A healthy oil basic to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. I tried to remember all the different ways to use it–and many thanks to Nicole and Georgie who commented on Monday ahead about how they use olive oil.
Here are my top 10 ways. No wonder my kitchen never runs out of olive oil!
- To dip your bread. You can start with Italian bread or bread sticks and dip them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix. My brother traveled to Italy and he had bread dipped in olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Or, you can start with pita bread, and dip small pieces in olive oil then za’atar mix.
- On top of cheese or yogurt. Spread some yogurt cheese, labaneh, on a whole wheat pita bread, then sprinkle some crushed mint and olive oil. Or, start with plain regular or plain Greek yogurt in a bowl, sprinkle crushed mint and olive oil. Have as a snack by itself of with pita bread or chips.
- With your eggs. Saute vegetables with olive oil for your omelet. Or, boil an egg or two (the whole egg or you can stick to egg whites), cut it into cubes, add cubed tomatoes and cucumbers, and sprinkle with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Salad dressings. Nothing better than olive oil and lemon juice for a dressing. My family always add some vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Add some salt to taste. And don’t forget about tabbouleh.
- Marinate chicken, meat, or fish in olive oil. Other spices to add flavor are garlic, lemon juice, all spice (for meat), ginger (for chicken and fish), paprika, cumin (works great with salmon), etc.
- With dips, like hummus, baba ghanoush (mtabbal), and this Spanish roasted eggplant and red pepper dip.
- For baking desserts. Nicole from Prevention RD wrote a comment saying she uses olive oil with everything that is not sweet. While I agree that olive oil can be too strong for many desserts, it’s perfect with some. Anything with dates or nuts works great with olive oil. Try this date rolls recipe I posted earlier. Georgie Fear from AskGeorgie.com said she uses olive oil instead of butter to make baklava. Great idea!
- Potato salad. Boil white or red potatoes, cut into cubes, then mix with olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, ground cumin, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. Who needs mayo?
- Any roasted, grilled, boiled, or steamed vegetables. Egg plants, zucchini, peppers, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, kale, any type of greens, and the list is endless. Olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice work magic with any bitter vegetable.
- Pizza or bread dough. Don’t just drizzle olive oil on top of your pizza, make the dough with it. Other types of “pizza” original to the Middle East are onion, olive oil, and sumac “pizza” called musakhan and olive oil and za’atar pizza called “mana’eesh.”
How else do you use olive oil?
Coming up next week: another recipe made with olive oil. Bread dough made with olive oil and fresh thyme leaves, and stuffed with cheese. Great for an appetizer, hors d’oeuvres, side dish, and for our lovely kids who love finger foods. (ps. I will have another post on Friday but I want to give myself some time to make this recipe)