Flavor – How to make the most effective use of high-quality olive oil


I was recently in an organic market and sampled some of the finest olive oil I've ever tasted. I bought a bottle, and I'm now looking for ways to maximize my enjoyment of it. I'm familiar with dipping bread into the oil, and this seems to bring out the taste with few distractions. On the other hand, mixing the oil in a salad dressing hides some of the qualities among all the other tastes (herbs, vinegar, etc.). My question is, what are some simple ways to maximize the enjoyment of olive oil?

Best Answer

In this part of the world, around the rim of the mediterranean, olive oils is very definitely used to dress a salad. This is not usually done by emulsifying everything in a shaker though. Generally, the salad is seasoned with salt and pepper, then drizzled generously with olive oil and a little lemon juice or good wine/balsamic vinegar. This allows the flavour of the oil to stand, and it is nicely complemented by the other secondary flavours.

Olive oil is also used to complement the flavour of fish, baked in foil in the oven after being brushed with olive oil and seasonings. This imparts a special aroma and flavour to the fish.

The best, and simplest in my opinion, is when for supper or breakfast we just slice some vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots) and drizzle them with olive oil, to be eaten as part of the meal.