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Recipes Blog

  • Chocolate Balsamic Chicken Mole


    4 tablespoons Crystal City Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
    4 cups low-salt chicken broth
    1 cup Crystal City Dark chocolate balsamic
    1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
    1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
    6 large garlic cloves, sliced
    4 teaspoons cumin seeds
    4 teaspoons coriander seeds
    4 ounces dried pasilla chiles,* stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
    1 ounce dried negro chiles,* stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
    1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
    3-4" strip of orange zest
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    Fresh cilantro for garnish 

    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy stock pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and  sauté in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Place the browned chicken in a large bowl until all remaining chicken is browned.

    Add the chicken back to the still warm pot with any juices. Add the broth, balsamic and orange juice; bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes until the chicken is tender.

    In a separate pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add pumpkin seeds, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Sauté until the seeds and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add chilies and stir until soft, approximately 3 minutes.

    Transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl and reserve. Pour chicken cooking liquid into saucepan with onion mixture. Add the orange peel and oregano and cinnamon to the  pan. Cover and simmer until chilies are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. 

    Remove from heat and working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; return to reserved pot. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce; stir to coat. 

    This can be made up to two days ahead of time. It's actually even better the next day! Simply chill in a covered container and rewarm over low heat before serving. Serve with rice or warm corn tortillas,  along with a garnish of chopped fresh cilantro.

    Serves 6

  • Lemon Stuffed Olive Tapenade with Crystal City Extra Vigin Olive Oil

    Ingredients:1 - 20 oz. jar Delizia Brand Lemon Stuffed Olives
    2 teaspoons brined capers, drained
    1 large garlic clove, minced
    1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
    1 tablespoon  Crystal City champagne vinegar
    1/4 cup fresh Crystal City Extra Virgin olive oil

    Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste (or desired consistency). 

    Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Serve with crackers, pita, or grilled baguette. Additional serving suggestions include atop grilled fish, chicken, or as an accompaniment to a cheese board. 

  • Mediterranean Summer Salad/Bean Spread

    Dill and Lemon White Bean Spread
     3 - 15.5 oz cans of white cannellini beans, drained (or 2.5 cups cooked cooled beans, drained)
     2 cloves fresh garlic
     1/3 cup Dill Olive Oil
     1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
     Sea salt to taste
     Additional UP Certified Olive Oil for drizzling
     Place the beans, garlic, dill olive oil and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until creamy and smooth. Adjust seasoning based on the salt level of the beans. Refrigerate until the bean spread becomes a bit thick.
     Mediterranean Summer Salad
     1 cup cucumber cut into 1/2" dice
     1 cup fresh tomatoes diced or cherry tomatoes cut in half
     2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
     2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat leaf parsley,
     1/2 cup feta cheese
     1/2 cup pitted olives, coarsely chopped or halved
     1/4 cup UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil
     2 tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
     1 teaspoon sea salt
     fresh ground pepper to taste
     Place the cut up vegetables in a sealable container. In a separate bowl, whisk the champagne vinegar with the salt until dissolved. Add the olive oil the and pepper and whisk to combine. Pour over the vegetables and allow to marinate refrigerated for no more than an hour.
     To assemble, spoon the bean spread into a wide shallow bowl. Top with the marinated Mediterranean Summer Salad. Garnish the salad with freshly cut herbs, crumbled feta, olives, and an additional drizzle of olive oil. Serve cold with pita or grilled flatbread.

  • Serrano Honey Mustard


    4 tablespoons whole brown mustard seed
    1/2 cup ground yellow mustard powder
    1/3 cup water
    1/2 cup Crystal City  Serrano Honey Vinegar
    2 tablespoons Crystal City Garlic Olive Oil (or other  Crystal City olive oil)
    2 teaspoons salt


    Grind the whole brown mustard seeds in a spice grinder for 15 seconds or with a mortar and pestle. They should be cracked but not fully ground to powder. 

    Combine the slightly crushed seeds, mustard powder and salt in a small bowl with the salt. 

    Mix in the wet ingredients including olive oil. It may seem runny but will thicken as it sits and once refrigerated. 

