Giving European Extra Virgin Olive Oil a Try

Food & Recipes | July 28, 2016

It’s a rare occasion if I cook a dinner without Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Whether it’s to add flavor to vegetables or to give a crunch to something, I’ve tried many different kinds and while there is always a difference in packaging, bottle type, and flow, what really stands out to me is good quality. I was given the opportunity to try one of my favorite meals with European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Flavor Your Life, a European Union funded campaign, is dedicated to providing the latest in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) news. Essentially, they are the voice of Extra Virgin Olive Oil production quality control. I was thrilled to give something new a try and I’m impressed with just how much I learned in the process.

Before we get to my recipe, I’d like to share some fun facts about EVOO with you that you may not know. I certainly didn’t because I had been keeping my EVOO next to my stove top, which is a big no-no:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the freshly pressed juice of olives.

  • Many factors affect quality and taste. One way EVOO’s quality is affected is by acidity and peroxide value, which really just means it’s exposure to oxygen.

  • Because of its high smoking point of 400°F, extra virgin olive oil is great for cooking. Some may not also realize that EVOO can also just be drizzled on as a finisher, and many people love it for dipping with fresh bread.

  • EVOO should be stored in a dark, cool pantry away from heat and light. That means you should keep it away from your stove and oven.

  • For best freshness, discard any unused oil after 6 months of opening.

Pan-seared Skirt Steak with Sweet Potato Chips and Sauteed Vegetables

Ingredients:

Certified Grass-Fed Skirt Steak
Organic Sweet Potatoes
Organic Mushrooms
Organic Yellow Squash
European Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Rosemary
Parsley
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice a sweet potato and lay the slices flat on a cookie sheet. Drizzle (or brush) European Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the tops of the slices. Sprinkle with Rosemary and salt and place in the middle rack of oven. Flip after 15 minutes. Sweet potatoes are done when the edges curl slightly and have browned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Chop up your favorite vegetables. I’ve used mushrooms and yellow squash for this recipe. Did you know summer squash is a rich source of Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber,potassium and Vitamin B6? I always buy organic because the coloring and flavor is so much more rich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply place them in a non-stick pan and drizzle with olive oil. Stay close by and keep flipping the vegetables to get a good sear on all sides. I prefer my vegetables mushy so I usually over-cook them. For me, vegetables are done when there is no longer a crunch. Right before they are done, I sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder for flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. I pre-season my skirt steak with salt and pepper and place the whole steak on a non-stick pan and drizzle with European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When my husband makes this recipe, he uses swordfish as a red-meat replacement and cooks it the same way. I sear both sides of the steak to keep all the juices inside. The oil gives the steak a better sear and a slight outer crisp which I really enjoy. I prefer my steak well-done, so I will cut it in half right before I think it’s ready to check the color inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voila! This is my go-to easy meal during the week, I usually alternate the vegetables depending on what’s on sale at my local supermarket,  I’ll also substitute the skirt steak for tilapia, cod, swordfish steak, or mahi mahi. You can also thinly slice tofu if you prefer a vegan diet. The EVOO will give it a nice crisp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was my first time trying European Extra Virgin Olive Oil and I’m glad I did! Through Flavor Your Life, I’ve learned that the olive trees are treated a little different over in Europe. In fact, over thousands of years farmers have evolved hundreds of varieties of olive trees to produce the most delicious olives. Also, I never realized olive oil’s differ in colors and tastes. Spanish oil is usually golden yellow with a fruity, nutty flavor. Italian olive oil is often dark green and has an herbal aroma and a grassy flavor. Greek olive oil packs a strong flavor and aroma and tends to be green. French oil is typically pale in color and has a mild flavor.

I definitely tasted a difference using European Extra Virgin Olive Oil, rather than my current brand and am planning on making a permanent switch. Planning on trying European Extra Virgin Olive Oil yourself? Let me know how you use EVOO in the comments below. Don’t forget to experiment with different oils for different occasions. Try delicate oils for salad dressings or as a condiment over mild foods like vegetables, fish, eggs or potatoes. Pair robust oils with hearty foods that can stand up to the intense flavor, like steak or spicy soup.

Thanks for stopping by!

How do you use EVOO?


 
 

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