Resist the temptation to place your beautiful bottle of olive oil on the windowsill. Light and heat are the #1 enemy of oil. Keep olive oil in a cool and dark place, tightly sealed. Oxygen promotes rancidity. Olive oil is like other oils and can easily go rancid when exposed to air, light or high temperatures.
Here are some of our favourite recipes for you to use your Pigeon Rock Olive Oil with.
1/2 cup Pigeon Rock Olive Oil
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced crosswise into thin strips (vegetable peeler)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Fine sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 -1 pound dried linguine
4-6 quarts boiling salted water for the pasta
For the oil: Place a small heavy saucepan on the lowest heat, add the olive oil and garlic slices. Heat the oil until the garlic turns golden, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and immediately remove the garlic from the oil. Add the red pepper flakes to the oil, and let the pepper flakes steep in the oil.
Chop the garlic and set aside. Toss your favourite herbs or sautéed vegetables with the pasta. For a main course top with meat, fish or cheese.
Cook the pasta and drain. Add approximately half the olive oil/pepper flake mixture to the hot pasta pot along with 1 generous teaspoon salt. Then return the hot pasta to the pot and toss to evenly coat with the oil mixture.
Taste and add more oil, pepper flakes and salt as needed. Add the chopped garlic and serve immediately.
Serving options: Toss your favourite herbs or sautéed vegetables with the pasta.
For a main course top with meat, fish or cheese.
Here is our favourite dipper. It is also used throughout Italy as a sauce on main courses.
Rinse the salt from 2-4 anchovy fillets depending on size; dry them and cut them into small pieces.
Wash and drain 2 tablespoons of salt cured or capers in brine.
In a small casserole warm up 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil; add the anchovies and the capers and cook, mixing constantly, until you obtain a mixture that is homogeneous and fluid.
Flavoured olive oils and dressings make great gifts but watch out; there are safe and unsafe ways to make infused olive oil. The unsafe way is to put anything in the oil that contains any trace of water or moistur including garlic, lemon peel, fresh peppers, fresh herbs and spices. The oil will not support bacterial growth but the water containing herbs will. Botulism bacteria can grow in this type of environment, even in a sealed bottle.
Mix all the ingredients, refrigerate them and use them within a week.
This is the best way if you are using fresh ingredients such as fresh basil, fresh rosemary or garlic. Garlic is ideal for adding to pasta dishes, that you can then top with a little grated dry cheese.
Fill a decorative 1-litre bottle with extra virgin olive oil. Add a clean head of garlic (whole if desired), and leave to marinade for a few days. You can also use lemon peel, fresh or dried peppers, ginger, rosemary sprigs, etc. Alternatively, you can use a recipe for Italian salad dressing but cut down on the vinegar or lemon juice.
Preserve the added ingredients. Maybe you have seen garlic or herbs mixed with
oil. The way it is done commercially is to first preserve the water-containing garlic, herb, etc. with a strong brine or vinegar solution, then put it in the oil. The vinegar solutions used commercially are up to 4 times stronger than the vinegars you find in the supermarket. You can find them at commercial food supply outlets. Many of the herb mixes have both salt and vinegar which both prevent bacterial growth. Commercial vinaigrettes and sauces also have chemical preservatives not usually available to the home cook.
Dry the herbs to remove all water, leaving the essential oils: This can be done with a food dehydrator or just by leaving in the sun. After the spices and herbs are dry, you can add them to the olive oil. Whole sprigs of thyme, rosemary, dried peppers, etc. can decorate the inside of the bottle this way.