    Cover and store at room temperature for 2 days to allow the mustard to thicken and become less harsh. Allowing the mustard to sit at room temperature mellows the bite. The longer you allow it to "age" the more mellow it becomes.

    Once the mustard is of the desired pungency, transfer to a clean glass and refrigerate covered tightly.

    Will keep for up to 2 months refrigerated.

  • Apricot & Olive Oil Cake

    2 cups Semolina
    1 tablespoon Baking Powder
    1½ teaspoon Baking Soda
    ½ teaspoon Salt
    1 cup cane sugar, divided

    2 Eggs
    1¼ cups Buttermilk
    ¾ cup Crystal City Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    zest of 1 lemon
    4 medium sized ripe apricots, pitted and cut in half
    ⅔ cup honey
    ¾ cup Blenheim Apricot White Balsamic

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

    Line the bottom of  a 13 x 9" rectangular baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides and paper with a tablespoon of olive oil. 

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the semolina, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add the eggs and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

    Add the olive oil lemon zest, and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.

    In a separate bowl, toss the apricots with 1/2 cup of sugar and arrange the halves cut side down over the parchment 

    Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan over the apricots. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Take care not to overbake as this cake can dry out quickly.
    While the cake is baking, make the apricot balsamic syrup by placing the honey and apricot balsamic in a 

    saucepan. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat and allow to reduce for 10 minutes until thickened and reduced by ⅓.

    When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake until all of the syrup soaks in. 

    Let cool.

    Serve at room temperature with a dollop of Greek style yogurt.

  • Huli-Huli Chicken

    Veronica Food's spin on the classic "Huli-Huli" chicken. And, the best part is that this recipe doesn't  require firing up the grill. The results are amazing right out of the oven!

    Marinade Ingredients
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    1/4 saba
    1/4 cup honey
    1/3 cup Crystal City Blackberry Ginger Balsamic
    1-2 Tbsp. Crystal City  Sesame oil
    1-2-more pieces ginger root, crushed
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    3 Tablespoons Crystal City Baklouti Olive Oil

    Scallions for garnish

    4 pounds chicken drumsticks, wings, or cut up whole chicken

    Combine all the ingredients above except the scallions in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Reserve a few tablespoons of marinade. Pour over the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. 

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (or prepare a grill for indirect cooking) Line a large sheet pan with foil and top with a wire rack. Bake chicken until cooked through and skin is crispy about 45-50 minutes. About 20 minutes through the process, turn the chicken pieces so that they crisp up evenly. Brush with additional reserved sauce as they come out of the oven and sprinkle with sliced scallions. 

    Serve with rice, grain or starch of your choice.

  • Polenta *Vegan

    Polenta is a hearty and amazingly delicious dish made from boiled cornmeal. What follows is a simple recipe that truly highlights fresh, UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This recipe is a crowd pleaser that requires very few steps!


    1 Cup Polenta style ground cornmeal
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 Tablespoon Organic California Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 teaspoons Garlic Olive Oil
    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    Red pepper flakes 
    Additional Garlic Olive Oil for finishing 

    Bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Gradually add in 1 cup of polenta (cornmeal), and reduce heat to medium.

    While polenta is cooking, add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper to taste and the star of the show: 1 tablespoon of Organic California Koroneiki EVOO and two teaspoons of Garlic Olive Oil.

    Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately  20-25 minutes to create a smooth, creamy consistency.

     When finished cooking, ladle into bowls and and for the finishing touch, drizzle a bit of Garlic EVOO on top, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (I used Marash Red Pepper flakes). If you don’t have Marash, normal red pepper flakes will be wonderful.

  • Blueberry Smoothie

    2 cups frozen blueberries
    1/3 cup Strawberry Balsamic
    1 fresh banana, cut up
    1 cup packed fresh baby kale
    1/4 cup Crystal City extra virgin olive oil
    2 Tablespoons chia seeds

    Soak the chia seeds in 1/3 cup Strawberry Balsamic for at least 20 minutes prior to making the recipe. Add the soaked chia seeds, olive oil and banana to the blender jar and blend to a smooth consistency. Add the baby kale and frozen blueberries to the jar and process until completely smooth.

