Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Olive Oil: From Tree to Table


I just wanted to formally introduce the cookbook from the previous post:



"Finally! The definitive guide to olive oil — what it is, how to use it, how to cook with it," one review reads. Knickerbocker sidesteps many of the spaghetti-style tried-and-trues and goes for unique recipies originating from the cuisine of olive oil's many homelands - Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia...even Portugal: Seared Ahi Tuna Encrusted with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Risotto with Prosciutto and Fresh Peas, Kalamata Olives with Orange Rind, Provencal Garlic Soup, to name a few. She also includes a thorough explication of the nature and history of olive oil that includes some very interesting tidbits; for instance, did you know that Greece produces a large amount of olive oil? We think of olives as being Greek in very essence, but rarely do we see a bottle of Greek oil on the shelves. Knickerbocker explains that this is because Italian companies buy olive oil in bulk from poor Greek farmers for ready cash at the beginning of the harvest season, then bottle it in Italy - an oil can be labled "Italian" as long as it's bottled there!

I've really enjoyed everything I've made from it so far, and gotten to know a lot more about the flavors and appropriate uses of the olive oils (yes, there are a few of them) in my kitchen.

Featured above: a surprisingly delicious plate of chopped navel oranges drizzled with honey and olive oil and sprinkled with spearmint and sea salt.

5 comments:

Ivonne said...

Ok ... you've gotten your revenge ... now I have to buy this book!

Kate said...

Muahahaha =)

ThursdayNext said...

There are a few Greek olive oils available at Titan Foods in Astoria. My favorite is actually from an Armenian food store (I am Armenian)- the oil is imported from Lebanon. What a flavor. :) Of course the irony is I love olive oil but don't like eating olives. Such a bad Armenian I am...

Julie said...

There is a great place in my town called the Sarasota Olive Oil Company (Sarasota FL) that has tons of olive oils from all over the world and fortunately enough you can sample them all. Actually my favorites have been from Jordan and other Middle Eastern Countries.
Iam sure there has to be a place in NYC where you can do the same.

michelle said...

This sounds like a really great new book - especially after seeing some of the delectable things coming out of it!