May 04, 2003
Olive oil tasting is no longer practiced by foodies and patrons of high end Italian restaurants. Thanks to seminars at food shows such as the NASFT and at meetings of chefs and culinary professionals, the word about olive oil is getting out. Olive oil tastings are even making it to the neighborhood market. In a typical example of this trend, Chef Ira Meyer directed a comparative oil tasting at Woodlands Market in Kentfield, CA recently to demonstrate the differences between premium and medium grade olive oils and other cooking oils. The premium oil was McEvoy Ranch from Marin county California, while the inexpensive oil was Mustapha's brand from Morocco. Oil was offered by itself for tasting and also incorporated into foods.
Chef Meyer offers this recipe to showcase a pungent premium oil:
A raw tomato sauce with many uses; can be used with 1 pound of cooked pasta then served either cold or just with the heat of the pasta. Can be used as a bruscetta mix; make the recipe then add 1/2 tsp of hot red pepper flakes and drain off the liquid before using. Can be used as a sauce for grilled chicken or halibut steaks. Great over poached eggs instead of hollandaise in Eggs Benedict.
4oz Premium Extra Virgin olive oil
1 pound tomatoes, very ripe
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
10 leaves basil, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl. With a gloved hand or a potato masher, crush the tomatoes to help release some of their juices. Add the rest of the ingredients mixing well, allow to marinate at room temperature 2-3 hours covered before using.