment paper and, using another platter or cutting board (a cookie sheet will do as well) invert the cake again.
Drizzle the syrup onto the cake.
I've been watching and waiting for the temperature to get to where it's soup time and heck, I thought we were almost there. And, then, 75 degrees yesterday, hmmm not so much! A little better today... mid-60s.
Fine! I'll take it.
We'll start with something easy and so delicious. Greek Lentil Soup. Confession time: the thing that makes this soup Greek, is the red wine vinegar finish, everything else is pretty much Lentil Soup but you know what? sometimes that one ingredient is all it takes. So trust me on this, you want to add that vinegar.
Go get your favorite baguette, grab your cutting board and here we go!
2 cups dry lentils
1 large onion (chopped fine)
1 large or two medium sized carrots (chopped fine)
4-5 garlic cloves
5 bay leaves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
First, sort through the lentils (we use brown but any will do) and throw out any foreign matter (translation: pebbles. Where do those come from anyway?). Place in a pot of water (enough to cover the lentils) and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Chop one large yellow onion, one large or two medium carrots and mince about 4-5 cloves of garlic.
Add the 1/2 cup of Oilladi to a heavy bottomed pot and saute the onion and carrots for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so or until all the veggies are soft and the onion is translucent.
Add the water, the lentils and tomato paste and stir well. Bring to a simmer and add the bay leaves, salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes. You shouldn't have to add any water but, as always, we advise you check the soup every so often, especially half an hour into the cooking time to make sure it's the consistency you like. We keep the cover on the pot on a slant so it's not quite sealed shut but not uncovered either.
Remover from heat and, if serving the entire batch at once, finish with the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Otherwise, you can serve and add a teaspoon of EVOO to the individual serving. For each bowl (you'll get about 8 generous bowls out of this recipe) add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.
Serve with your baguette and a green salad and enjoy!
Feta, feta and more feta. Truth is, we eat it year-round but definitely more so in the summer months.
In Greek salad, crumbled over grilled asparagus, in our spinach pie, and served on the side with so many meals.
Oh, and dill and lemons. They seem to make more appearances in the summer as well.
This pasta salad is so easy and quick to prepare and looks very pretty, especially if you use colorful tomatoes which are easier to find in the warmer months.
Ingredients (for 8-10 side-dish servings; recipe can be adjusted for less or more servings):
2 cups orzo
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or any small tomato cut into bite size pieces)
2 cups crumbled feta
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3/4 cups oilladi
2 teaspoons lemon zest
salt and pepper (start with 1/2 teaspoon each and adjust to your taste)
Prepare orzo as directed, drain and rinse with cold water.
Combine with all other ingredients and serve at room temperature. (The rose, however, should be chilled.)
Many of you who have come to the tastings we've held around town in the past few weeks have asked for this recipe which Jessie Snyder of Faring-Well developed for us last month. Here's the link for you: Dark Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Scones Jessie is an award-winning blogger with a fresh voice and a sunny, positive outlook. Enjoy!
Don't ask me how I know these things but I would bet money you are not eating enough peas. Here, in the northeast, it's too early to get our hands on fresh peas but I have a recipe for you that makes the most out of the frozen variety, takes about a half an hour to make and dresses up this humble little legume in an unexpected way.
You'll need about 16 ounces of frozen peas, organic if possible. Rinse them gently and let them strain for a few minutes.
The only other ingredients are two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided in half), an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce, one medium yellow onion (chopped, a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of dried dill weed. (If you have fresh dill, by all means, use that but chop well and double the amount to 2 tablespoons.)
By the way, have you ever used one of these gadgets for chopping onion? It's amazing! So efficient and no tears. I've had mine for years and years, it barely takes up any space, is manual and cleans up super easy.
You just cut an onion into chunks and throw them in:
Cover and give it a few twists (depending on how fine you would like the onion chopped/minced), and there you have it!
So once you have your onion chopped, pour one tablespoon of EVOO into a sauce pan, add the onions and sautee until translucent:
Add the dill, salt and peas and sauté for one more minute. If the peas are still frozen, go another minute with this:
Add the tomato sauce and 8 ounces of water and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Stir in the remaining tablespoon of EVOO and serve as a side dish for chicken or any meat, or on its own for a light lunch, with feta, Kalamata olives and crusty bread. This dish can be served warmed the next day or just brought to room temperature and can stay in the fridge for a two to three days. Enjoy!
16 ounces frozen peas
8-ounce can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of dried dill weed or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped dill
a pinch of salt
8 ounces of cold water