Showing posts with label olive oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olive oil. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Taste: tomato harvest pizza

I have a delicious recipe to share with you today. I’ve recently discovered how easy it is to make homemade pizza. And with a few shortcuts it’s a quick and easy meal after a busy day.

With the weather cooling down but summer homegrown veggies still plentiful, now is the perfect time to turn up that oven and make a fresh, yummy pizza. And as luck would have it, the super nice people at Carapelli Olive Oil sent me some Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to try out on one of their summer recipes.

I chose their Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Prosciutto and Provolone Cheese recipe but modified the ingredients to use items I had on hand.

Blog Olive Oil Pizza Collage

Here’s the original recipe:

Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Prosciutto and Provolone Cheese

1 (1 pound) frozen pizza dough, thawed or fresh pizza dough*
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded Provolone or mozzarella cheese
6 thin slices (2 ounces) prosciutto, torn into pieces
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, preferably a mix of colorful heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup packed baby arugula 

Cooking directions:
Heat oven to 400oF. Roll dough out on a floured surface to a 10- to 12-inch circle. Sprinkle cornmeal over center of a large baking sheet or in a 12-inch pizza pan; transfer dough to baking sheet. Brush 1-1/2 tablespoons of the oil evenly over dough. Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough to 1/2 inch from edge. Top with cheese and prosciutto. Slice tomatoes thinly; shake each slice to discard excess seeds and juices. Arrange in a single layer over cheese. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. 

Meanwhile, place arugula in a small bowl. Drizzle remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil over arugula; toss to coat. Sprinkle over pizza just before serving. Serves 6. 

*Pizza dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110o to 120o F)
Pinch of sugar
2-1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in work bowl of food processor, combine 2-1/2 cups of the flour, salt and olive oil. Process until combined. With motor running, gradually pour in yeast mixture through feed tube. Process until dough is elastic and pulls away from the work bowl. If necessary, add additional flour until mixture easily pulls away from work bowl. Place dough in a medium bowl lightly brushed with additional olive oil. Brush top of dough lightly with oil; cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down and divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes before rolling dough out or freezing up to 3 months. Makes enough dough for two 10-inch pizza crusts.
Preparation time: 20 minutes 

Rising and resting time: 55 minutes 

Here’s my version. I used frozen pizza dough that I let defrost and rise in the refrigerator overnight. I substituted ham for the prosciutto and bell pepper for the baby arugula. Use whatever you have – that’s the best part about pizza! For even more fun, make several individual pizzas and let everyone add their own toppings.

Then get out the napkins and enjoy!

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I was provided with samples of Carapelli Olive Oil but received no monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good Taste: quinoa pilaf

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Quinoa Pilaf
Have you heard of or tried quinoa? I’ve seen a few recipes floating around but never thought to try it. When the nice people at Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil sent me a recipe for quinoa pilaf and some of their wonderful extra virgin olive oil, I whipped up a batch.

Quinoa Pilaf
Here’s what quinoa looks like uncooked. I know… sort of like birdseed. The reason is that quinoa is actually a seed. Here’s what I found out about quinoa.

Over 5,000 years ago, high in the Andes mountains, the Incas began to cultivate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) as one of their staple crops, believing that it gave power and stamina to their warriors. In the 1980s, two North Americans stumbled upon this ancient, super-nutritious food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado. Since then, quinoa's popularity has exploded worldwide. 
Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. The seeds are round, about the same size of millet or sesame seeds, and come in a rainbow of colors, from red to purple to green to yellow, but the quinoa that is most commonly found in stores is an off-white color.
Source: Livestrong

Quinoa Pilaf
To make this quinoa pilaf, you start by washing the quinoa. You need to use a really fine strainer because those seeds are really little.

Recipe Card Quinoa
I made a printable recipe card with the recipe that Carapelli Olive Oil sent me in case you want to try making this dish. The recipe calls for leeks, sugar snap peas or shelled fresh peas, artichoke hearts and pine nuts. All of which I forgot to get at the grocery store.

Quinoa Pilaf
I improvised and used frozen peas, brown onions and toasted almonds and the results were wonderful. I wasn’t sure if I’d like quinoa but it was really good.
Here’s more information about quinoa:

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It's also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food for celiac patients or other people following a gluten-free diet. Quinoa flour is great for baking cookies, breads and muffins, and quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal.
Source: Livestrong

Quinoa Pilaf
Thank you so much Carapelli Olive Oil for challenging me to make and try something new.

Thanks for visiting.


I link at the wonderful parties listed here

I received samples in order to create this project but no monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Taste: carapelli olive oil

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carapelli for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the places I would love to visit one day is Tuscany. So many wonderful things seem to originate there. Most of them centered around fresh and flavorful food.  So when I was asked if I would like to try Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I didn’t need to have my arm twisted.
Carapelli Olive Oil is Italy’s number 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the company has been making olive oil since 1893. That’s a long time.
Carapelli’s Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves.
Today’s distinctive line of Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oils includes three varieties:
  • Premium 100% Italian – made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma
  • Il Numerato – a supremely smooth and low acidity oil that is a result of a delicate cold pressing of olives
  • Organic – Obtained only from organically grown olives and produced according to organic farming standards; certified USDA organic
What I didn't know was that you tasted olive oil just like wine tasting. Master tasters in Italy use a small blue gass to taste olive oil. The round shape of the glass fits into the palm of your hand so that the oil is warmed, releasing the aroma. The blue color of the glass also conceals the color of the olive oil since color is not an indicator of quality.

Here are the steps to tasting olive oil - Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow (the four S's).

1. Swirl – By swirling the olive oil in your glass, you release the oil’s esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
2. Sniff – Now inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it more subtle?
3. Slurp – Sip the oil while “sipping” in a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery, smooth?
4. Swallow – Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
001950 CarapelliTastingProgram_9_28_11.pdf
I taste tested the Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil following the four S's. I swirled and then sniffed. The olive oil smelled wonderful. The aroma was subtle but really inviting. I think it was saying "go get a piece of bread and dip it into the oil". The bread would have to wait until I finished taste testing. Next I slurped. The olive oil was very smooth and olivy. And I was actually surprised that after swallowing the olive oil, there really was no aftertaste.

Once the taste testing was over I was anxious to try out the olive oil with some other ingredients. One of my favorite ways to have olive oil is as a dip for bread.
Here's what I used in my dip:
{Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Dip}
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a dash of salt
  • parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • bread for dipping
I dipped the bread and it was absolutely delicious. I use olive oil at home but you can really taste the difference with a quality brand like Carapelli.
It's always fun to learn something new and I really enjoyed learning a little about olive oil taste testing.
{and of course eating bread dipped in the oil}

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