Have you ever been confused when choosing the right olive oil for your dish? While you can use the one variety for all of your cooking, each type of olive oil has unique attributes and for me matching the right olive oil to the right dish (just like matching the right lingerie to the event), the results will speak for themselves. Really think about the dishes you prepare and use the guide below to help you choose the right olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: is rich and fruity in flavour and gives a boost to any dish. This oil is green-gold in colour and has a tropical fruit aroma. Extra Virgin Olive oil is the premium version of them all. Use it for salad dressing, to drizzle over vegetables, to dip bread in, for mashed potato, for marinades and sauces; especially pesto and its nice to drizzle over soups.
Pure Olive Oil: offers a classic flavour and such cooking versatility. This oil is a golden-yellow colour and has a slightly toasted aroma. This classic baby is best used for sauteing or pan frying, for pasta sauces; pasta and risottos, great for roast meats; potatoes and vegetables, excellent for caramelising onions and it’s definitely the oil to use when making home-made mayonnaise (which I swear by).
Extra Light Olive Oil: offers a subtle delicate flavour and is ideal for frying. This oil is pale-lime in colour and has a neutral aroma. Light and clean in finish, this oil has a high smoking point – which means you can deep fry with it and cook over high heat before it starts to smoke and burn. This subtle oil is perfect for stir frying, deep frying, creating light flavoured dressings, shallow frying and baking.
With this all in mind, I thought I would share with you my recipe for mayonnaise; quick to whip up and perfect to serve with finger food and like I mentioned earlier, nothing beats the flavour of a home-made mayonnaise.
What you will need:
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2-3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
100ml pure olive oil
100ml vegetable oil
Freshly ground white pepper
To make it:
Place the egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a large glass or ceramic bowl (lemon juice can react with a metal bowl which will give your mayonnaise a slightly bitter flavour). Place the bowl on a damp cloth to stop it from moving while you are whisking. Use a balloon whisk to combine the mixture until it begins to thicken.
Pour your olive and vegetable oil into a measuring jug and pour a few drops of the oil into the egg-yolk mixture and whisk until well combined. Continue adding the oil in one of two ways:
1. Either pour it in a thin steady stream down the side of the bowl, whisking constantly (this is easier if there is someone helping you – hmmm this could be fun), or
2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil at a time, whisking well between each addition. It is important to whisk the oil in gradually because if added too quickly, you will have problems emulsifying the oil and the risk of your mayonnaise seperating or curdling is high.
Once all of the oil has been incorporated, taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning with extra lemon juice, salt and pepper if so desired. Transfer your creation to a small airtight container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mayonnaise (this will prevent a skin from forming) and cover with a lid. Place in the fridge and use as required.