Olive Oil: Beyond Dipping

Posted by Olivia on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

In the spirit of a healthy new year, I've been investigating the wonderful uses for olive oil beyond just dipping crusty bread in it. The sky is, as they say, the limit. Be sure to click on the links below to get the full scoop.

Bake with it! Olive oil can be used in just about any way that you would use butter or shortening in most recipes, with the added benefit that you need less olive oil than you do butter to achieve the same results. This means less fat and more olive oil saved!

Use it as a flavorful roasting agent for poultry! When I want to make a really juicy, brown chicken or turkey, I rub extra virgin or citrus olive oil over the whole thing on the outside as well as between the skin and the flesh. This seals in the bird's natural moisture and encourages a brown outside. The result is a piece of meat that is beautiful and delicious down to the last bite.

Make homemade salad dressing! Why are you buying bottled salad dressing?? Once you learn how easy and tasty it is to make your own fresh dressing you'll never hit the bottle again. Just whisk 2 parts olive oil to 1 part acidic (like lemon juice or vinegar) and season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper if desired (sometimes it doesn't even need it) and dress your salad as usual. It's so good and so fast  that I bet you'll find yourself eating more salad than usual!

Poach fish in it! It's easier than you think, and yields results that are tender and full of flavor. And the combination of the good fats in fish and the good fats in olive oil is something your heart and arteries will thank you for.

Make pesto! Pesto, like salad dressing, is another delicious condiment that is easy and inexpensive to make yourself. Spread it on a sandwich, drizzle it over fish or chicken or toss it with fresh pasta. You can even make yummy pesto bread by spreading it on sliced french bread and broiling lightly until bubbly.

Beautify yourself! In addition to beautifying from the inside, olive oil can help make your outside beautiful as well. There are many ways to take advantage of its deeply moisturizing properties and you can do so knowing that you're using a natural, healthy ingredient, as opposed to something you can't pronounce, as in many storebought beauty products.

Dipping fresh bread in olive oil is, of course, a great place to start, but I suspect that if you give these ideas a chance you'll find yourself enjoying the many wonderful health benefits of olive oil on a very regular basis.





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