My parents turned me on to olive oil years ago when my dad started using it to lower his cholesterol. But even though I knew it was healthier for us to use rather than butter in the frying pan, sometimes the flavor of it combined with what I was making just seemed off.
Thanksgiving dinner is about the only time I can get away with serving squash at the dinner table – I love it, but the rest of my family not so much. Yet if I’ve learned one thing over the years of raising a family, it is that if you ‘spruce’ up the veggies enough (or in this case the gourds), they might actually admit that it wasn’t so bad 😉
I confess that although I can follow a recipe well, and from a good framework can even make some more “my own” (like this recipe which I picked apart from a Woman’s Day magazine that used Brussels sprouts and chestnuts), flavor pairings sometimes evade me – and so I’m glad to be able to find Star Virgin Olive Oils at my local Walmart, which are flavored to complement certain foods.
Picual Olive Oil – Beef and Lamb are good choices to use with this bold flavor
Hojiblanca Olive Oil – this is a lighter flavored variety that you can use with fish and poultry
Arbequina Olive Oil – which is fresh and fruity and works well with vegetables
And in my case, it’s a bit like “Olive Oil for Dummies”, it’s quite clear right on the bottles which one you should buy for what type of food you are using it with.
Back to my Thanksgiving squash now.. I picked up a bottle of the Arbequina to make my Apricot-Mustard Squash, wondering if it would enhance my side dish, alter the taste completely or make my family go running for the hills.
The olive oil in this recipe is subtle in use, drizzled on to the squash after it’s cooked and before you add the apricot-mustard mixture. But it defined the taste of the dish, plus it provided a smooth texture to the squash.
I’m happy to say that the Arbequina Olive Oil definitely enhanced the squash. To the point that I don’t even know if my family would have liked it, because after I made it and taste tested it, I knew I’d have to take my photos quickly. It was that good. So good that after I finished my first mini-bowl, I filled it up again.
Seriously folks, I finished the whole recipe on my own. (Heh, it’s squash I don’t need to feel guilty about it!)
Interested in trying the new Star Extra Virgin Olive Oils for yourself? Go over and “Like” them on Facebook, and then Enter to Win a Set of 3 of their Usage Pairing EVOOs. There will be 5 winners. If you can’t wait to see if you’ve won, check your local Walmart to see if they are available.
Check out some more recipes made with Star Extra Virgin Olive Oils on Pinterest.
How would you use these unique varieties of Olive Oils in your everyday cooking?