How to pair extra virgin olive oils with food

OliveOilTour Articles

Extra Virgin Olive Oils have different aromas, colors, textures and flavors. This opens a wide range of possibilities at the moment of being creative in the kitchen and adding your own personal touch to your dishes. Even nowadays, renowned chefs pair the olive oils to the food that they are preparing in order to get new sensations to match their creations.

When you want to pair an olive oil with food, first of all, you need to decide if you want the oil to compliment the flavour of your dish (using mild flavoured olive oils with subtle dishes and stronger oils to complement hearty foods) or if you want to create a contrast (using strong flavoured oils with mild ingredients, and medium oils over intense flavours).

Smooth, light and delicate olive oils, slightly bitter and fruity, go very well with fish, eggs, popcorn, for baking cakes as well as for salads.

Medium flavoured olive oils, fruity, mildly peppery and bitter, with nuances of avocadoes, nuts and artichokes are a perfect match for grilled vegetables, pasta, grilled meats, for dipping bread, for vinaigrettes, etc.

Intense flavoured olive oils, spicy, peppery, bold, grassy, with hints of tomatoes and herbs are good for soups and stews, strong cheeses, seafood, potatoes, sauces, spicy meals, amongst other things.

This year (2013) in the OliveOilTour you can taste 5 different olive oils:

The 1st one, produced in Cordoba with the Arbequina variety, has touches of bananas, avocadoes and ripe olives. We use this olive oil with tropical salads, made with lettuce, tomatoes, mangoes, kiwi, apples, palm hearts and pineapple. It is also delicious drizzled over avocadoes, or baked potatoes with rosemary and thyme.

The 2nd one, elaborated with the Lechín variety in Almería, smells like cut grass, is very green and fresh, slightly citrusy and tastes like green plums. It is delicious with green salads, tomatoes, steamed asparagus with yogurt and lemon sauce, roasted peppers with cheese, and grilled vegetables.

The 3rd one comes from Granada and is prepared with the Picual, Lucio and Loaime varieties. It smells like a tomato vine, green tomatoes, green peppers and walnuts. It is amazing with tomato-based dishes (gazpacho, pasta sauces), or to drizzle over salads prepared with watercress or arugula, goat cheese or blue cheese, strawberries, toasted walnuts and parmesan crackers (plus sherry vinegar and sea salt).

The 4th one is from Priego de Córdoba and is produced with the Hojiblanca olive. It is quite bold, and it has touches of arugula, mowed lawn, hay, wheatgrass, alfalfa, it is very earthy. This olive oil goes very well with white fish, with rice, couscous, quinoa, it is a key ingredient to make humus or Mexican salsa, as well as for baking focaccia bread with dried tomatoes, sliced purple onions, black olives and rock salt.

The 5th one is a flavoured olive oil. We showcase different flavoured olive oils, such as:
– Basil flavoured olive oil: Is a perfect match for cooking pasta, bruschetta and it also adds a perfect kick to pestos. It is delicious with many Italian dishes.
– Lemon flavoured olive oil: This subtle oil goes very well with chicken dishes and also with fish. We love it for baking cakes, and for eating it with bread and sugar.
– Cayenne flavoured olive oil: Is a perfect addition for chicken wings, or drizzled over pizzas. If you like spicy food, it goes well with many things.
– Ginger flavoured olive oil: It accentuates many Asian dishes, adding a lot of flavour and aromas.
– Coffee flavoured olive oil: Adding a couple of drops to a grilled steak bring it to a completely different level.

As you can see, you can have a lot of fun matching different oils with the dishes that you prepare! So be creative, and get to it!