    Makes 2 generous portions or 4 smaller servings

  • Dark Chocolate Fondue


     1 pound dark chocolate chips or whole bars chopped coarsely

    1 cup heavy cream

    1/2 cup milk

    2 Tbs. Crystal City Blood Orange Olive Oil

    1 Tbs. Fresh Orange Zest

    1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

    Pinch Kosher Salt

    2 Tbs. Crystal City Tangerine Dark Balsamic or Traditional, Black Cherry, etc....

    Cookies, Fruit, Marshmallows or pound cake for serving



     Special equipment:  6-quart slow cooker

     Heat a 6-quart slow cooker with insert on high until hot. Combine the chocolate, cream, milk, vanilla and salt and olive oil in the hot insert. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, then whisk the ingredients together and set on low. Whisk in the balsamic just before serving. 

       Serve with cookies, cut up fruit, marshmallows or pound cake.

  • Roasted Lemon Garlic Potatoes

    Olive Oil Roasted Lemon Garlic Potatoes
    2 pounds waxy skin potatoes cut in half (or quarters if large)

    1/2 cup Crystal City lemon olive oil
    5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons Crystal City oregano white balsamic
    1/2 cup chicken stock or water
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    fresh ground pepper to taste
    finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

    Preheat the oven to 400 F. Whisk the marinade ingredients except the water in a large bowl. Toss the potatoes with the marinade and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Add water to the bottom of the pan with the potatoes. Cook for 40 minutes until the water is evaporated and the potatoes are crusty-golden brown. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.

    Serves 6 as a side dish

  • Greek Style Chicken Slouvaki

    Chicken Souvlaki
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut in 1" pieces

    1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
    1/3 cup Crystal City garlic olive oil
    juice from half a lemon
    1 tablespoon Crystal City oregano white balsamic
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    fresh ground pepper to taste

    Place the marinade ingredients into a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the chicken and marinade into a ziplock bag or large bowl with a cover. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

    To cook the chicken, prepare a grill for indirect cooking, or preheat the oven to 400 F. The chicken can be cooked on skewers or in a single layer on a greased broiler pan.

    If grilling, place the skewered chicken on to the grill over indirect heat, turn every two minutes to cook all sides of the chicken, approximately 8 minutes in total. Remove and allow to rest briefly while covered.

    If broiling in the oven, either skewer the chicken or place in a single layer on a mesh cooking rack or broiler pan. Cook the chicken on the top rack at 450 F. for 6 minutes and then turn the broiler on for an additional 4 minutes of broiling. Turn the chicken to brown each side. Serve immediately

    Serves 4-6

  • Rock Cod Veracruz with Red Chili Stuffed Olives

    Rock Cod Veracruz with Red Chili Stuffed Olives
    4 large rock cod (or any mild fish) fillets, approximately 1.5 lbs, (1/2-inch thick)
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    finely ground sea salt
    1/3 cup UP extra virgin olive oil

    2 larges eggs whisked
    1 cup unbleached flour


    2 tablespoons Baklouti Olive Oil
    2 tablespoons Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    4 garlic cloves minced
    28-ounce can diced tomatoes
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
    3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
    1 cup sliced Gordal Olives stuffed with Red Chili
    1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
    1/4 cup sliced green onions

    Start the sauce by heating Baklouti Olive Oil and Smoked Olive Oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions start to brown, about 5 minutes then add the garlic and stir for a bit longer. 

    Add the diced tomatoes along with the bay leaf, oregano, parsley, half of the olives, and half of the capers. Simmer briskly, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

    While the sauce is simmering, dredge the fish fillets first in flour, then in the egg, and then back in the flour. Heat 1/3 cup of UP extra virgin olive oil in a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, pan fry the fish for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, or until nicely golden brown and a bit crisp on the exterior.

    To finish the dish, ladle the finished sauce onto individual dinner plates, place a piece of cod in the center, garnish with the remaining olives, capers, parsley, and green onions. Serve immediately.

