Olive Oil: A Kitchen Staple

You may be surprised to learn that cooking with olive oil is a simple way to add heart-healthy "good" fats to your diet. In fact, the health benefits, flavor and versatility of olive oil are all good reasons that olive oil is a staple in many kitchens.

Not only can you replace other oils in recipes with olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil for added flavor), in many recipes you can also replace butter with olive oil to reduce saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.

Studies show that your body absorbs nutrients from greens and vegetables better when they are consumed with a monounsaturated fat such as olive oil. These recipes help you get the most out of your veggies, and enjoy a decadent dessert too.

Simple Substitutions 


Olive Oil

1 teaspoon         

3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon         

2 1/4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons     

1 1/2 tablespoons

1/4 cup                

3 tablespoons

1/3 cup               

1/4 cup

1/2 cup            

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup              

1/2 cup

3/4 cup             

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup           

3/4 cup                        


Olive Oil Poached Tuna with Crisp Romaine Salad 

Serves: 4 


romaine hearts, cleaned and leaves separated


hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters


Haricot Vert/French green beans, blanched


Olive Oil Poached Tuna portions, recipe follows


yellow potatoes, peeled

Salt and pepper to taste


Kalamata olives, pitted


grape or cherry tomatoes, washed


 lemon quarters

Prep romaine, eggs and green beans, and chill the day before. Poach tuna and let cool to room temperature.

Boil potatoes until tender and drain. Season potatoes with salt and pepper while still hot. Let potatoes cool to room temperature, cover with plastic and reserve.

Arrange romaine, eggs, green beans, olives, tomatoes and potatoes on four dinner plates. Break and flake tuna on top and drizzle with olive oil from poaching. Squeeze one lemon wedge on each plate and season with fresh pepper and salt. Serve with another lemon wedge.

Olive Oil Poached Tuna  


tuna portions (5 ounces each)


cups extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper, freshly ground to taste


garlic cloves, minced


tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


tablespoons parsley cut in long, thin strips


lemons, zested and juiced

Drizzle tuna with extra virgin olive oil. Season tuna generously with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, parsley and lemon zest. Place tuna in 12-inch saucepot and cover with extra virgin olive oil and juice of lemons. Heat over moderate heat until tuna poaches to medium rare, approximately 7-10 minutes depending on thickness of tuna. Remove from heat; allow tuna to continue to poach and cool to room temperature.

Grilled Flat Bread Pizza with Hidden Vegetable Sauce

Serves: 1


large slice peasant bread cut 1/4- 3/8-inch thick, or any type artisan/ crusty bread

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce, recipe follows

Mozzarella, grated

Parmesan Reggiano, grated

Heat oven to 350°F and heat gas grill or grill pan to medium high.

Brush bread generously with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill bread crisp on each side and transfer to baking sheet lined with baking paper. Top each slice with tomato sauce. Cover with grated mozzarella and sprinkle with grated parmesan Reggiano.

Bake until cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce


cup extra virgin olive oil


cups peeled and small diced eggplant


cup small diced onion


cup small diced carrot


cup small diced celery


garlic cloves, chopped


quarts canned crushed tomatoes


teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


tablespoons fresh basil cut in long, thin strips


dry bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

In large (5-quart or bigger) thick-bottomed pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and saute gently (not browning vegetables or garlic) until vegetables start to become tender. Add tomatoes, herbs and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree until all vegetables are hidden in tomato sauce. Chill and reserve to make quick pizzas. Freeze unused sauce in smaller portions for future use.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Grilled Pineapple 

Serves: 6 


cup extra virgin olive oil


teaspoon kosher salt


tablespoons honey


teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce


golden pineapple

Olive Oil Ice Cream, recipe follows

Mint sprigs

Sliced strawberries

Combine extra virgin olive oil, salt, honey and Sriracha. Set aside.

Cut top and bottom off pineapple and remove outer skin. Turn pineapple on side and cut even slices about 3/8-inch thick leaving the core in. Place cleaned pineapple slices in large resealable bag, pour marinade over them, and gently rotate bag to distribute. Marinate overnight or at least 4 hours.

Heat charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling. Use sharp round cutter to remove core before grilling, if preferred. (This is optional; you can eat the core and it is easier to grill with it intact.) Brush grill grates and wipe with rag soaked with olive oil. Grill pineapple on each side about 3 minutes.

Transfer grilled pineapple to plate and top with scoop of Olive Oil Ice Cream. Garnish with sliced strawberries and mint.

Olive Oil Ice Cream 


ounces heavy cream


vanilla bean, split and scraped


pinches ground cinnamon


ounces milk


cup egg yolks


cup honey


cup extra virgin olive oil, delicate/fruity flavor profile

In saucepot scald cream, vanilla, cinnamon and milk. In bowl whip yolks and honey. Temper whipped mixture with scalded cream mixture. Pour tempered mixture back into saucepot and cook until it coats the back of a spoon. Don't boil. Strain mixture and cool. Stir in olive oil. Cool and freeze in ice cream machine.


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