Have you ever tasted roasted vegetables dipped in homemade mayonnaise, crafted with an exquisite extra-virgin olive oil? If not, get shopping and cooking right now for a delectable experience. Please don’t conjure jarred mayo when you imagine this recipe, the homemade version is an opulent sauce, and the better the oil the tastier the results. I’ve been experimenting with several outstanding California extra-virgin oils lately, and in the process this became my favorite way to enjoy them.
In early December, the California Olive Oil Council invited me to a lunch designed to show off newly released extra-virgin olive oils. It took place at A.O.C. restaurant
, where Chef Suzanne Goin
prepared six spectacular courses, each featuring a distinctive oil.
When I got home from the event, I wanted to really understand each, so I ordered A Guide to Olive Oil and Olive Oil Tasting
by Orietta Gianjorio
, a professional taster. Equipped with better knowledge, I’ve been having fun sampling the oils. Extra-virgin olive oil is so healthful and satisfying, I don’t feel weighted down in anyway by this project, and in fact am so content, I’ve stopped craving sweets and chips to help me through the afternoon.
Here is a list of the products I tasted. The flavors and aromas of each oil are determined by the olive varieties used, irrigation practices, maturity at harvest, and terroir (geography, geology, and climate of a location), and so each of these oils has its own character. I enjoyed them all, but favored the complex Séka Hills Arbequina and the robust Grumpy Goats Farm Picual, while my husband preferred the less assertive Enzo Olive Oil Delicate and buttery Kiler Ridge Olive Farm Tuscan.
California Olive Ranch
- Limited Reserve, a blend of fruity Arbequina and grassy Koroneiki oils- lovely with antipasti, makes a flavorful mayo
Enzo Olive Oil
- Delicate, Arbequina
, buttery- nice in salad dressings, makes a gentle mayo
Grumpy Goats Farm
, peppery and herbaceous Spanish style oil- good matched with steak and roasted potatoes with red pepper flakes, makes an assertive mayo
Rio Bravo Ranch
, peppery and pungent- great on grilled fish, makes a peppery mayo
Séka Hills- Arbequina
, complex and fresh- shows well in my mayonnaise and drizzled over burrata
cheese (look for this recipe soon on the blog)
Now, choose one of these oils and enjoy the following two recipes. Then check here soon for my recipe for Burrata with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
Olive Oil and Shallot Mayonnaise
This luxurious sauce is a good way to show off an exquisite extra-virgin olive oil. Serve it with roasted vegetables (recipe is below), fresh vegetables, fish or chicken breasts. Lovely with or without the shallots, also consider mixing in minced fresh herbs or a pinch of Aleppo pepper.
Makes about 1 cup
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Minced fresh herbs, capers, serrano chili, Aleppo pepper (optional)
Place the egg, ½ teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in a blender. Using the slowest speed, mix just until combined. With the blender running on the slowest speed, gradually add the oil in a slow stead stream. Process just until the oil is incorporated. Transfer the mayonnaise to a small bowl. Combine the minced shallot and ¼ teaspoon salt on a cutting board or in a mortar and pestle. Chop or mash together until the shallot is very finely chopped or crushed. Mix into the mayonnaise with the cayenne pepper. Mix in fresh herbs if desired. Serve within 2 hours or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Roasted Vegetables with Olive Oil and Pepper Flakes
Delicious on its own, but amazing with the Olive Oil and Shallot Mayonnaise. I’ve served this with eggs at brunch, as an appetizer, and as a side dish to accompany fish. It would also be a good accompaniment to chicken and meat dinners.
Makes 4 servings
½ large head cauliflower, cut into 1” florets
1¼ pounds broccoli, cut into 1” florets, large stems trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil and Shallot Mayonnaise (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli florets in a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper and toss to mix well. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are tender and brown, about 30 minutes. Serve with the mayonnaise.