  • Post Featured Image

    Pasta with Mushroom-Sage Olive Oil Fried Sage Leaves & Pecorino

    Pasta with Mushroom-Sage Olive Oil Fried Sage Leaves and Pecorino
    4 tablespoons Wild Mushroom & Sage infused Olive Oil
    6 fresh sage leaves, cut in thin strips
    2 oz. pancetta thinly sliced (optional)
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    12 oz. dry pasta of choice, cooked al dente in lightly salted water

    While your pasta cooks add the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add sage leave strips and (pancetta if using). Fry for a couple of minutes until the sage and pancetta strips are crispy but not burnt. Add the lemon juice and whisk. Set aside. Drain the pasta but leave a fair amount of cooking water in the pasta. Add the wet pasta to the saute pan and return to heat tossing to coat and thicken the sauce. Test for seasoning, adding fresh ground pepper and additional salt if desired, and serve immediately.

    Serves 4

  • Olive Wood Smoked Oil Steak


    4 - 2" thick steaks: use either strip, porterhouse, t-bone or tenderloin steaks weighing about 8 oz. each
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)
    2 garlic cloves (optional)
    2 shallots, thinly sliced (optional)
    3 tablespoons olive wood smoked olive oil

    Set the Sous-Vide cooker to 130ºF (54.4ºC). If not using a Sous-Vide, see below.

    Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons smoked olive oil, shallots, rosemary, and garlic if using into resealable or vacuum sealing bags. Place the steaks in a one large or two medium zipper lock or vacuum seal bags and seal.

    Following the operating instructions for your Sous-Vide cooker, place the bag(s) in the water bath and set the timer for 2 hours.

    After 2 hours, remove the bag from the water bath and remove the steaks from the bags and dry well with paper towels.

    Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Rub the dried steaks with remaining tablespoon of smoked olive oil. Add the steaks to the hot pan and sear until well-browned, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

    If you would like to make this recipe without a Sous-Vide cooker, then simply follow the directions to marinate the steaks in a sealable bag for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the steaks and prepare your grill. Grill to desired doneness.  

    Serves 4
  • Olive Wood Smoked Almonds


    3 cups (1 pound) whole raw almonds
    2 tablespoons Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary leaves, crushed
    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a medium bowl, toss together all ingredients until almonds are well coated. Spread the almonds in a single layer onto a large baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes, stir, and continue roasting for another 10 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

    3 Cups
  • Balsamic BBQ Sauce

    Best Balsamic BBQ Sauce... EVER!
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups ketchup
     1 cup Balsamic - your choice  (UP dark balsamic works best here)  
    2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons dry mustard
    2 tablespoons Baklouti Olive Oil, UP EVOO or any fused/infused olive oil of your choice
    1 small white or yellow onion, minced
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    2 teaspoons smoked paprika  (mild or spicy)
    2 teaspoons cayenne (optional for lover's of heat)
     2 teaspoons kosher salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

    Heat the olive oil of your choice in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ketchup, Worcestershire, molasses, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar and store in refrigerator for up to a month. This is great on everything - chicken, ribs, burgers, shoes. You can literally put it on anything, and I encourage you to do so.

    Makes approximately 3 cups

  • Potato Cheese Waffles with Garlic Oil

    Potato Cheese Waffles with Garlic Oil

     2 cups cold or room temperature mashed potatoes (preferably unseasoned)
     1 cup bleached all purpose flour or 1/2 potato flour (starch)
     1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
     2 large scallions thinly sliced
     1/3 cup garlic olive oil
     1 large egg, beaten
     1 teaspoon baking powder
     2 teaspoons salt (less for pre-seasoned mashed potatoes)
     fresh ground pepper to taste
     Sour cream (optional for serving)
     Heat the waffle maker. Meanwhile add all the ingredients to a large bowl including 1/2 of the scallions, and whisk thoroughly.
     Grease the hot waffle iron well. Add 1/3 cup for each waffle. Cook until golden brown on the inside, about 5 minutes per waffle. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, additional scallions, and hot sauce, if desired.

  • Mushroon Sage Infused Chicken Pot Pie

    Spring veggies, rotisserie chicken, fluffy buttermilk biscuits... does it get any better? Yes, yes it does. When you make a creamy, luxurious mushroom-sage béchamel to blanket all of that tasty goodness, it gets a whole lot better.

