I love cooking with olive oil for dinner and really anything pan fried, but I learned about its benefits as well as new recipe ideas for entertaining. Olive oil is rich in mono-saturated fatty acids and a variety of compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, which have significant anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a good source of iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant). Some studies have show that it has a beneficial effect on ulcers, can help with menopause and reduce the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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That combined with it rich taste that it brings to food makes olive oil the perfect addition to numerous dishes. What I found unexpected is that olive oil can be enjoyed in recipes from appetizers to main dishes to cocktails. Here are a few of our favorites:
Healthy Diet 12 Ways to Use Olive Oil
It may start with just a drizzle of a flavor, but olive oil will soon become an obsession. There’s nothing else in your kitchen quite as versatile.
- Drizzle on food — whether over a prepared dish or simple sliced vegetables — to add a rich mouth feel and robust flavor, and balance acid.
- Drizzle onto hot foods to release an oil’s aromatic qualities, turning a meal into a multi-sensory experience.
- Make a dressing for salads or other dishes.
- Olive oil accentuates the aromas and flavors of fresh herbs and ground spices.
- Preserve roasted and grilled vegetables for days by submerging in olive oil and storing in a cool place; they’ll last even longer if frozen.
- Fry unafraid; olive oil has a high smoke point, and can even handle deep frying.
- Use it instead of butter, and not just on bread.
- Try it IN bread, and cakes, and muffins, and even oatmeal.
- Pair oils just as you would wine, adding robust oils to complement hearty or spicy dishes, and lighter oils for milder preparations.
- Think outside of the Mediterranean.
- Olive oil can liven up a ceviche, handle an Asian stir fry, and embolden the humblest pea soup.
- Olive oil makes a very nice moisturizer for dry skin, as well, but we’ve known that for millennia. And it can even be used in…
Spiced Green Olives:
Makes 3 cups
- 2 cups (10 ounces) green olives (with pits) in brine, such as Picholine or Cerignola, lightly smashed to crack open slightly
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 orange halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Spiced Green Directions
- Toast cumin and coriander in a dry skillet over medium heat until the spices begin to color a bit. Coarsely grind in a spice mill or mortar.
- Mix the olives with the cumin, coriander, garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, orange, harissa paste, and olive oil.
- Let the olives marinate for a couple of hours. They’ll keep for a week in the refrigerator.
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