Olive~Me & Co.’s Olive Oil Potatoes Gratin

scallop potatoes

(recipe adapted from cookscounty.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2  onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tsp minced fresh thyme  (divided)
  • 1  cup low-sodium chicken broth  (divided)
  • 3-4  LB Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/2  cup Olive~Me & Co.’s Arbequina EVOO  (divided)
  • ½ cup Sutter Buttes Parmesan Asiago Spread
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 2  ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4  cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs finely chopped parsley (optional – garnish)

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 F. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and 1/2 tsp thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup broth and cook until nearly evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Toss potatoes, 3 TB oil, Sutter Buttes Parmesan Asiago Spread, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 tsp thyme together in bowl. Arrange half of potatoes in prepared dish, spread onion mixture in even layer over potatoes, and distribute remaining potatoes over onions. Pour remaining 3/4 cup broth over potatoes. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
  4. While the potatoes are baking, combine Pecorino, ¼ cup Sutter Buttes Parmesan Asiago Spread, 3 tablespoons of the oil, panko, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in bowl; set aside for final step.
  5. After baking for 1 hour, remove foil, top gratin with Pecorino mixture, and continue to bake until top is golden brown and potatoes are completely tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serve.

 

  • Try one of these olive oils in place of the Arbequina: shallot, roasted garlic, oregano, or habanero

Olive~Me & Co’s Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Balsamic

squash-apple-maple-soup

Recipe adapted from https://www.ontario.ca/foodland            Image Source:  http://nutritionstripped.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ontario Onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 large Ontario Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups/1.25 L)
  • 2 Ontario Apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 2 cloves Ontario Garlic
  • 4 cups (1 L) sodium-reduced chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh Ontario Thyme Leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 2 tbsp (45 mL) Olive~Me & Co Maple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
  • Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) *see bottom for more ideas

Preparation:

  1. In a large pot, cook onions in butter over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash, apples, garlic, broth, 1 cup (250 mL) of water, thyme, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. In batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot and stir in balsamic and nutmeg. Reheat soup until hot. Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds.

Ideas:

  • try toasting your sunflower seeds (pepitas)! Place pepitas in a bowl and coat with a little Olive~Me & Co’s Roasted Garlic Olive oil, Salt, and cayenne pepper. Spread a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 300 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning a few times.  Add on top of the soup while they’re still hot – or let them cool and snack on them later!
  • drizzle a little Olive~Me & Co Roasted Garlic Olive Oil or Habanero Olive Oil onto the top of each soup bowl 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’s Baked Cinnamon Apples: Crock Pot Style

Olive~Me & Co’s Baked Cinnamon Apples: Crock Pot Style

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 6 Large tart apples, cored, sliced and peeled (peel on is okay too)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive ~Me & Co’s Cinnamon Pear Balsamic

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients EXCEPT BUTTER into crock pot; stir well, coating all apple slices, and place slices of butter on top
  2. Cook on HIGH for 1.5 to 2 hours or cook on LOW for 3/5 to 4 hours, stirring once half way through
  3. Drizzle Olive~Me & Co’s Cinnamon Pear Balsamic over plated dessert
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Olive~Me & Co’s Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Bruschetta

cinnamon pear balsamic bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole grain baguette, sliced into rounds
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive~Me & Co’s Cinnamon Pear Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay baguette rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until they are toasted… Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add butter. Add pears, then sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Allow to caramelize slowly approximately 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine mascarpone and honey. Spread on baguette slices.
  4. Once pears are caramelized, add balsamic vinegar and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add spoonful of pear mixture on top of mascarpone on baguette. These can be served warm or cold.