Extra virgin olive oil (Recipe: thyme roasted new potatoes)
In our small Rhode Island town, we have no municipal trash pick-up. Instead, everyone drives to the transfer station -- we call it the dump, but it's really just a collection point -- where we deposit our trash, sort our recyclables, and say farewell to broken appliances and rubber tires.
There's a separate bin for used motor oil, and when we bring used cooking oil (the peanut or canola oil I use for occasional frying) it goes into that same bin.
Extra virgin olive oil is a drop-at-a-time oil, an oil that has flavor, an oil so good you can sip it. In other words, it's delicate.
I'd never bring it to the dump. It would feel completely out of place.
What is extra virgin olive oil?
Oil from the first pressing of the fruit of the olive tree, using solely mechanical or other physical means in conditions that do not alter the oil in any way. EVOO has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering, and must have less than 1% acidity.
How/where to store:
In a cool, dark part of the pantry, for up to two years; or, in an opaque pouring container (to block the light), away from the heat of the stove.
More facts about extra virgin olive oil, and ingredient photos, on The Perfect Pantry:
Extra virgin olive oil (Recipe: aioli with steamed asparagus)
Thyme roasted new potatoes
More a method than a recipe, this is my favorite way to cook potatoes. The secret is not to move them, shake them, or turn them more than once during the cooking. Serves 8.
3 lbs small red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil, approximately 1/4 cup
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Dry-brush the potatoes or rub them in a clean dish towel to remove any surface dirt. Use a paring knife to cut away any blemishes. Cut the potatoes into 4-6 bite-size chunks, and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. With your hands, toss the potatoes to coat with the oil and spices, and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast at 425F for 30 minutes. Toss quickly with a spatula, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.
Other recipes that use extra virgin olive oil:
Olive oil almond cake, from Sassy Radish
Rigatoni with walnut, parsley, and sun-dried tomato pesto, from Food Blogga
Olive oil crackers, from 101 Cookbooks
Olive oil and pine nut ice cream, from YumSugar
Carpaccio of raw zucchini, from Sidewalk Shoes