Olive~Me & Co.’s Lemon and Blueberry Cake

imagesource reciperain.com

imagesource reciperain.com recipe  – adapted from natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Olive~Me & Co.’s Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium lemon zest and juice, divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 16 oz fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar to garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 375˚F.
  2. Lightly butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar with whisk attachment on high speed 5 min, or until light in color and thick.
  4. Add sour cream, Olive~Me & Co’s Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, vanilla, and salt and whisk on low speed until well combined.
  5. Whisk together the flour with the baking powder then add to batter a third at a time, whisking to incorporate with each addition (do not over mix). Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and the zest.
  6. Rinse blueberries and drain well. In a medium bowl, toss blueberries with corn starch and 1 tsp lemon juice, stirring until cornstarch is incorporated.
  7. Pour half of batter into prepared spring-form pan and spread evenly. Top with half of the blueberries. Spread with remaining batter then sprinkle remaining blueberries evenly over the top, pushing them about halfway into the batter.
  8. Bake at 375˚F for 45 to 55 min, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cake rest in the pan 15-20 min then remove ring and cool until room temp or just warm.
  10. Serve dusted with powdered sugar if desired.

Olive~Me & Co’s Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

spaghetti with avocado sauce

You won’t believe there isn’t cream in this recipe once you taste it!

Below is the basic outline for the recipe, and below that is a list of ideas to change things up a bit. If you’re adventurous, try coming up with your own fun ideas!

Ingredients:

  • 450g (~15 oz) spaghetti
  • 2 avocados – halved, pitted, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • juice of one lemon (or 1/2 a lemon, if you’re not that into lemon!)
  • 1/4 cup Olive~Me & Co. House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped (and a bit to garnish)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce: in a food processor, add avocado, garlic, green onion, lemon juice, parsley, salt & pepper. Pulse the mixture until it starts to blend well.
  3. Once your pasta is cooked, set aside about a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Then drain your pasta.  Add the reserved water into the avocado mixture and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the sauce onto your pasta and toss to coat.  Garnish with parsley.

IDEAS:

  • try replacing the lemon with lime, and the parsley with cilantro
  • try topping each dish with a fried egg, over easy to over medium
  • add cayenne pepper into your sauce for a kick of heat
  • try sprinkling your servings with nutritional yeast flakes for a nutty/cheesy flavour
  • try different noodles. Shells, bowties, etc.
  • omit the garlic and use our Roasted Garlic Olive Oil instead of our House Blend Olive Oil

 

Olive~Me & Co’s Vegan Lasagna

vegan lasagna

Image source http://lowfatveganchef.com/

 

Recipe adapted from ohsheglows.com

Ingredients:

Lemon Basil “Cheese” Sauce

  • 1 Cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1-3 Garlic cloves
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sutter Buttes Chardonnay Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable broth
  • 1.5 Cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 Cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp each salt and pepper

Lasagna:

  • ~ 16 sheets of egg free lasagna noodles (a 454 g box will do with left over noodles)
  • 1.5 jars pasta sauce (or homemade) (about 38 ounces or 1060 grams)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2.5 Cups chopped onion
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 Cup prepared Textured Vegetable Protein (see notes at bottom)
  • Lemon Basil “Cheese” Sauce (ingredients above)
  • Vegan shredded cheese alternative (amount as desired)

Directions:

“Cheese”:

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add garlic to food processor and turn on until garlic is chopped then, while it’s running still, add the remaining ingredients until you have a smooth consistency.

Lasagna:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and saute about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water.
  3. Add 1 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish. Layer noodles, then half the ‘cheese’, then half the veggies. Layer more sauce on that, then noodles, then prepared TVP (optional), then remaining “cheese”, then remaining veggies, then sauce, then vegan shredded cheese
  4. Cover your dish with tin foil and poke a few holes in the foil to let the steam out as it cooks. Bake about 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it at this stage so it doesn’t burn.

