From sauteing and shallow-frying to sizzling on the barbecue, olive oil is a fantastic ingredient to cook with. Even a little drizzle of oil can help conduct your pan’s heat and get those meats, veggies, and spices cooking to perfection.
But as well as being a great choice of cooking oil, this versatile liquid also has unique properties that make it a wonderful addition to an array of hot and cold dishes. Make the most of its nuanced flavours and texture with these ideas on how to use and enjoy olive oil.
Drizzle on your sandwich
Whether you’ve got a rustic piece of ciabatta or a humble whole grain slice, bread and olive oil are a match made in heaven. A generous drop of olive oil over the surface of your favourite bread type (toasted or not) is an excellent alternative to butter. Extra virgin olive oil is considered the healthiest oil, and it’s ideal for those trying to reduce their butter and saturated fat intake. It also has a distinctive fruity flavour that will transport you to the Mediterranean sunshine.
For an even layer, try a Flow Control Oil Pourer — you’ll get a delicious coating of glossy oil without the risk of spillage. Top with your favourite ingredients (perhaps some smashed avocado or delicately sliced cheese) or even just season with a sprinkle of coarsely ground salt and pepper. Use an adjustable mill to get both a satisfying crunch and enhanced flavour.
Use it in baking
As well as replacing butter on sandwiches, olive oil makes a delicious baking ingredient too. Some cake and biscuit recipes may recommend vegetable oil in place of butter, but olive oil gives an extra richness of flavour.
Sweet or savoury baked goods can benefit from the texture olive oil provides. For more delicate cakes and muffins, you might find it best to use a mild-flavoured olive oil. As a general rule of thumb, try a taste of the oil on a slice of bread to see if you like the flavour before adding it to your baking recipe.
Olive oil works particularly well in recipes that call for melted butter.
Fancy trying your hand at baking with olive oil? Take a look at our Savoury scones recipe to get started!
Pair with vinegar
For a truly classic dip, you can’t beat olive oil and balsamic vinegar. With its sweet yet acidic flavour, balsamic vinegar is a treat for the taste buds. Pairing it with olive oil not only balances the tartness but also enables your bread to soak it up.
Whether you pour a little of each into a dipping bowl or combine them first in a Duo Oil and Vinegar Pourer, the two ingredients are the perfect accompaniment for a breadboard starter.
You can also use a dual pourer to drizzle the pair over mozzarella and tomato in flawless proportions.
Dressing for your salad
As you can see, olive oil and balsamic vinegar make a delicious dressing for Caprese salad. Each liquid complements the flavours of mild mozzarella cheese and juicy tomatoes. A pinch of fresh basil and a dash of salt and pepper doesn’t go amiss, either!
However, olive oil makes a fantastic base for other salad dressings, too. Making your own dressings and vinaigrettes can be much healthier than buying pre-made ones, which often contain artificial flavours and preservatives or excess sugar. Why not explore our salad dressing recipes? From a classic French dressing that combines olive oil with fiery mustard and white wine vinegar to a tangy chilli and lime variety, there’s lots of inspiration to get you started.
And with a handy Cambourne Salad Dressing Shaker, you can whip up delicious sauces in seconds.
Smooth mashed potatoes
Is there anything more comforting than creamy mashed potatoes? Whatever you like to serve yours with, why not try changing up your mash recipe with tasty olive oil?
Olive oil is a great way to get light, fluffy mash without dairy, making it an excellent option for vegans or those with dairy intolerances.
Once you’ve boiled and drained your potatoes, you can add the oil, then mash or blend until you get your desired consistency. And for an extra bit of mouthwatering flavour, this olive oil mashed potato recipe uses garlic and rosemary — delicious!
Top your roasted vegetables
A simple yet effective way to make the most of olive oil is to drizzle a generous amount over roasted veggies as you serve them. From asparagus to butternut squash, olive oil can bring out all those roasted flavours.
Having friends around for dinner? You could always serve some high-quality extra virgin olive oil in an elegant Ceramic Pourer so they can decide how much oil they’d like to add to their dish.
Trickle over ice cream
Wondering how else to use olive oil? This may seem like an unusual use for olive oil but trust us, it works! For an irresistible sweet and salty treat, try pouring a fine trickle of olive oil over vanilla ice cream and top with a pinch of sea salt. You may never reach for the chocolate sauce again…
Add to popcorn
A delicious treat whether you’re watching a movie or not, popcorn’s moreish flavour can be enhanced by olive oil. You can go for a full-on savoury snack and sprinkle salt throughout or try a sweet and salty combo with a pinch of sugar. Olive oil is lower in saturated fat than butter, making it a top alternative for this light nibble.
Making the most of your olive oil
We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas on how to use olive oil. Sweet, savoury, hot and cold — olive oil is a versatile and tasty ingredient that can bring a new dynamic to classic recipes. So whether you use it in your cooking or serve it at the table in a stylish oil pourer, try something new and take your olive oil game to the next level!