ROASTED GARLIC WITH ROBUST SPANISH HOJIBLANCA

 

ROASTED GARLIC WITH ROBUST SPANISH HOJIBLANCA

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This recipe is extra simple and extra delicious. Slow roasting whole garlic heads brings out a nutty sweetness in the garlic and turns the cloves creamy and spreadable. A robust olive oil is a must here otherwise you will loose the lovely marriage of flavors as the character of olive oils with modest phenol content will dissipate under such heat.

The ways in which you can then use this "garlic candy" as I call it, are endless. You can use them in dressings, sauces, marinades, smeared on a slice of toasted baguette with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, in aioli, on roasted meats, grilled meats, fish, chicken breast, with vegetables, on baked potatoes, in pasta, and on, and on...

Roasted Garlic with Robust Spanish Hojiblanca
7-9 firm, whole heads of garlic, with the stem end sliced off. (Do not slice the root end or the bulb may fall apart)
1/3 cup Fresh, Robust, High Poly, High Oleic, Low FFA extra virgin olive oil such as Ogliarola, Hojiblanca, California Organic Mission, etc.

Preheat the oven to 400. In a pie tin, cake pan, or other shallow oven proof baking vessel, place the garlic heads cut side up. Drizzle each head generously with approximately two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Seal the pan tight with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant, soft, and golden brown.

 

Oven Dried Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh UP EVOO

 
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Oven Dried Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh UP EVOO

Are you suffering from an overabundance of gorgeous, ripe, heirloom tomatoes? If you answered yes, then consider preserving your harvest by oven drying your tomatoes and then jarring them with a superlative, fresh UP EVOO and herbs.  If you answered no, get yourself some late summer tomatoes, stat! It doesn't get easier than this, and the results are spectacular.  Serve them as an appetizer, blend them with garlic for a "sun-dried" style tomato pesto sauce, or enjoy them for snacking straight out of the jar. 

Start with 2-3 pounds of ripe summer tomatoes. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cut the tomatoes in half and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bake the tomatoes slow and low at 250 F. for 4-5 hours. Allow the tomatoes to cool completely before packing them into clean jars with lids, stuffed with an assortment of fresh herbs of your choice. I like to use thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary.  Cover the tomatoes fully with a fresh UP EVOO of our choice, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.  They won't last that long however, I can guarantee it!

 

Torn Basil, Heirloom Tomato, and Mozzarella Fresca Salad

 
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Torn Basil, Heirloom Tomato, and Mozzarella Fresca Salad

It doesn't get easier or more elegant than this. And frankly its borderline sacrilegious to not be using mouthwatering heirloom tomatoes right now at their peak-of-ripeness with the freshest olive oil in the world. Simply unthinkable.

6 Cups baby arugula washed, spun dry
2 cups of sliced heirloom tomatoes
1/3 cup freshly torn basil leaves
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound mozzarella fresca thinly sliced or bocconcini sliced in half
1/2 UP extra virgin olive oil
4tablespoons apricot white balsamic - or your white balsamic of choice
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the  white balsamic in a small bowl and place the red onions in the bowl to quickly "pickle" for 5 minutes or up to 10 minutes.  The vinegar will turn a light shade of pink.  Remove the onions and reserve.  Whisk the mustard and salt into the vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking briskly and constantly to create a semi-emulsion. 

Just before serving dress the baby arugula with just a few drizzles of the vinaigrette.  Arrange the dressed arugula in layer in a shallow, wide bowl or platter.  Add the pickled onions, sliced tomatoes, cheese and torn basil leaves over the top.  Add a few more drizzles of the viniagrette and fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up any dressing left on the platter/bowls.

Serves 4-6

 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Basil and Ricotta

 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta with Basil and Ricotta

Ingredients
1 loaf of good quality crusty Italian or French Bread
2 cups fresh, good quality ricotta cheese
1/2 cup UP EVOO - Picual, Hoji, or Koroneiki would go well here
1/4 cup Tuscan Herb or Garlic Olive Oil
3 cups super sweet cherry tomatoes
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 large garlic cloves
1 cup good quality sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained well
2 teaspoons sea salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat a grill, BBQ or oven to 425 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup fresh UP EVOO, a teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Roast the cherry tomatoes in a cast iron skillet for 15 minutes until blistered and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Slice the bread into 1" thick slices, drizzle the slices with 1/4 cup UP EVOO, and grill over high heat, on the BBQ or an indoor cast iron grill until golden, about 5 minutes per side.  Using two of the garlic cloves, rub each side of the still warm grilled bread. Set aside.

Sundried tomato and basil pesto
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the sundried tomatoes, 1/2 cup basil, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and process to a paste consistency.

For assembly

Spread 1 tablespoon sundried tomato pesto over over one side of the each slice of grilled bread. Top by spreading 1 tablespoon of ricotta. Then place 2 or 3 cherry roasted cherry tomatoes over the ricotta layer, and then add a basil leaf between each tomato (if you're feeling fancy). Otherwise just sprinkle the bruschetta with torn basil leaves.

Finish each bruschetta with additional sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of UP EVOO or infused olive oil of your choice. Serve immediately!

 

Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar Braised Carrots and Parsnips

 

Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar Braised Carrots and Parsnips

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup  Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias 1/4 inch thick
1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced on a bias 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS
Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips on a bias into 1/4 inch pieces. Saute shallot in olive oil in large Dutch oven over high heat until softened and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  We used the Ultra Premium Single Varietal Extra Virgin Frantoio to saute the shallots. But a flavored olive oil such as the Rosemary Fused Olive Oil or even Butter Infused Olive Oil would add another depth to the dish.

Add broth, vinegar, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Add carrots and parsnips, stir to combine, and return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves and stir in cranberries. Push vegetable mixture to sides of pot. Add mustard and whisk into cooking liquid.

Cook for an additional 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Stir to coat vegetable mixture with sauce, transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with parsley, and enjoy!

 

 

Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Rosemary

 

Cranberry-Pear Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Rosemary

INGREDIENTS
1 - 2 pound butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced in to 1" pieces (about 3 cups)

1/3 cup cranberry-pear white balsamic

1 tablespoon "sweet" fruity olive oil such as Australian Hojiblanca or Alfonso Arbequina

3" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and roughly chopped

Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375. 

In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and balsamic together until thoroughly combined.  Add the rosemary and squash and toss to coat and combine evenly. 

In a large roasting pan lined with parchment, arrange the squash in a single layer, drizzling with any remaining marinade.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast the squash for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few times until golden brown and caramelized.  Adjust seasoning and serve.