We Get Cooking with South African Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Here in South Africa, we are blessed with an abundance of award-winning extra virgin olive oils that are owning their space on the global stage. With over 20 cultivars grown in South Africa, together with our favourable climate, it’s no surprise that producers on our local olive oil scene receive so much international and local recognition.
CHECK FOR THE SA OLIVE SEAL
To ensure that you are buying the best quality olive oils, look out for the SA Olive stamp of approval. The seal indicates that the oil you’re buying is high-quality, locally produced extra virgin olive oil.
To maintain the high level of quality in your olive oil, store in a cool dark space (14-17 ºC), as light and heat can blemish your oil. Air is another quality-reducing element, so make sure you close the top firmly between uses.
COOKING WITH SOUTH AFRICAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS
There are three styles of extra virgin olive oil: delicate, medium and intense. The style you use is up to personal taste and can also be determined by what you use it for.
We suggest you try delicate oil for baking and fish; medium for salads and vegetables; and intense for grilled or roasted meats and tomato dishes. Try these delicious recipes that have all been made with South African extra virgin olive oils.
Delicious Recipes Using South African Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Whipped Feta & Cream Cheese with Green Olive Salsa Verde
Style of extra virgin olive oil used – Medium.
You are going to want to shmear this creamy whipped wonder on absolutely everything. Or eat it by the spoonful, we won’t judge.
This garlicky goodness is created by whipping cream cheese and feta together with salt and pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It’s best served dolloped onto toasted baguette slices and topped with zesty green olive salsa verde. Mmm, delish!
Because of its richness, this is a super dish to have at a party or when entertaining guests – a little goes a long way.
Tip: Unlike wine, olive oil does not mature with age – it should be consumed as fresh as possible to derive the most advantage from the culinary as well as health benefits. So once opened, use within 30-60 days.
South Western-style Roasted Potato Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Style of extra virgin olive oil used – intense.
This hearty potato salad is packed with South Western inspired flavours. First, we drizzle the baby potatoes with intense extra virgin olive oil and dust with paprika and cumin. These are then oven roasted to golden, crispy perfection. Once out of the oven they are mixed with beautifully charred corn, roasted red and yellow peppers, fresh avo, black beans, sweet baby tomatoes and red onion.
Every great salad needs a great accompanying dressing and this sweet honey mustard one is a winner. Intense extra virgin olive oil is the perfect blend for the strong flavours of mustard and is balanced by the sweetness of honey. Dress your salad liberally and serve. Ideal for adding a little something different to summer braais.
Tip: The more intensely flavoured the ingredients, the better they will be complemented by a more intensely fruity oil.
Carrot Cake Muffins with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
Style of extra virgin olive oil used – delicate.
We know olive oil is great for drizzling, dunking and cooking but how about baking? The truth is, it’s perfect! An oil-based cake batter will always have great texture and a fine crumb, so baking with it is a no-brainer. Not only are you enjoying a great tasting treat but you can rest easy in the knowledge that the oil you are baking with is heart-healthy.
These carrot cake-inspired muffins are incredibly easy to make and the result is a light and fluffy muffin that tastes AMAZING! Smother with a glossy lemon-infused cream cheese icing and top with toasted pecans for crunch. For a little extra zing, add a touch of lemon zest to the tops. This is one of those recipes that will become a favourite and you’ll make time and time again. Best served with a cup of your favourite tea and enjoyed in the company of friends.
Did you know?: Olive oil is naturally cholesterol-free with high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for your heart.
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