Mango and Mint Salad

This vibrant, refreshing salad makes a terrific accompaniment to many dishes. The mango’s sweetness is offset by the chilli kick and the zingy taste of mint, while cucumber and radish add lightness and crunch. This recipe appears in it’s original form in:

Healthy Indian: Everyday Family Meals Effortlessly Good for You by Chetna Makan

Ingredients

1/2 mango, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, diced
20–25 small radishes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely chopped

For the dressing:

1/2 mango, peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10g (1/4oz) mint leaves (roughly a handful)
1 small green chilli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or Persian Lime olive oil

1 tablespoon Passion Fruit Jalapeno balsamic

Directions

Put all the dressing ingredients, except the oil, into the bowl of a mini food processor and blitz to a paste. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and continue to blitz until the mixture emulsifies and becomes creamy.

Put the salad ingredients into a serving bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Serve at room temperature, if you like, or pop the salad into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes or so, which is also great!


Spiced Carrot Dip w/Pomegranate and Mint

A creamy, healthy, festive spiced carrot dip with pomegranate seeds, fresh mint, pistachios and sesame seeds is a wonderfully bright dip. Serve with grilled bread, mini naan or crudité.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:
 

  • 1 ½ lbs peeled carrots
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup TAO EVOO – you can be creative here and use a flavored olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey from Honey Feast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • chopped toasted pistachios
  • toasted sesame seeds, black and white seeds if possible
  • pomegranate seeds
  • torn mint
  • crudité, charred bread or mini naan

 

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and blanch them for about 6 minutes, or until fork tender. Transfer the carrots to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  2. Trim and discard the ends of the carrots, cut the carrots into chunks, and add them to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add the tahini, olive oil, water, lemon juice, honey, salt, smoked paprika, coriander, and cumin. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Taste the dip and season with more salt, honey, or lemon juice if desired.
  4. Garnish the dip with the pistachios, sesame seeds, pomegranate seeds, torn mint, and a good drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Serve with crudité, charred bread or mini naan.

This recipe and photo were adapted directly from Kayla Howey’s beautiful blog and website, The Original Dish, https://www.theoriginaldish.com/2019/04/05/spiced-carrot-dip-with-pomegranate-mint/#tasty-recipes-6876

 


Maple Balsamic-Bacon Vinaigrette Over Wilted Baby Spinach

Makes 6 servings

ingredients:

preparation:

Place spinach in a serving bowl. Place the maple balsamic, half the crumbled bacon, red wine or champagne balsamic vinegar, salt, half the shallots, pepper, and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Gently warm while whisking – remove from heat before it reaches a simmer.  Allow to cool for a minute, and then whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to emulsify.  Adjust seasoning,

Gently dress spinach with warm vinaigrette and top with remaining crumbled bacon and shallot. Add blue cheese crumbles, chopped dates/strawberries/dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts if desired and serve warm.


Lemon-Honey Goat Cheese Pear Cheese Dip

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: The Ancient Olive butter-, rosemary– and lemon-infused olive oils work well here)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large Anjou pear, finely diced 4
  • ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Zest of 1 lemon Juice of ½ lemon
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • Handful of chopped walnuts

Instructions

Strain whole milk ricotta to get out as much liquid as possible. Set aside. Heat butter or olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add pears and cook until soft and golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In medium mixing bowl, mix together drained ricotta, goat cheese, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and caramelized pears. Transfer mixture to baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Top with chopped walnuts and bake another 8-10 minutes.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes and enjoy! Serve with crostini or fruit slices.

culture: the word on cheese http://culturecheesemag.com/


Grilled Pears w/Cinnamon Honey Drizzle

Serves 6 (1/2 pear per serving)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe, but firm bosc pears, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoons honey (We use Honey Feast from Florida)

    Grilled Pears w/Cinnamon Honey Drizzle

  • 1 tablespoon TAO Cinnamon Pear (Fig or Traditional work here, too) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • TAO EVOO – use one of our unflavored EVOOs or try our Blood Orange olive oil for a citrusy twist.
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions:

  1. Turn grill burners to low and preheat to between 350-400 F. You can also use a grill pan on the stove with similar results.)
  2. Cut pears in half (top down to bottom) removing any visible seeds, and leave stems on one half, if possible, for a dramatic look.
  3. Brush pears with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and place on grill at an angle flesh side down.
  4. Cook pears on covered grill for 15 minutes. Carefully lift with tongs and turn to see if the pears have softened and have a solid grill mark.  If they do not, continue to cook, covered and check every 5 to 10 minutes.   Turn pears on an angle to create another grill mark (this is how you get a criss-cross pattern) and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes for the second set of grill marks. Be careful not to over cook the pears to a mushy consistency.
  5. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon Cinnamon Pear balsamic and mix well.
  6. Let pears rest for a bit after cooking, when they are warm but not HOT, drizzle balsamic-honey over them and top with chopped pecans.
  7. Serve immediately by themselves or with vanilla ice cream that has a light sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt.