Prepared TVP:

  • Prepare according to your preferences or package instructions but as the final step toss the TVP with 1 Tbps Olive~Me & Co Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can use plain or flavoured oil for this step. Try Roasted Garlic, or Basil, or even Habanero for some extra flavour.

TIP: Try adding crumbled firm tofu into your ‘cheese’ mixture for a ricotta-like texture. Add roughly mushrooms into your lasagna layers for a more substantial texture as well

Olive~Me & Co’s Spicy Antipasto Salad

spicy antipasto salad

photo credit and recipe adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/potluck-antipasto-salad

12-16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1/4 jar Sutter Buttes Cajun Jalapeno and/or Garlic stuffed olives, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 4 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp Sutter Buttes Spicy Antipasto
  • 1/2 cup Olive~Me & Co Extra Virgin Olive Oil (try our Basil or Roasted Garlic for more flavour)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large salad bowl. Stir in all but the oil and lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk oil and lemon juice. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

Ratatouille times four!

ratatouille2

Image from http://www.theworldinmykitchen.com/

When it comes to summer and fall cooking I love love my vegetables, but enjoy something different from the usual salad / bbq meals to a more hearty comfort food with depth and flavours. Hence one of my favorites, Ratatouille!

This is a lovely summer dish, even served as a side dish or cold. Some of my favorite vegetables are fall root vegetables, so I take the traditional recipe and add culinary delights like squash, sweet potatoes and parsnips and even sausage to it! What I Love about ratatouille is it’s complex flavours ….you really can’t go wrong with it! Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. Though referred to commonly as ratatouille niçoise, ratatouille is popular among the entire Mediterranean coast as an easy summer dish. It is typically prepared as a stew with each vegetable being sautéed to enhance their flavors before being layered into a baking dish and baked for several minutes to complete the cooking process.

There are many versions of ratatouille. Some more traditional – sautéing the vegetables separately and then bringing them together towards the end or sautéing them all at once. It’s up to you!! A few tips that I use when making it; I use a cast iron frying pan or dutch oven for sautéing the vegetables and I use a more robust olive oil like our House Blend or Koroneiki. Also, DON’T SKIMP ON THE OLIVE OIL! Be generous, it only adds more wonderful flavor to the recipe. The olive oil is important because in ratatouille, it’s not used merely to stop the vegetables from sticking to the pan, it’s a seasoning. Use a bold cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that tastes like the olives it comes from, not some cheap brand with no taste or flavour. I also will use our Rosemary and Roasted Garlic olive oil to enhance the flavours and add a little fig balsamic at the end..

But most importantly, ratatouille needs time and patience. Time for the garlic, onions and bell peppers to caramelize, making them sweet and developing that signature taste that seasons the rest of the stew. Time for the ripe and colourful vegetables to soften and of course time to coax the core flavour from each ingredient, allowing them to intermingle and reduce before being absorbed by the stew.

Below is my favorite recipe by Julia Child, followed by a second variation and I also added a hot pot version of ratatouille and a fall squash version! Don’t forget to season as desired and you can ALWAYS add some heat (like our Habanero Olive Oil for example) !

 

Julia Child’s Ratatouille Recipe- From Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

Serve with nothing but a hunk of warm bread and a wedge of Gruyere.  Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • 1/lb. zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-7 tablespoons Olive~Me & Co Koroneiki or House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more if necessary
  • 1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 pound firm red tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups pulp
  • 2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long, and 1 inch wide.  Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Dry each slice in a towel.
  2. One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.  Remove to a side dish.
  3. In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.  Stir in the garlic and season to taste.
  4. Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8 inch strips.  Lay them over the onions and peppers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.  Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil off several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.
  5. Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley.  Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.  Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
  6. Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices.  Correct seasoning, if necessary.  Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.  Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
  7. Set aside uncovered.  Reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

 

