Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Crisco Olive Oil Dipping Sauce
When Little Big Brother was still smaller than me he would sit on my step-daddy's lap at the kitchen table and eat olives. Little Big Brother wouldn't just eat olives, though, he'd stick one on each of his fingers and eat them off one by one. And he didn't have to be with his dad to do this, either. The little man was more than willing to sit on our Mimi's lap and eat olives or even pal around with our cousin A at the table, laughing and eating olives like two peas in a pod. (If you ask them, they must be more related than Little Big Brother and I are because they're funny; I'm not one bit funny. But that's another story.)
When I'm cooking with olive oil I don't usually think much about where it came from or the many olives that had to be picked to make the beautiful oil. But I do think about where I come from and the people who helped me become the person I am today.
With Little Big Brother off at his first day of college today, tonight seemed like a perfect night to enjoy some olive oil with dinner. It was like a sign from the heavens that I received a box full of olive oil sent by the sweet people from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.
We've never bought Crisco olive oil before, so this was a nice opportunity for us to try a new brand. And although I've eaten my fair share of olive oil over the years, I've never thought much about the differences between pure, extra virgin and light olive oil. I liked that each bottle specified their ideal uses: light is best for frying, cooking and baking; extra virgin is good for dipping, dressings and sauces; and pure is perfect for sauteeing, roasting and grilling.
Well, we didn't take any meat out to thaw today, so sauteeing, roasting and grilling seemed out of the question. But I did have leftover pizza dough that needed to be cooked, so I decided to make the dipping oil recipe that came with our free oil samples.
I halved the recipe - because although the husband and I can house a ton of breadsticks and easily say goodbye to 1/2 cup of olive oil between the two of us we certainly don't need to. I mixed 1/4 cup Crisco extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, a few leaves of freshly chopped rosemary and a touch of Parmesan cheese.
The husband thought the balsamic was a little overpowering, but we're not here to talk about the vinegar. I'd ignore his input tonight, if I were you. The olive oil was tasty. We both agreed the dip was great. I felt like the oil had more flavor than the other brands I'm used to buying, and I'm really looking forward to making a nice fresh salad dressing with that oil. I've even started dreaming about the baked goods I can make with the light oil. (I always thought olive oil cake sounded odd, but now I'm intrigued. Maybe Little Big Brother and his new college buddies will be interested in baked goods made with olive oil.)
I've always associated olive oil with home, traditions and family dinners: my momma swirling it in a pan to make gravy, my step-daddy drizzling it over his salad at dinner. All of those olive oil memories have been fond. I'm so glad I can rank tonight's dinner right up there with the rest of them.
Please note this post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Crisco Olive Oil. I was sent free samples so I could share my honest opinion with you.