Our Le Marche olive oil is quite mild compared to its Tuscan cousins – which makes it the perfect basis for flavoured oils. The range is great fun to experiment with in the kitchen – a splash of basil oil or garlic oil really does transform a salad and you can create amazingly mouth-watering smells by roasting with thyme or chilli oil. Let the flavours be your friends. Here are a couple of our current favourites…
Avocado with lemon oil
Avocado – half a ripe one per person
Extra virgin olive oil with lemon – a splash
Balsamico di Modena – a slightly smaller splash
Salt and pepper
Cut a ripe avocado in half, unplug the stone and fill the resulting bowl with a third balsamic and two thirds lemon olive oil. Sprinkle a big pinch of Maldon sea salt and several grinds of pepper over the top and eat with impunity.
Patata pobre, with chorizo and cheat aoili
Ingredients for 4
Potatoes – 1 kg/35oz
Red peppers – 1 ½
Garlic cloves – 2
Extra virgin olive oil - 300ml/10 fl oz
Extra virgin olive oil with chillies – 100ml/3.4 fl oz
Mayonnaise – 4 tbls
Chorizo – 2 sausages
Wash potatoes, then chop them into 1cm thick edges. Heat all of the oil in a deep frying pan on a medium high heat. When it’s hot add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just-not-quite-done. Now drain the potatoes, catching the oil below.
Chop up the garlic and slice the pepper into strips. Add the pepper slices to the thick bottomed pan and soften for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. When the smell is just too delicious to endure (a minute or so) add the potatoes and let all the vegetables cook a bit more until things start to caramelise and go deliciously sticky and chewy, sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Whilst the potatoes are cooking prepare the aioli – I do enjoy making it from scratch, but let’s be honest it’s a fair amount of work. So since I tried out this shortcut with the garlic oil I’ve not looked back – scoop 4 tablespoons of pre-made mayonnaise into a bowl and simply mix in the olive oil, two teaspoons at a time.
Slice the chorizo into thick chunks and serve all together on a platter.
Ingredients for 4
Watercress – 90g/3.2 oz with the stalks removed
Basil leaves – 20g/0.7 oz
Coriander leaves – 20g/0.7 oz
Dill – 10g/0.35 oz with the stalks removed
Pistachios – 40g/1.4 oz unsalted
Olive oil with mandarins – 4 tbsp
Salt and black pepper
Lightly toast your pistachios and then roughly crush them with a rolling pin. Mix the washed watercress together with your herbs into your salad bowl. Sprinkle over the nuts and then the mandarin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Now serve.