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Summer Pairings

I am not sure why but always during the winter months I want to cook and eat what we call comfort food. I make beans, chili, soups, casseroles, stews, roasts. For these I love to use my dark balsamic vinegars and olive oils such as Roasted Garlic and Italian Blend, As the weather turns warmer and the days are longer, I start to think of fresh vegetables, salads, marinades and of course GRILLING OUT. This year I seem to have fruits and berries on my mind. I love to have a selection in my fridge. I add not only sliced apples or pears but also blueberries, strawberries, raspberries to green salads. I frequently add walnuts or pecans to the salad also. My absolute favorite balsamic for

Easy Fresh Crisp Cucumber Salad

Wash thoroughly but not necessary to peel if the cucumbers are younger and skin is not thick. Thinly slice and put into small bowl Drizzle with Champagne Balsamic, Aged White Balsamic * Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel or French sel Gris sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. You can change this up to go with a spicy meal by using Jalapeno Lime balsamic instead of the others.

Hot Potato and Arugula Salad with Champagne Wine Vinegar

∙ 1 pound potatoes ∙ 8 ounces meaty bacon, cut in small strips ∙ 4 cups arugula or escarole ∙ 1/3 cup Champagne Wine Vinegar ∙ 1 tablespoon House Blend EVOO ∙ 1 teaspoon sugar ∙ Sea salt and pepper to taste Boil potatoes in skin until tender. Cook bacon until crispy but not overcooked. Mix vinegar, EVOO, sugar and salt and pepper to make the dressing. Drain potatoes, slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Place greens in the bottom of the pot you used to cook the potatoes. Place potatoes on top of greens. Add the bacon and dressing and stir together. Serve hot. You can rewarm if necessary.

Super Mashed Potatoes

∙ 2 to 3 pounds baking potatoes (peeled or not) ∙ Sea Salt to taste French sel Gris or Fleur del Sel ∙ 3 garlic cloves, peeled ∙ 1/3 cup Freshly Cut Garlic EVOO or more to taste, warmed slightly* ∙ Freshly ground black pepper to taste Cut potatoes in half and boil with garlic cloves and salt until tender. Drain and put into a warm bowl. Using a hand potato masher, mash them coarsely while adding the olive oil a little at a time. Add black pepper and more salt if needed Serve immediately. ∙ We sometimes use one half Garlic EVOO and 1/2 Natural Butter EVOO or Roasted Garlic EVOO

All Natural Butter Olive Oil Hollandaise Sauce

∙ 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ∙ 1 teaspoon ground white pepper ∙ 3 egg yolks ∙ 1 cup All Natural Butter EVOO warmed ∙ 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (Fleur del Sel) Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add the mixture to the jar of a blender. With the machine continuously running, slowly pour in olive oil, a little at a time. If the mixture thickens too quickly, add a little more warm water. Continue blending, adding remaining olive oil in a thin stream until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. We love this on asparagus, eggs benedict and chicken.

Roasted Chicken de Belice

∙ Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs ∙ Red skinned potatoes ∙ Parsnips ∙ Large organic carrots ∙ Sweet onions ∙ House Blend, Fresh Garlic, Roasted Garlic or Italian Blend EVOO (Any of these will work great) ∙ Fresh or frozen sweet corn ∙ Frozen sweet peas ∙ Hickory smoked sea salt ∙ Freshly ground black pepper Saute chicken in EVOO until just browned on both sides. Remove from pan. Slice potatoes with skins on in thick slices. Slice carrots in inch thick slices. Peel and slice parsnips and onions in inch thick slices. Drizzle olive oil in roasting pan just to coat and layer vegetables. Sprinkle corn and peas over layers and drizzle with plenty of EVOO. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Grilled Steak with Dark Cocoa Balsamic

∙ Free Range beef loin, strip, tenderloin or rib-eye steaks ∙ Freshly coarse ground black pepper ∙ Hawaiian Clay sea salt to taste (only use this salt)* ∙ Crumbled bleu cheese (Gorganzola is also great) ∙ Dark Chocolate balsamic Reduce balsamic by 1/4 to 1/2 if you desire. We like it straight out of the bottle (set aside). Sprinkle meat with cracked pepper. Season to taste with sea salt and grill to desired doneness. During the last 2 or 3 minutes of grilling, sprinkle the steaks with the bleu cheese. Remove the cooked steaks (rest for 2-3 minutes). Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve. * Hawaiian Clay will seal the juices in.

