Tuscan olive oil goes really well with a simply grilled steak, with beans (try it on humus), winter squashes, greens, on top of a sausage risotto, with both sharp cheeses and mild, milky cheeses, use it to bake a chicken, to make brownies...
makes 16 brownies
3/4 c (112 g) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp flaky salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise and scraped with the back of a knife
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbs (50 g) cocoa
3/4 cup (60 g) hazelnuts, toasted, finely chopped
Mix together the flour, and baking powder and set aside.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on until the eggs are light and voluminous. Mix in the olive oil and the cocoa, then the reserved flour mixture and then the nuts.
Prepare an 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan by coating it lightly with olive oil and flour.
Spread the batter into the pan, sprinkle with flaky salt and bake at 325F/170C for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out reasonably clean but not too clean.
Cool in pan, cut into squares to serve.
pasta col cavolo nero e guanciale .. pasta with kale and cured pork
guanciale (or pancetta or bacon)
short format pasta (calamarata, rigatoni, penne)
extra virgin olive oil
Boil the greens in salted water until they are tender, remove from the water and reserve. Fry the guanciale (or pancetta or bacon) in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and remove it from the pan when it’s crispy. Pour out most of the fat, add olive oil and warm smashed garlic in the pan. When the garlic begins to release its flavor into the oil add the chopped Boil the pasta in the water where the greens were cooked. When it is al dente, drain the pasta and add to the pan with the kale. Toss it all together over a medium flame, season with abundant black pepper. Serve with crumbled bacon and a swirl of olive oil on top.
le ciambelline .. olive oil cookies
makes about 30 cookies
scant 2 cups (450 g circa) flour
scant 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar + more for dipping
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs (220 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) Vin Santo or Marsala or other oxidative wine
2 tsps baking powder
Pour the flour onto a work surface and make a large wide well. Into the well
pour the olive oil and vin santo, the sugar and the baking powder. Mix with a
fork slowly incorporating flour until the dough comes together and you can
work it with your hands. Work in as much flour as necessary until the dough is
smooth, soft and elastic leaving aside the extra flour. Knead the dough just
until it comes together to form a ball of dough. To shape the cookies, cut the
dough into chunks more or less the size of a walnut, roll each one on the work
surface with your palm forming a length of dough and join the ends to make a little ring (ciambellina) 2 1/2 – 3 inches in diameter. Dip the cookies in sugar to coat one side and place them, sugar side up, on a cookie sheet. Bake them at 200-210C / 390-400F for 20 - 25 minutes, until they are golden brown and slide freely on the cookie sheet. Remove the ciambelline from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
bistecca fiorentina .. Florentine steak
The italiani don't eat one steak per person, they make a piece of meat big enough for everyone, grill it, let it rest on a cutting board and then serve slices directly from the cutting board. Choose a very good piece of meat, no marinating necessary.
1 thick-cut porterhouse steak, several fingers tall depending on how many people are eating
Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
rosemary & black pepper
(or shaved white truffle & our Sicilian oil laStoria)
If your butcher hasn't already frollato / dry aged the meat, keep it in the refrigerator uncovered for a day or two. Let it come to room temperature before grilling.
Prepare hot coals of oak or olive wood, they should be glowing hot but not flaming. When the grill is hot, place the steak over the coals. Grill 5 to 7 minutes per side, when you flip the meat sprinkle with salt, and then 5 - 15 minutes standing vertically on the bone end.
Let the meat rest on a cutting board, top with a generous swirl of olive oil, you can add rosemary and black pepper (or you can top with shavings of white truffle and laStoria our milder Sicilian olive oil). Slice and serve hot.