Monday, November 28, 2011

Recipes with Olive Oil


Olive oil has many uses, however the most common use is as an alternative to sunflower oil when cooking. Olive oil is a much more healthy option, but is only suitable for medium heat frying (around 190C is the smoking point of virgin olive oil). Olive oil can be used for many different things including sautéing, browning, stir-frying and deep frying. It can also be used as an ingredient in marinades and sauces such as mayonnaise. One of the most delicious things is the most simple; a lovely piece of crusty bread dipped in olive oil, which is a popular welcome starter in plenty of restaurants in North Cyprus.

Generally speaking, different grades of olive oils are used for different purposes:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - cooking fish, meat, making marinade, frying, sautéing
  • Virgin Olive Oil - bread dipping, sprinkled over food such as vegetables, peppers or potatoes
  • Olive Oil - baking cakes, making mayonnaise

Olive oil needs to be stored correctly to prevent it from going rancid, ideally in a dark, cool place in a sealed container (preferably stainless steel).

Below are some recipes which incorporate olive oil:

Olive Ketchup

  • 1/2 cup olives, stones removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

Add all of the ingredients except the tomato paste into a food processor. Pulse these until they are all finely chopped, then transfer the mixture into a small bowl and mix in the tomato paste.

Olive Paste

  • 340 grams pitted black or green olives
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup full-flavored olive oil, plus more for topping
  • freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced


Add the olives, garlic and around a 1/4 of a cup of olive oil into a food processor or blender. Slowly add more as required so that it makes a thick and slightly chunky paste. Take the paste out of the blender and put into a jar, stir in the pepper, keep tasting until you are happy with the taste.

Next, cover the mixture with a thin layer of oil, put the lid on tightly and put in the fridge.  should keep for a few months. When you want to serve the paste, remove it from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature before serving. 

Olive Tapenade


1 cup of black olives
2 small anchovy fillets or anchovy paste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of capers
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

(Makes around 1 cup of Tapenade.)


Firstly you need to pit the olives (remove the stones). You can do this by hitting the olive with a mallet or other hard object so that it splits, then remove the stone, or you can cut out the stones. It is important not to hit the olive too hard, or you could crack the stone and will have pieces of stone in your tapenade. Next you need to chop the anchovies coarsely. Chop the parsley and tarragon finely. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulse until they form a rough paste. Transfer the tapenade from the processor into an airtight container, then place in the fridge. You need to use the tapenade within a week of making it.

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