This was adapted from a beautiful recipe and photo from the blog: A House in the Hills, 02.25.14


Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad

This quick and easy salad is perfect for any occasion and is ideal when your current stock/selection of tomatoes is not very good. The fragrant and sweet balls of cantaloupe add a surprisingly delicious twist to the standard Caprese salad and we promise you won’t miss the tomatoes! Besides, if you’ve ever enjoyed a slice of cantaloupe wrapped up in salty prosciutto, you already know how delicious this combination is going to be. A total crowd pleaser!

Serves: serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cantaloupe, halved and seeded
  • 1 8-ounce container mozzarella balls (pearl size balls are a good choice here)
  • 8-10 slices prosciutto, chopped/torn into large pieces
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons TAO extra-virgin olive oil or TAO Basil olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon TAO Peach or Citrus Mint or Banana white balsamic vinegar
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Scoop balls from the cantaloupe with a small spoon or melon baller and add to serving bowl or platter. Add the mozzarella pearls and the chopped/torn prosciutto. Sprinkle with the basil and mint leaves.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar together and season with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the cantaloupe and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and additional herbs to taste.

This recipe was adapted from Foodie Crush, August 2015: https://www.foodiecrush.com/cantaloupe-and-mozzarella-caprese-salad/


Mushroom Toast with Spicy Leek Jam

This recipe was adapted from the food blog, Not Without Salt, and was originally developed  for a vegan dinner. However, using butter in this recipe is an option and our leek olive oil or butter olive oil are great vegan substitutes here**. 

Serves 4

Ingredients for the mushroom toast:

  • 3 TBS TAO leek olive oil or butter olive oil to make this recipe vegan**, or use unsalted butter 
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • TAO Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar
  • 1 recipe Leek Jam (recipe below)
  • 2 Calabrian chilies, thinly sliced (or chili flake)
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill or lemon thyme

 

Ingredients for the leek jam:

 

Directions for the mushroom toast:

  1. Add the leek or butter olive oil (or butter**) to a large skillet set over medium high heat. Cover the bottom of the skillet with the mushrooms and heat without stirring for around 2 or 3 minutes, which gives the mushrooms the opportunity to soften and cook before getting dark and carmelizing.

  2. Then, stir mushroom and let sit again to sear and caramelize. As soon as the mushrooms start to develop a deep bronze color, add the garlic and a sea salt. Continue to caramelize until dark and browned.

  3. Add the Pedro Jimenez sherry vinegar and chili pepper flakes and reduce down until the pan is dry. Taste and add more salt as needed.

  4. Toast the bread on a baking sheet with a bit more olive oil or butter and rub a raw garlic clove over the top of the toasted bread.

Directions for the leek jam:

  1. Add the leek or butter olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Stir in the leeks, chopped garlic and a sea salt. Sauté until the leeks are wilted and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme (or lemon thyme or rosemary), chili flakes, vinegar and sugar and cook down until thickened and  the mixture has thickened to a jammy texture. Taste and adjust salt and/or chili pepper flakes as needed.

To serve:  Spread on the toast a couple of TBS of the leek jam and top with warm mushrooms. Garnish with freshly chopped dill, rosemary or lemon thyme. Best when served immediately, but still great if served at room temp.


Apricot or Banana Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:
• 2 cups Semolina
• 1 Tbs baking powder
• 1½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sugar, divided
• 2 eggs
• 1¼ cups buttermilk
• ¾ cup TAO EVOO (add some lemony zing by using ¼ cup TAO lemon olive oil and ½ cup TAO EVOO)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• zest of 1 lemon
• 4 medium, ripe apricots, pitted and cut in half OR 4 medium, ripe bananas, sliced length wise in half
• ⅔ cup honey, any variety will do but we like Honey Feast Orange Blossom
• ¾ cup TAO apricot white balsamic if you use apricots in this recipe, or TAO banana white balsamic if you use bananas in this recipe

Instructions for the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly oil (with EVOO) the bottom and sides of a of a 9” by 13” rectangular baking pan and then line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the semolina, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar until completely mixed.
4. Incorporate the buttermilk and the eggs with the dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
5. Whisk in the olive oil, lemon zest, and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.
6. In a separate bowl, toss the apricots, or bananas, with 1/2 cup of sugar.
7. Place the apricot halves, or the bananas, cut side down on the parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Use a nice, even pattern so the finished product has a pretty, uniform look.
8. Pour the batter over the apricots or bananas, and shake the pan slightly to settle the batter.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Do not to overbake as this cake can dry out quickly.

Instructions for the syrup:
1. Make the glaze while the cake is baking by gently heating the honey and the apricot or banana balsamic in a saucepan. The mixture should never go above a light simmer for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat while it thickens and reduces by about a third.
2. When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake until all of the syrup soaks in. Let the cake cool completely.
3. Place a serving plate on top of the baking pan and carefully turn upside down to allow the cake to drop to the plate. Slowly peel the parchment from the top of the cake.
4. This cake is best when served at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of Greek style yogurt.


Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream

The smokey grill flavor and crustiness of the bread combined with the salty, tangy, nutty, creamy,
herbiness of the toppings is wonderful enough by itself, but it can also serve as a jumping off point for any
number of sandwiches. You can top the bread and spreads off with slices of grilled chicken or a runny fried egg
and grilled asparagus, for example, and your life will never be the same…

Serves 6 slices

Ingredients

• 2 cups baby spinach, cleaned and torn into small pieces
• 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves (stems removed)
• 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup TAO olive oil plus more for brushing
• 1/2 cup creme fraiche
• 2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon
• 6 thick slices of good Italian country bread

1. In a food processor, combine the spinach, thyme, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, and salt. Process until the
ingredients are roughly chopped. With the processor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil until you
have a chunky pesto. Set aside. (This will make more pesto than needed; the rest can be kept refrigerated
for about a week and used in other dishes like pasta, chicken, and fish.)
2. In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and preserved lemon. Allow to stand in the refrigerator for about a
half hour for the flavors to combine.
3. Heat the grill. Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides. Grill the slices a minute or
two per side until they are crusty and have charred grill marks but are still soft in the middle.
4. Spread each slice of bread with the pesto, and top with a generous smear of preserved lemon cream.


Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Serves: serves 4-6

This quick and easy salad is perfect for any occasion and is ideal when your current stock/selection of tomatoes is not very good. The fragrant and sweet balls of cantaloupe add a surprisingly delicious twist to the standard Caprese salad and we promise you won’t miss the tomatoes! Besides, if you’ve ever enjoyed a slice of cantaloupe wrapped up in salty prosciutto, you already know how delicious this combination is going to be. A total crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

• 1 cantaloupe, halved and seeded
• 1 8-ounce container mozzarella balls (pearl size balls are a good choice here)
• 8-10 slices prosciutto, chopped/torn into large pieces
• ¼ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced• ¼ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons TAO extra-virgin olive oil or TAO Basil olive oil
• 1½ tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon TAO Peach or Citrus Mint or Banana white balsamic vinegar
• Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Instructions

1. Scoop balls from the cantaloupe with a small spoon or melon baller and add to serving bowl or platter.

2. Add the mozzarella pearls and the chopped/torn prosciutto. Sprinkle with the chopped basil and mint leaves.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar together and season with Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the cantaloupe and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and additional herbs to taste.

 


Classic Tomato Bruschetta

The outcome of this really depends on the quality of the ingredients. Pick from the store or farmers’ market the ripest, heaviest you can find. We like the “ugly” and heirloom varieties, but when we can’t find great fresh tomatoes we’ll use high-quality, petite diced canned San Marzano tomatoes or fire roasted, petite diced from Muir Glen. Just be sure to drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Save the juice and add to pasta water or use the juice when steaming spinach or broccoli!

INGREDIENTS:
• 20-24 oz fresh tomatoes (4-5 roma tomatoes or 3-4 regular tomatoes) diced small. Or use canned, petite diced tomatoes that have been drained completely. Fire roasted tomatoes are excellent choice, too!
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped fine
• 2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive single varietal EVOO or Tuscan Herb or Basil olive oil
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar by Giuliano Hazan.
TAO balsamic vinegar for drizzling. We like our extra dense, traditional and fig for this dish. Red wine vinegar is typically used to create a classic bruschetta, and you can optionally drizzle the bruschetta with balsamic vinegar just before serving.
• 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper (or to taste)
• Optional: Grated parmesan Reggiano** do NOT use finely ground cheese as this will make the bruschetta look cloudy our muddy; grate should be like tiny pieces of angel hair or capellini pasta.
• 1 baguette
• EVOO & fresh garlic pieces
Our olives, as a side dish. Obviously, this is optional but a mistake not to serve them with this dish!

DIRECTIONS:
• Dice tomatoes about 1/4″ and lightly drain.
• Mix all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
• Slice the baguette, brush with olive oil and toast or grill until lightly browned. Rub each toasted slice baguette with a clove of raw garlic.
• Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Best served at room temp and with a big bowl of our amazing olives!


Citrus Avocado Salad w/Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1/3 cup TAO Grapefruit or Citrus Mint balsamic
• 1 ½ tsp finely grated onion (we use a handheld micro planer)
• 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
• ½-1 tsp salt
• 1 cup TAO EVOO (a mild to medium robust EVOO may work best here)
• 1 ½ tsp poppy seeds
• 4 medium pink or red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned (save time: purchase peeled sections in jar from grocer’s cold case, near orange juices)
• 4 medium avocados, peeled and cut into wedges
• Bibb lettuce or organic mixed baby field greens

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, onion, mustard and salt; stir until sugar is dissolved. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in poppy seeds. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Just before serving, stir salad dressing. Arrange grapefruit and avocados on lettuce-lined plates; drizzle with desired amount of dressing.

Yield: 8-10 servings

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