White beans in olive oil

∙ One can cannelloni beans ∙ 2 tablespoons chopped parsley ∙ 1 garlic clove finely minced ∙ Robust EVOO Ascalano or Olio Nuevo ∙ French sel gris sea salt ∙ Freshly ground black pepper Toss beans, parsley and garlic together with plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with Sicilian Lemon balsamicfor a zesty flavor.

This salad looks long but is so easy and takes 10 minutes to fix. It is

Fresca Santa Fe Salad ∙ One can black beans ∙ One can kidney beans ∙ 1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped ∙ 1/2 green bell pepper chopped ∙ 1/2 sweet onion chopped ∙ 2—3 stalks celery chopped ∙ 2 cloves marinated garlic finely chopped ∙ 5 to 6 green olives chopped ∙ 1/2 small bag frozen sweet corn ∙ Crumbled Feta cheese ∙ Ascalano, Sevillano, House Blend EVOO or Fresh Garlic also works well ∙ Aged Italian White or Aged Traditional Balsamic ∙ French sel Gris sea salt ∙ Freshly ground black pepper Cook frozen corn until just hot and drain. Combine all vegetables. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic to taste and mix. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Chill for an hour and then leave at room temperature f

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

∙ 1 pound carrots, peeled and halved lengthways ∙ 2 tablespoons Aged Traditional Balsamic Dark ∙ 2 Tablespoons Harissa EVOO ∙ 2 tablespoons Smoked Brown Sugar Boil carrots for 10 minutes. Dry. Roast in over at 180 degrees for 45 minutes with Harissa, balsamic and brown sugar.

Roasted butternut Squash Salad

∙ Butternut squash cut into 3/4 inch cubes roasted in Roasted Sesame Seed oil until soft and tender ∙ 4 ounces lentils cooked ∙ 1 bunch Arugula ∙ 6 spring onions thinly sliced on bias ∙ 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds ∙ Yellow cherry tomatoes Toss together, drizzle with Roasted Butternut Squash Seed oil mixed with a dash of Light Soy Sauce

A basic recipe for a marinade or vinaigrette using champagne vinegars

3 parts Sevillano or House Blend EVOO 1 part Champagne Wine Vinegar 1—2 tablespoons of fresh or dried herbs and spices French sel Gris Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Always combine the vinegar and herbs and then slowly whisk in the oil. Add salt and pepper at the end so you can taste and adjust the amount.

My Everyday Italian Salad Dressing

∙ 1 1/3 cups EVOO ( I use our Sevillano, Ascalono or Italian Blend EVOO for even more Italian flavor) ∙ 1/3 cup Barrel Aged Red Wine Vinegar ∙ 1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns ∙ Small pinch of hot pepper flakes ∙ 3 cloves garlic finely minced ∙ 1/4 teaspoon each rosemary, oregano, basil. Double the portion if you are using fresh herbs instead of dry. ∙ 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Whisk together or process in blender until smooth. Increase herbs and garlic if you like a livelier dressing. To make a French version of this dressing add 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

· 6 or 8 ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges · 2 green onions with tops, diced · 1 Tablespoon Aged Dark Traditional balsamic · 1 teaspoon Basil Dijon mustard · 1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 tablespoon fresh dill · 1 teaspoon dried parsley, or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley · 1 teaspoon French sel Gris sea salt · Freshly ground black pepper · 2 cloves garlic, finely minced · 1/4 cup Lisbon Lemon EVOO · 1/3 cup Aged Italian White or Champagne balsamic Put tomato wedges in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Drizzle dressing over tomato wedges. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Using Good EVOO

Part of the fun and adventure of using good EVOO and balsamic, fruit or wine vinegars is the ability to make a recipe your own by experimenting to create a different flavor profile. Use a balsamic like Jalapeno Lime or Ascalano to add a little spice or give the dish just a hint of sweet with Rosato Wine Balsamic instead of the Aged Italian White or Champagne Balsamic the recipe may call for. The same can be done with the olive oils like in Mashed Potatoes. Use Roasted Garlic instead of a House Blend. Wouldn’t Rosemary EVOO also be great in any potato dish. NEXT TIME BAKING WITH EVOO