Walk along the aisles of almost any grocery store in America and you'll be overwhelmed by the shelves of olive oil: bottles from France, Greece, Italy, and Spain; cold-pressed oil; hand-pressed oil. How do you know which oil is best? Which one should you choose for salads? For sautéing? For dipping?
In The Flavors of Olive Oil, Deborah Krasner demystifies the world of olive oil. Olives-just like wine grapes-respond directly to variations in climate, soil, cultivation, and harvest, so each oil is unique. By classifying olive oil in four distinct groups (delicate and mild, fruity and fragrant, olivey and peppery, and leafy-green and grassy), Krasner guides readers through the different characteristics of more than 150 different olive oils, providing a step-by-step tasting guide to the flavors and aromas of each one. With notes on oils from Italy to Morocco to California, Krasner transports the reader to olive-oil-producing regions around the world.
As all good cooks know, olive oil is an essential ingredient in preparing great food. In this comprehensive volume, Krasner incorporates olive oil into more than 100 delicious, mouthwatering recipes. With everything from appetizers and small dishes to breads and desserts, Krasner showcases each type of oil and combines complementary flavors. Leafy-green and grassy oils stand out when combined with shellfish in Seared Scallops on Chickpea Crêpes. The fruity oils sing when combined with pasta in Penne with Pesto from Naples. The peppery oils retain their boldness in the recipe for Seared Sirloin Steak on a Bed of Watercress, and they add complexity to mashed potatoes in Olive Oil and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes.
Demonstrating that olive oil isn't just for use in savory dishes, Krasner offers recipes like Gingered Carrot Cake with Figs, "Hot" Chocolate Cake, Orange Chocolate Chip Biscotti, and Apple-Cherry Cardamom Strudel. These recipes, and many more, will showcase the delicate olive oils in your pantry and leave your guests clamoring for the recipes.
Hints on technique, pantry basics, and equipment are also included. No book on olive oil would be complete without noting the important health benefits offered by olive oil, and Krasner points to significant evidence that using olive oil is essential to a healthful diet.
The Flavors of Olive Oil is an indispensable guide to the joys of olive oil and a font of information you'll turn to again and again.