Olive oil has been a dietary staple for some of the world’s healthiest populations. There is a reason that olive oil has been used in cooking for centuries. In this post, we are going to share some tips on how to use Tastealotta olive oils in your kitchen while you’re cooking.
The first thing you want to learn about any cooking oil is it’s smoking temperature. You have to keep an oil below it’s smoking temperature when cooking with it. This is particularly true of oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats, including most vegetable oils like soybean and canola. When overheated, they can form various harmful compounds that can contribute to cancer.
Olive oil makes for a great oil to cook with because it has a relatively high smoking temperature. Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, which are actually pretty resistant to heating. However, if under the rare occasion that you do start to see your olive oil smoking, then you know that you’ve probably exceeded 400 degrees fahrenheit, and you shouldn’t eat that food.
When an oil reaches its smoking point, some of the carcinogenic compounds actually vaporize and may contribute to lung cancer when inhaled. The only time you might have this happen with an olive oil is if you’re deep frying with it – deep frying with olive oil is not recommended.
However, olive oil’s strengths in the kitchen will blossom when cooking with it correctly.
For one, olive oil will make for a great starting point to your marinade – whether you’re cooking steak or chicken. Marinating chicken in an olive oil mixture will add both flavor and protection from the high heat during cooking. Start with a basic olive oil and lemon juice marinade, and add seasonings, herbs and other flavors to create a flavorful marinade of your choice.
In this recipe for beefsteak florentine, olive oil is used in both the steak marinade and in the cooking of a mushroom vinaigrette. Here, using olive oil in both portions of the recipe assists in the dish’s flow. Paired together, they have a consistent flavor palette.
We’ve even seen chefs use olive oil to poach salmon. In this recipe here, olive oil is used in almost every segment of the cooking process.
Rich sweets love to be paired with a creamy and rich olive oil too. Though less common, olive oil can enhance the flavor of almost recipe, including chocolate based desserts. Substituting butter with olive oil will also dramatically reduce the amount of fat — especially saturated fat — in your baked goods. And of course, olive oil does not contain any of butter’s cholesterol. You’ll also end up using less substance due to olive oil’s density. Many dessert chefs even use olive oil as their base for making homemade ice cream–it’s a flavor enhancer and pairs well with many ingrediets that are used in making ice cream.
You’ll want to finish off many of your dishes with olive oil, too. The strength of a good olive oil can help to preserve a mix that you’ve prepared for later. Your homemade pesto, for example, will benefit from being topped with a thin layer of olive oil. Adding a layer of olive oil to any mixture at the top of a jar for storage will help the fresh ingredients keep their bright color and flavor.
Remember that the items in your recipe will help guide you in how to use your olive oil while cooking. Acidic vegetables, like tomatoes and lemon, or other acidic juices like vinegar and wine love the to be paired with olive oil. A dash of olive oil in your recipe will really help to balance out the high-acidity of a tomato sauce. Experiment with your favorite Tastealotta olive oils to see which ones you enjoy cooking with the most.
At Tastealotta,”We say you can never have too many types of olive oils!”