All posts tagged: extra virgin olive oil

Briam

Briam, a vegan extravaganza

This briam is made with the last vegetables and the first olive oil of the season. Nikos, who has the best stall with greens and vegetables in the Friday open market, said that those were the last zucchinis of the year (he meant not grown in a greenhouse). Briam is 90% of times boring – to say the least. Vegetables cut in big slices, undercooked, not the best quality of olive oil… Any of that can ruin a dish that depends on the quality of the raw materials and on attention to detail during preparation. We like our briam crunchy and thinly sliced. Serves 4 as main dish, 8 as starter 600g small eggplants, halved lengthways and cut into 1cm slices 300g zucchinis, thinly sliced 350g onions, peeled and thinly sliced 200g red and yellow bell peppers, cut into 1,5cm slices 100g green bell peppers, cut into 1,5cm slices 250g potatoes, peeled and cut into thin wedges 100g small okra, ends trimmed, (optional) 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 250g very ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed (or chopped …

olive harvest

Olive oil and the Salt of the Earth

A family member is an olive oil zealot. She keeps an olive grove and produces small quantities of olive oil to perfection. She has a mastery over the process from beginning to end and makes no consents to comfort. She spares no cost and redeems all favours during harvest in November. For these few days she turns from the easy-going and agreeable person she is to a warden of iron feast – and that we can attest. This year even our toddler picked his first olives, to his great delight and everybody else’s. But the result is proportional to the determination. After same day harvest and pressing the zealot turns modest, but with the content of the old master who knows that her work cannot be bettered. For those of you who (like me in the past) have not tasted fresh cold pressed olive oil of the best quality, let it be known that the distance from the stuff you get even in the good delis is similar to that of an ok wine to a French …

Chocolate mousse with olive oil

We are Greeks and we put olive oil into anything. For this recipe we use high quality chocolate and unripe extra virgin oil, but if it is too intense for your tastes, skip the ‘unripe’ part which gives a distinct fruitiness to the result. It’s a rather uncomplicated recipe, unless you have a toddler who wants to participate in every step. Adapted from a recipe by Stelios Parliaros. Serves 4-5 200g good quality dark chocolate  (66% cocoa solids) 40g extra virgin olive oil 4 egg yolks 4 egg whites 50g caster sugar 2 Tbsp brandy Break the chocolate into small pieces and drop into a bowl with the olive oil. Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water. Put over a low heat until the chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally to mix with the olive oil.Remove the bowl from the pan. Cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks with the brandy until pale yellow. Whisk in the …