Ratatouille Recipe #2
(serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1  large eggplant, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1  large zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • ¾ cup Olive~Me & Co Koroneiki or House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 5  sprigs thyme
  • 1  large onion, halved, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1  red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup torn basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let sit 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high. Add half of eggplant and zucchini and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables begin to take on color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with ¼ cup oil and remaining eggplant and zucchini.
  3. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in same pot and cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown and is softened, 8–10 minutes. Add half of tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and eggplant, then top with remaining 1 pint tomatoes (do not stir); season with salt and pepper. Transfer pot to oven and roast until all vegetables are softened and tomatoes have begun to burst, 15–20 minutes.
  4. Remove thyme bundle. Transfer to a serving platter and top with basil and grated gruyere cheese!

 

Hot Pot Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive~Me & Co Koroneiki or House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped into 2cm dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 2cm dice
  • 3 courgettes, cut into 2cm dice
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • 150ml double cream
  • small bunch basil, chopped
  • 85g Gruyère (or vegetarian alternative), grated

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a shallow flameproof casserole dish or pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 mins, then tip in the garlic, peppers, courgettes and aubergine. Cook over a medium heat for 10 mins (adding a splash of water if the dish looks dry), until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and 4 tbsp water. Season well. Cover and leave to bubble gently for 15 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  3. Meanwhile, tip the potato slices into a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg, then pour over the cream. Toss everything to coat. Remove the casserole dish from the heat and stir in the basil. Lay the potato slices on top of the ratatouille, creating a spiral pattern, then pour over any remaining cream. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 40 mins.
  4. Remove from the oven and increase heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Scatter over the cheese and bake for a further 20 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve with salad, if you like.

 

Fall Squash Ratatouille Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper
  •  1 yellow bell pepper
  •  1 green bell pepper
  •  2 to 3 leeks
  •  1 small butternut squash
  •  1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  •  1/4 cup Olive~Me & Co Koroneiki or House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  2 tsp dried basil
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  1 tsp dried thyme
  •  1 tsp crumbled rosemary
  •  1 lemon
  •  1 tsp granulated sugar
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  •  3 tbsp Olive~Me & Co Koroneiki or House Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  1 cup shredded fresh basil, optional
  •  1 cup crumbled feta, optional

Instructions

  1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom third of oven. Preheat to 400F (200C).
  2. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, then into large chunks. Chop unpeeled eggplant into similar size chunks. Coarsely chop peppers. Slice off and discard dark green tops and roots from leeks. Slice leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out and rinse under water. Thinly slice. Peel squash. (Microwaving on high for a couple of min. makes this easier.) Cut into pieces same size as zucchini. Place veggies and tomatoes in a very large bowl. Add olive oil, basil, salt, thyme and rosemary. Toss to coat. Spread over two large baking sheets.
  3. Roast in top and bottom third of oven until squash is tender but not mushy, 35 to 45 min. Rotate sheets and stir veggies halfway through. Squeeze juice from lemon into a bowl. Stir in sugar and garlic. Whisk in oil. Turn cooked vegetable into a large bowl. Drizzle with half of dressing and toss. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Great warm or at room temperature or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Add basil and feta just before serving and drizzle some basil olive oil over the top!

Olive-Me & Co Peppered Tuna with Olive Salsa

Recipe adapted from Food & Drink magazine – Winter 2015

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup any plain Olive-Me & Co EVOO 
  • 1 cup Nicoise or other black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 2 Tbs capers
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp lemon rind
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs sushi grade tuna, at least 1 inch thick
  • salt
  • 3 Tbs finely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs any plain Olive-Me & Co EVOO

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbs Olive-Me & Co EVOO and place on baking sheet/. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes burst. Remove them from oven.
  2. Coarsely chop tomatoes and combine with remaining Olive-Me & Co EVOO, olives, capers, parsley and lemon rind in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice tuna into four  2 ½ x 1 inch rectangles. Season with salt and let sit for 10 minutes/ Roll each loin in pepper, coating all sides.
  4. Heat Olive-Me & Co EVOO in a frying pan over high heat. Add 2 pieces of tuna and cook for 2 minutes on each side for very rare. Cook for 3 minutes on each side for less rare.  Transfer to a plate and reserve. Repeat with remaining pieces of tuna. Serve tuna with olive salsa.