    Ingredients for the Pot Pie
    2 cups sliced carrots, diced
    1 cup chopped celery
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    1/2 cup peas
    1 cup yellow potatoes, diced and microwaved for 3 minutes
    2 cups cooked diced skinless chicken
    1/2 cup flour
    1/3 cup mushroom-sage olive oil
    3 cups chicken stock or broth
    1 cup heavy cream or milk
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    salt and pepper to taste

    Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan or casserole

    Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, celery, onions, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes until carrots are just tender. Add the flour and stir thoroughly so no dry spots remain. Whisking constantly, add the chicken stock to the flour and vegetables. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened. Add the cream and continue simmering and stirring for a couple of minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, cooked chicken, peas, and thyme. Scrape the filling into the casserole or baking pan and set aside to cool slightly while you make the biscuits.

    Ingredients for the Buttermilk Biscuits
    3 cups all purpose flour
    2 tablespoons sugar
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    1 cup buttermilk1/4 cup butter olive oil

    In the bowl of a food processor add all of the dry ingredients and pulse. Add the chilled butter and pulse a few times to incorporate and create small pea sized lumps of butter. Add the butter olive oil to the buttermilk and pour over the dry ingredients. Pulse a few more times until a loose, moist dough forms.

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Roll out the dough to 1" thickness and cut out biscuits 2" in diameter. Place the biscuits on top of the pot pie filling about 1" apart. Brush with additional buttermilk and bake for 25 minutes until biscuits are fluffy and golden.

    Serves 6-8

  • Ahi Tuna Marinade

    Ahi Tuna Marinade
     2 tablespoons soy sauce (Tamari if possible)
     1 teaspoon Serrano Honey Vinegar
     1 teaspoon Japanese Roasted Sesame oil
     1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
     1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna or sushi-grade wild salmon, 1" cubes
     2-3 scallions, thinly sliced

     6 cups organic mixed spring greens
     1 medium English cucumber cut into 1'" dice

    1 large avocado
     Spicy Baklouti Miso Dressing
     1 rounded tablespoon yellow miso
     2 tablespoons honey ginger white balsamic
     2 tablespoon Baklouti Olive Oil

    1 tablespoon Garlic Olive Oil
     1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
     2 tablespoons plain yogurt

     For serving

     4 cups cooked quinoa cooled to room temperature
     Pickled ginger, optional

    4 small squares of roasted dried seaweed snacks (nori) cut up for garnish, optional


     Prepare 4 cups cooked quinoa set aside and allow to fully cool to room temperature.

     Prepare the tuna marinade by placing all marinade ingredients into a medium bowl and whisking. Add cut up tuna and toss to coat. Refrigerate tuna while preparing the rest of the recipe or up to 20 minutes.

    Make the Miso Dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Process on high until the mixture is fully blended and creamy. Set aside. 


    Just before serving, in a large bowl toss 6 cups of mixed greens with 4-6 tablespoons of miso dressing. Compose the bowl by adding 1 cup of cooked quinoa to the bottom of each bowl. Add a mound of dressed mixed greens to the top of the quinoa. Divide the cut up avocado and cucumber to each salad. Place equal portions of the tuna on top of the greens. Place cut up nori strips atop salads and serve immediately.

    Serves 4 as a light meal or 6 as a small salad   

  • Lemon, Cucumber, Grapefruit White Balsamic Shrub

    2 cups of Grapefruit White Balsamic (or your choice of white balsamic)
    1 medium cucumber thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
    1/2 lemon thinly sliced
    8 cups seltzer water or sparkling water (without sodium added)

    In a one liter mason jar or container add the sliced cucumber and lemon. Pour the grapefruit balsamic over the cucumber and lemon and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to four hours. The longer it sits, the more pronounced the flavor of the fruit infusion. Strain and keep refrigerated and tightly covered for up to two months.

    To serve, add 1-2 tablespoons of shrub (depending on your preference for sweetness) for 8 oz. of chilled sparkling water. Serve over ice if desired.

    Makes between 16-32 servings depending on amount added to water or cocktails

  • Arugula Pasta



     Look at that lovely nest of bright spring-green happiness. The color of the pesto is everything you would expect, but one bite will tell you that you're not dealing with the usual pesto suspect, basil. It's winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. If you do have access to basil, chances are it's being grown in some warmer clime and then trucked or flown hundreds of miles to your local grocery store.

