Saturday, October 22, 2011

Olive Oil Tasting? YES!!!

I'm very familiar with wine tasting, but olive oil tasting? Never, until now! During my recent jaunt to California, I was encouraged to visit WeOlive in San Luis Obispo. They were more than delighted to offer me an olive oil tasting of various Californian olive oils. It was an eye-opening experience to realize the dynamic diversity of various olive oils. In my euphoria, I dropped a pretty penny on four bottles, which WeOlive was more than happy to ship to my home. Some of their products are available online, if you feel the urge.

Well, with my spanking new bottles of premium, high-quality olive oil, fresh from California, I was inspired to make Joanne Weir's recipe for "Feta Preserved in Fruity Virgin Olive Oil with Summer Herbs". Preserving feta this way transforms it into a firmer, more flavorful cheese, great enjoyed with crusty bread, olives, roasted peppers, and capers. I also couldn't resist adding a bow to show that it makes a great gift!

Feta Preserved in Fruity Virgin Olive Oil with Summer Herbs

Serves 6


3 sprigs fresh oregano
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs savory (optional)
3/4 pound feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, for garnish


With the spine of a chef's knife, tap the herb sprigs gently to bruise the stems slightly.

Warm 1 cup of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the herbs and heat just until the herbs sizzle, 30 to 60 seconds. Do not boil the oil! Remove from the heat and let cool.

Place half the herbs and olive oil in a 1-pint jar. Cut the feta to fit into the jar. Add the remaining herbs and oil to the jar. Add enough additional oil to cover the feta completely. Cover the jar and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 weeks.

To serve, bring the feta to room temperature and place on a platter. Discard the herb sprigs. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the oil over the cheese. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs, garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.

Recipe by Joanne Weir, Weir Cooking: Recipes From The Wine Country.

No comments:

Post a Comment