Announcing the Winners of Our Spring Fling Recipe Contest!

Posted by Olivia on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Announcing the Winners of Our Spring Fling Recipe Contest!

We’ve just wrapped up our Spring Fling Recipe Contest! Many thanks to everyone who participated by sharing their wonderful creations with us, and to those who took the time to vote online. We had a gorgeous pool of recipe entries, all heralding spring’s bounty of local produce, fresh ingredients, and citrusy flavors.

We’re thrilled to announce the Grand Prize Winner, Sherri Williams, whose recipe for Perfectly Pleasing Panzanella won the most votes on our Facebook contest voting page. Congrats, Sherri! Her panzanella recipe (see featured photo) is a fresh and vibrant take on the traditional bread-tomato salad. It calls upon a from-scratch vinaigrette using our Limonato Olive Oil, lemon zest, and champagne vinegar—sounds just delightful! The recipe is below and will be featured in our in-the-works cookbook.

And we’d like to call out to the runners-up, as this was a very close contest. Just behind by two votes were both Mayte Gonzalez with a recipe for Mango and Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas and Crystal Schmidt with a recipe for Strawberry Clementine Olive Oil Cake. Both sound simply exquisite—see their recipes below, as well.

All in all, the winning recipes consisted of a salad, an entrée, and a dessert—a perfectly fine combination of courses to complete any spring menu this season. See the recipes from all winners below, and feel free to share your congratulations with them in the comment section.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this recipe contest. We look forward to the next round together!

Winner: Sherri Williams

Perfectly Pleasing Panzanella

3 cups day old crusty Italian bread, cubed & lightly toasted
1 cup day old pumpernickel bread, cubed & lightly toasted
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, cubed
1/4 cup cucumber, cubed
12 kalamata olives, cubed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
5-6 large basil leaves, torn
2 ounces sopressata salami, cubed
2 ounces sharp provolone, cubed
1/2 cup The Olive Press Limonato Olive Oil
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
1/2 tsp. thyme, dried
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add bread cubes to the mixing bowl and coat. Let the bread marinate in the dressing for 10 minutes. Toss in remaining salad ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix well. Serve!


Runner-Up: Mayte Gonzalez

Mango and Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

1 lb medium shrimp (cooked or raw with shell)
2 ripe mangoes, chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped (or substitute 4 green onions finely chopped)
2 small bell peppers, chopped
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
3 or 4 radishes, chopped
4 tbsp mint
½ cup cilantro, chopped
4 limes
4 tbsp The Olive Press Lime Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cotija or other crumbled cheese
Packaged tostada shells
Make your own tostada shells:
Corn tortillas
2 tbsp The Olive Press Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1. To cook the shrimp, leave them in the shell and boil in hot water. When cooked, let them cool by running under cold water and peel. Dice the shrimp along with the mangoes, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and radishes and combine in a large bowl. Add the mint and cilantro. In a separate small bowl, combine the lime juice, Lime Olive Oil, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the salad and toss. Place salad on a tostada shell and sprinkle cheese on top.

2. Optional: To prepare the tortillas:
In a frying pan, pour enough oil to cover the tortilla (about quarter inch layer of oil). Heat the oil on medium high heat until sizzling hot (add a small pinch of salt to avoid oil splatters). One at a time, fry the tortillas until golden brown on each side (about 40 seconds per side, or until stiff and crisp). Use a spatula to push the tortilla down and keep flat. Remove tortilla from pan and place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.


Runner-Up: Crystal Schmidt

Strawberry Clementine Olive Oil Cake

3 eggs, separated
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup The Olive Press Clementine Olive Oil
½ cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2-3 Clementines
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups small diced fresh strawberries
1½ cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and set it aside. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks are formed, then transfer to another bowl and set aside.

2. In the bowl of the electric mixer (I don’t bother with washing it out) cream together the olive oil, butter, and sugars. Add in one egg yolk at a time, continuing to mix between each one.

3. Use a microplane grater to zest the Clementines; you will need 1 Tbs of zest. Juice the Clementines until you have 2 Tbs of juice, set aside.

4. In a medium bowl combine the Clementine zest, 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. To the mixing bowl add this flour mixture along with the yogurt mix until just combined. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. Toss the strawberry pieces with 1/3 cup flour and then gently fold those into the batter also.

5. Spoon batter into the bundt pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Let cool for several minutes while you prepare the icing by combining the powdered sugar with the reserved Clementine juice. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake.

6. Serve and enjoy!

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