Many people like to cook with olive oil because it's been dubbed one of the so-called good fats. And if you want to use olive oil more in cooking beyond just sautéeing and drizzling it over a salad, there are ways to make it the star of a dish.
Nina Lesser Goldsmith has some ideas. She is the Learning Center Chef and Instructor at Healthy Living in South Burlington.
Toast your walnuts on a sheet tray in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes or in a small frying pan over low heat until fragrant. Cool the walnuts to room temperature before assembling your pesto. In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Blend the pesto thoroughly until it is very smooth. If the pesto is very loose add more arugula, and if the pesto is not blending well add a bit more grape seed oil (1 Tablespoon at a time). The pesto should be a little thicker than spaghetti sauce. With the food processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Citrus Olive Oil Cake
Orange compote, for serving (optional, below)
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
Grate the zest from 2 oranges and 1 lemon and place it in a bowl with the sugar. Using your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the zest is evenly distributed in the sugar.
Supreme 2 oranges: Cut off the bottom and top of the orange so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit with your knife. Cut the orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Break the segments up in to small pieces.
Cut the remaining orange in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup; you will have about 1/4 cup of juice. Add enough of the buttermilk to the juice so you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour the mixture into bowl with the sugar and whisk well. Whisk in the eggs and olive oil.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in the pieces of orange segments. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake your cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold the cake and let it continue to cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream and compote (below), if desired.
For the Orange Compote:
Supreme 3 more oranges according to directions above. Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey and 1 tsp orange blossom water. Let sit for 5 minutes, and then stir gently.
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