Recipes That Feature Olive Oil
On the following pages you'll find some of my favourite recipes from my book Tree to Table - Cooking with Australian Olive Oil.
They come from some of Australia's best known and loved food writers and chefs, such as Kylie Kwong, Tony Bilson, Damien Pignolet and Stephanie Alexander.
I've also included here my own biscotti recipe below - using olive oil.
And a very special bruschetta that my friend Meryan McRobert first made at her café in Scone, Kerv.
I love rhubarb, but had never thought of joining it with rocket and brie and olive oil! It’s worth a try.
Patrice Newell's olive oil biscotti
- 240 g spelt or other wheat flour
- 165 g castor sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- grated rind and juice of 1 lemon or lime
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add oil, egg and lemon rind and juice, and stir with a spoon until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured bench, then use a floured knife to cut it in half.
Quickly mould dough halves into two long logs; it shouldn't be handled too much as this affects the texture. Bake logs on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle it easily. Using a serrated knife, cut slices from the loaf, on an angle, to the size you want, then place slices flat on the baking tray and return to oven for another 10–15 minutes or until golden. You can bake them on both sides, but I usually don’t as this makes the biscuits very hard and I want to keep my teeth!
Makes approximately 20 Biscotti
I learnt to love this soup when I spent 5 months in Arezzo learning about olives. Once pressing began, every café in town started serving their version of this soup. So I’ve always associated it with olive harvest. My friend Fiorenza showed me how she makes it, emphasising that one never puts summer vegetables in it. Forget tomato, basil, zucchini, and eggplant. This soup launches the start of a new season.
1 leek or large onion, 2 carrots, a stick of celery.
Chop leek, onion, carrots and celery up and sauté in olive oil. Pieces of prosciutto are also good to add if you like.
Have ready 4 cups of cooked cannellini beans.
Gather a generous bunch Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale). Chop it up so you have the equivalent of 4 packed cupfuls.
Add the cavolo nero to the sauté veges, toss around, add a litre of meat stock and let it simmer. Cavolo Nero takes longer to cook than regular cabbage. Adjust the stock etc according to your volume of ingredients. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Simmer away gently for an hour, add the beans and then add three cups of cubed stale bread.
If you’ve been to Tuscany you’ll know that their traditional bread is made with no salt and is verging on being tasteless. Perfect for this soup! So please use a good quality bread. I freeze leftover bread, or make breadcrumbs, so I always have a stash on hand.
The end result is like peasant stodge. This is thick soup! Dark green from the cavolo nero, contrasting with the white beans and bread.
But the key to it all is fresh olive oil.
I leave a jug of oil on the table so everyone can pour generous amounts over their own serving.
The final addition can be a sprinkling of coarsely grated parmesan to top it off. I find it’s enough perfect without the cheese.
I guess this food isn’t for the sedatory person, but after a physical day on the farm it can’t be beat.
Meryan McRobert’s Rhubarb Relish Bruschetta with Brie and Rocket
- Bruschetta loaf
- 4 cups of rocket
- ½ cup Patrice Newell’s Virgo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Rhubarb Relish
Cut Bruschetta loaf into 8 pieces approx 2cm thick, toast or cook on a char grill. Place 2 slices on each plate, top with slices of Brie, then rhubarb relish and finish with rocket, drizzle over VIRGO extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
- 1 Spanish onion cut into fine wedges
- ¼ cup sultanas
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, julienned finely
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 bunch rhubarb, cut into 2 cm pieces
Combine all ingredients except rhubarb, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving syrup, then return syrup to saucepan and reduce by half. Pour over rhubarb and cool.