The Ultimate Guide to Flavored Olive Oils for Dressing and CookingMartina Crocker
Enhance your favorite dishes with flavored olive oils. Secolari has single-varietal and flavored oils from California, a state that produces some of the finest olive oil in the world.
How are Flavored Olive Oils Made?
The flavor-infused olive oils at Secolari are crafted with the highest-quality standards. As with single-varietal extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), these flavored oils are made with cold-pressed olives. The cold-pressing process results in a rich, pure olive oil that’s bursting with natural flavor.
Secolari’s extra-virgin olive oils are certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). Requirements set forth by this organization are more stringent than international standards, which helps set California-produced olive oil apart from other varieties.
Although the flavored olive oils aren’t certified by this organization, they’re made with the same cold-press process using ripe, freshly picked olives. The only thing that sets these oils apart from the COOC-certified ones is the addition of fruit and/or herbs for flavor purposes.
The fruits and herbs used in these gourmet olive oil varieties are fresh and organic. These components are included in the pressing process, which extracts the flavor and fuses it with the oil. This process is known as the fusion or Agrumato method.
Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which is recognized by the Mayo Clinic and other organizations as heart-healthy. Along with its health benefits, the Mediterranean diet is popular because it’s easy to follow and sustainable over a long-term basis. Typical components of this eating plan include:
- Whole Grains
- Healthy Fats
Olive oil is categorized as a healthy fat, due in part to its antioxidant content. Polyphenols are a plant-based antioxidants found in olive oil, including flavored varieties. They’re known to have anti-inflammatory effects and may even improve immune system function.
Extra-virgin olive oil has the highest amount of polyphenols, as compared with common and refined olive oils. EVOO also contains monounsaturated oleic acid, which may help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and raise good HDL cholesterol levels.
In addition to health benefits, olive oils are flavorful and delicious. There are a plethora of flavors from which to choose, so it’s easy to find an oil to complement any dish.
Gourmet Olive Oil Varieties
The flavored olive oils at Secolari are bottled at the peak of freshness. Each bottle is equipped with a pour spout for easy dispensing. Flavor options include:
- Italian Herb: A blend of garlic, oregano, basil and parsley adds classic Italian flavor to salads, breads and other dishes.
- Mantequilla: Plant-based butter is fused into fresh olive oil to create this varietal. The versatile flavor lends a creamy, nutty flavor to your favorite foods.
- Cilantro: Choose this flavored oil if you love the distinctive flavor of cilantro. This herb-fused olive oil pairs well with Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.
- Habanero: Add heat and spice to savory dishes with habanero-flavored olive oil. It gives meat, vegetables, seafood and other dishes a peppery flavor that’s hot but not overpowering.
- Garlic: Go classic with the rich, pungent flavor of garlic olive oil. Freshly minced garlic is combined with cold-pressed olive oil for a flavor that complements breads, pastas and most any Italian dish.
- Lemon: Citrus is a zesty accompaniment to the nutty flavor of California olive oil. Use lemon-fused olive oil for salad dressing, bread dipping and drizzling on seafood.
- Lime: Another option when it comes to citrus olive oil is lime. Use lime olive oil to create specialty dips and sauces for vegetables, fruits, fish and poultry.
- Jalapeno: One of the most popular ways to spice up any dish is with jalapeno. Use jalapeno olive oil for Mexican dishes or to give bread and salads a kick.
- Blood Orange: The fruity flavor of blood orange olive oil adds a sweet, citrusy flavor and aroma to salads and meats. Drizzle it over chicken or fish or use it for bread dipping.
- Tandoori Masala: Add Indian-inspired spice to lamb, fish, chicken or rice. This olive oil is made with a blend of traditional tandoori masala spices for a bold, distinctive flavor.
- Basil: When it comes to choosing a versatile flavored oil, you can’t miss with basil. Use it as a garlic bread dip or pour it over your favorite salad.
- Rosemary: Another herb that complements almost any food is rosemary. Drizzle rosemary-fused olive oil over most any poultry, seafood or vegetable dish, or use it as a dip for Italian bread.
Can You Cook with Olive Oil?
A common misconception about gourmet olive oil is that you can’t cook with it. In fact, you can cook with olive oil—even the flavored variety. Here’s how:
Extra-virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 390 degrees F. Exceeding it not only causes the oil to smoke, but also affects the flavor. It’s best to use EVOO for sautéing at temperatures between 310 and 350 degrees.
Sautéing is an incredibly versatile cooking method for vegetables, meats and seafood, along with other dishes such as stir-fry and paella. It’s done on the stovetop at approximately 310 to 350 degrees, which is well below the EVOO smoke point.
It’s easy to create a restaurant-quality sautéed dish at home. All you need is a medium to large saute pan—a fry pan or wok also works. Simply heat your olive oil on the low-medium or medium setting, add the desired ingredients and cook for 20-40 minutes on average. You’ll know the veggies are done when they’re tender; different vegetables cook at different speeds.
Other Ways to Use Flavored Olive Oils
Secolari’s olive oils aren’t just great for sautéing. Drizzle them over fruits, vegetables and bread or stir them into soups and stews for a kick of extra flavor. Add your favorite flavored EVOO to one of Selocari’s gourmet vinegar to create a versatile dressing for salads and sandwiches.
Explore the selection at Secolari to find single-varietal and flavored olive oils. There are also plenty of gourmet vinegars from which to choose, along with seasoning blends and condiments.