Note: This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.

Olive~Me & Co Oil-Poached Tuna with Warm Tomatoes & Herbs

Recipe adapted from Food & Drink Magazine – Spring 2015

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup any plain Olive~Me & Co Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or try our Basil Olive Oil for extra basil flavour)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ cups loosely packed basil leaves, divided
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 B.C. albacore tuna loin steaks, 1 inch thick, each 12 to 14 oz
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups multicolored cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup loosely packed tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup loosely packed chervil or mint leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a deep skillet just large enough to hold the 2 pieces of fish side by side, heat Olive-Me & Co EVOO, garlic, 1 cup basil and thyme over medium-low. Gently simmer aromatics for the 10 minutes; remove herbs and garlic and discard solids.
  2. Season tuna generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add fish to oil in skillet, increase heat to medium; return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allowing as much oil as possible to drain back into skillet, remove fish to a cutting board and let rest while preparing tomatoes and herbs.
  3. Add tomatoes to oil; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, remove to a bowl.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining 12 cup basil, parsley, tarragon and chervil. Dress with 1 Tbs warm poaching oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt; toss to combine.
  5. Slice tuna into generous ½ inch thick slices. Divide fish, tomatoes and herbs amongst 6 plates.

Note: this dish is best warm or room temperature.

Olive-Me & Co Warm Celery, Date & Almond Salad

Recipe adapted from Food & Drink magazine – Spring 2015

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3 Tbs any plain Olive-Me & Co  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup chopped Medjool or other soft dates
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups packed spring-mix greens
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or chevre

Directions:

  1. Toast almonds in a large, dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Immediately transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Return skillet to medium-low heat and add 2 Tbs of Olive-Me & Co EVOO and the dates, and sauté 1 minute. Add celery, lemon zest and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until celery is wilted but still tender-crisp. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbs Olive-Me & Co EVOO. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide greens among individual salad plates. Top with warm celery mixture and sprinkle with cheese and almonds.

Olive~Me & Co’s Spring Vegetable Pasta with Lemon & Chive Sauce

Spring vegetable pasta with lemon and chive sauce

Recipe and image adapted from bbcgoodfood.com

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of mixed spring vegetables such as green beans (halved), asparagus (3 inch diagonal pieces), broad beans and peas.
  • 400g tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta
  • 1 lemon (zest from half and juice from whole)
  • 1 Tbs Sutter Buttes Chardonnay Mustard or Traditional mustard
  • 1 Tbs any Olive~Me & Co EVOO
  • 3 Tbs snipped chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan, to serve

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta, adding the vegetables for the final 5 minutes of the pasta’s cooking instructions
  2. On low heat, place lemon juice in a small pan with the mustard, Olive~Me & Co EVOO and a little black pepper. Warm through until smooth.
  3. Drain the pasta and vegetables, adding 4 Tbsp of the water to the lemon/mustard sauce, adding most of the chives, then add to the pasta, tossing everything together well.  Divide between 4 shallow bowls and top each with black pepper, Parmesan and the remaining chives.

Olive~Me & Co’s Shredded Beet & Carrot Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large beetroot – raw, peeled, shredded
  • 1 large carrot – large, peeled, shredded
  • 5 walnuts – gently toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley – roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Olive~Me & Co Black Walnut Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive~Me & Co Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • dash cayenne (if you want to heat this up a little)

Instructions:

  1. lightly toast the chopped walnuts over a medium heat, stirring often (about 4 minutes)
  2. place all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss lightly.
  3. chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note: You can swap out the walnuts for pistachios – and the Black Walnut Balsamic for Olive~Me & Co’s Pistachio Balsamic Vinegar.