You may have read our earlier info about our wonderful partnership couple Cate and Vasilis, who produce wonderful olive oil for the Sussex regional markets on their family farm in Crete?
So, why bother with extra virgin olive oil and even more why Mestó?
Firstly, because not only pure extra virgin olive oil tastes wonderful, it helps sustain local economies providing jobs and food…which in this case is here in Sussex and also Loukia in Crete.
Also, there have been olive oil scams recorded since Roman times, when inferior oils were blended to flog to unsuspecting buyers. Nowadays, it’s more manipulative where chemically extracted oils are mixed with Extra Virgin and passed off as superior produce…it’s been described in the trade as pervasive as drugs trading.
So, it’s good to see that the fruit of one couple’s hard labour and passion for their farm, gives us an unadulterated, delicious and pure olive oil. Plus, it’s completely traceable so you know exactly what you are eating.
10 Brilliant ways to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There are tons of uses for olive oil around the home, but extra virgin should definitely stay in the kitchen! Below are some ways to use beyond delicious roasting or salads…(apart from the vinaigrette because this is so versatile and we really love it!).
NB: We were very excited by the vinaigrette as it’s pretty much designed to be used with our Sussex produce..so much so, we have labelled the ingredients by producer.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil Vinaigrette
We think recipe is pretty exciting as it pretty much made for local produce and vinaigrette is a great all rounder for any season…try drizzling over mash and you’ll be hooked.
- 180 ml Mesto Extra Virgin olive oil
- 60 ml Ringden Farm Raw Cider Vinegar
- 30 ml water
- 29.58 ml Brighton and Hove Raw Clear Honey
- Season with Spice Company Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Combine vinegar, water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender.
- Drizzle olive oil into blender until combined.
Enjoy with Crusty Bread
Use oil and vinegar in a small dish to enjoy with crusty bread (which we have done when taking this picture…no pics to show us gorging on the loaf afterwards!).
To dress up steamed veg
Drizzle oil over veg and sprinkle shavings of parmesan cheese.
NB. If you are vegetarian, try this Twineham Grange parmesan.
Fettunta (Tuscan Garlic Bread)
This is a fantastic way of using up slightly stale bread and one to add to your summer camping list as it’s delicious cooked over a fire.
- Toast old bread. Rub a fresh garlic clove over the bread…the bread will act like a grater.
- Drizzle with olive oil and eat!
To seal rice
Lightly sautee your rice for 2-3 mins in a good drizzle of olive oil before cooking to seal in the starch and add flavour and richness. Just sautee til the rice starts to look a little transparent.
Tonno Del Chianti
Tonno is Italian for ‘tuna’ and this pork recipe once cooked is very much like tuna; soft, melting and rich.
This works with pretty much any fatty joint of pork, which are usually the most reasonable options, so it’s actually a pretty economical dish.
1.2kg (2lb 12oz) boned shoulder of pork (fat left on but skin removed)
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs rosemary
3 garlic heads, halved horizontally
2 lemons, cut into quarters lengthwise
75ml (2¾fl oz) white wine
1.2 litres (2 pints) olive oil
Preheat the oven to 150°C/ 350°F/gas mark 2.
Cut the pork into three equal pieces. Season well all over, then place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the bay, rosemary, garlic, lemons and wine. Pour on the olive oil – it should come to about 2cm (¾in) above the pork. Heat on the hob until you can see that the oil is just shimmering – about 10 to 15 minutes. Cover the pan tightly and transfer to the oven. Cook for two to two and a half hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender (test with a fork).
When the pork is done, remove the garlic and lemon and set aside. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary.
Pour the olive oil into a glass jug. Leave to settle, then remove most of the oil with a ladle, leaving the darker-coloured cooking juices and about 4cm (1½in) of the oil behind. This mixture makes a fantastic “gravy” to pour over the pork (bottle the remaining oil to use for frying).
Serve the pork with the garlic and lemon and offer the cooking juices in a jug.
Delicious with roasted tomatoes and roast potatoes.
Garlic Mashed Potato
Purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and extra virgin olive oil together to make exceptionally delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.
Make your own healthy spreadable butter that doesn’t have added non-specific vegetable oils or other additives, by putting 500g of butter into a food processor. Beat until soft and gradually add 300ml olive oil.
This will be quite wet so pour into containers and chill to harden up.
In hot weather reduce the amount of olive oil to 250ml as otherwise it can become too soft to serve easily.
Wake up cheese with a drizzle of oil
Give the cheese course an added piquancy, by adding some extra virgin olive oil to lightly drizzle over (no glugging).
Actually Mesto is perfect for this as it has quite a grassy flavour, which really brings out the creaminess of the cheese.
NB: For blue cheese, add a small dish of raw honey as well and some fruit.
Use with other creamy flavours – ie ice cream
It sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does. A grassy very high quality finishing oil just lightly drizzled over a good vanilla ice cream with a few flakes of sea salt is an amazing finishing touch.
Works equally well over creamy yoghurt and berries – a good start at breakfast. Just hold the salt in this case.
From Honestly You