Friday, June 17, 2016

Flavor Your Life with Olive Oil #sponsor #momsmeet

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Moms Meet. All opinions are my own.

I love all things olive. Green olives. Black olives. And olive oil. So, when the opportunity arose - through my association with Moms Meet - to be part of Flavor Your Life's campaign*, I was in. Immediately. 


Years ago I won a recipe contest using olive oil and we drove several hours, with some of our best friends, to attend the Olive Festival in Paso Robles. The boys still talk about the time we made crowns out of olive branches - just like in the original Olympics - and the dads still talk about the beer tasting!


About Olives
Olive trees are one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world. Native to Asia Minor, they spread to Iran, Syria, and the Mediterranean basin nearly six millennia ago. By 3000 BC, olives were being grown in Crete and they were discovered in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2000 BC. Olives spread from the early Greeks to the Romans; and while the Romans pushed the borders of their empire, they brought the olive with them. In more recent years, olives have spread to the Americas, Japan, as well as New Zealand and Australia.


About Flavor Your Life Campaign and Olive Oil
Flavor Your Life’s mission is to educate consumers so they can make informed decisions about their olive oil purchase. The campaign is supported by the European Union, Unaprol, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture,

Olive oil is made by pressing olive and separating the oil from the paste. Extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed which means that it's pressed without heat or chemicals. Remember that heat and light speed spoilage in your oils, so try to keep it away from your stove. And, for maximum freshness, utilize your olive oil within six months of opening the bottle.

A few tips: Try different kinds of olive oil for different dishes and purposes. Think about matching delicate oils with delicate foods and flavors such as seafood or eggs; pair hearty, robust oils with heavier foods that aren't easily overpowered such as meats or spicy foods.

Though the type of olive and region of production affect the resulting olive oil, here are a couple of things to keep in mind, depending on what kind of oil you want. Early harvest olives - usually picked in August - are under-ripe and the olive oil will be greener and more pungent. Late harvest olives - usually picked in late November - are overripe and lean towards buttery.

As I mentioned, the region of origin also affects the olive oil. Spanish oil is typically more golden with a fruity flavor while Italian oil verges on dark green and has herby, grassy notes. Greek olive oil is also, usually, green and borders on a stronger flavor; olive oil from France is often pale in shade and light in flavor.


On My Plate...
Come summertime, there are two things that keep appearing up on my table: salads and grilled foods. Since I was tasked to create a dish using olive oil, and I really wanted to taste the oil, I decided to go with a salad.

Flavor Your Life had included recipe cards in my package and I used their Apple, Radish, and Raisin Salad as a starting point. But I changed it up a bit by putting it on top of a generous mound of baby greens, swapping the golden raisins for dried cherries, and using a white balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine vinegar. They also sent me a gorgeous little plate for holding olive oil, but I will talk about that in another post. It deserves its own post.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 4 C organic greens (I used baby kale and wild arugula)
  • 1 apple (I used an organic gala apple)
  • 1 large bunch of organic radishes
  • 4 carrots (I used yellow, orange, and purple carrots)
  • 1/4 c dried cherries
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure

Use a mandolin and slice carrots, apples, and radishes as thin as possible. Mix them together in a large mixing bowl.


In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar and 1/2 C olive oil until emulsified. Toss dressing with greens and place them in the bottom of a serving bowl. Place radish, apple, and carrot mixture on top of the dressed greens. Top with dried cherries and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Just before serving drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top of the salad.


Serve immediately.


Connect with the Flavor Your Life campaign online to learn more about European Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Find them on Facebook and on Twitter.


*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program,
May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

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