    This trucked/flown in basil, under the best circumstances, will be a pale comparison to the fresh, locally grown basil you can get in spring and summer. So let's swap it for the cold weather nutritional power house that arugula is. And, when we do it, let's also marvel at the peppery, complex, rich, nutty contribution that arugula will make to your pesto which also includes the finest, most nutritious extra virgin in the world.

    12 ounces baby arugula washed and spun dry

    4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 cup hulled, toasted pumpkin seeds
    1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
    1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and salt if used (depending on how salted your pasta water is)
    2/3 cup UP Crystal City extra-virgin olive oil

    Cook your pasta based on the instructions. (I would suggest using the pasta we sell) 

    Meanwhile, combine arugula, garlic, lemon juice, half of the cheese, pumpkin seeds, in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and process until evenly blended until finely processed.  No more than a minute tops. Season well with salt (if using) and freshly ground black pepper.

    Drain pasta and toss with the arugula pesto and mix until evenly combined. Serve immediately with reserved cheese sprinkled on top.

    Serves 4-6

  • Baklouti Cornbread


    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 2 tablespoons honey
    1 tablespoon baking powder

    1 teaspoons kosher salt

    1 1/2  cups whole milk

    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup Crystal City Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
    8 ounces sharp grated Cheddar, 2 ounces reserved
    1/3 cup chopped scallions, +2 tablespoons reserved

    2 tablespoons (1 small pepper) seeded finely diced fresh Anaheim pepper.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Grease a 9 by 9"inch baking pan with Baklouti Olive Oil.

    Combine the flour, cornmeal, honey, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

    In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and Baklouti Olive Oil. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix in the grated Cheddar, scallions and Anaheim peppers.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the reserved grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Corn Side Dish


    Take 1 bag frozen small kernel corn, sauté in pan using about 2 Tbs. Any Crystal City Olive Oil single variety EVOO. Sauté until kernels start to brown. Add about 1 tbs. Crystal City Lime Olive Oil and 1-2 tbs. Crystal City Honey Ginger Balsamic vinegar to the corn and remove from heat. Place in bowl and set aside to cool. After the corn has cooled, add some Grape tomatoes that have been cut in half, sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, salt& pepper to taste. Stir, taste... You can add more Lime oil and/or Honey Ginger balsamic vinegar at this time if you wish... I did. So delicious....

  • Ultimate Mac & Cheese



    2 cups butternut squash peeled, cubed in 1" pieces
    1 pound dry Trottole or Macaroni pasta
    2 cups shredded guyere
    2 cups shredded white cheddar
    1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
    3 cups milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup AP flour
    1+ 4 tablespoons Crystal City Olive Oil Garlic Infused Olive Oil
    1 tablespoon Crystal City Olive Oil Truffle Infused Olive Oil
    1 large shallot finely minced
    2 teaspoons salt
    fresh ground pepper to taste
    Preheat the oven to 375 F.  
    Grease a 13" x 9" baking dish with garlic olive oil. 
    Place the cut up butternut squash in a large sauce pot of hot water and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for approximately 15 or until the squash is fork tender.  Drain and reserve.
    Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a full boil.  Add the pasta and cook based on the package instructions to al dente.
    In a large stock pot, heat the garlic olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot and saute for about 2 minutes until the shallot just begins to turn golden.  Add the flour into the olive oil and whisk to blend thoroughly for about one minute, stirring constantly.  
    Slowly pour the milk into the flour roux, whisking constantly.  Add the cream and continue whisking until thickened.  
    Take 1 cup of the bechamel from the pot and add it to a blender or food processor with the butternut squash. Process until smooth.  Add the butternut squash mixture back into the pot with the rest of the bechamel. And whisk to combine.  Add all of the cheese to the bechamel, reserving 1 cup of guyere cheese.  Stir to melt and combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if desired.
    Add the truffle oil, and the pasta.  Mix well and pour into the prepared baking dish.  Top with the reserved cheese, and bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the pasta bubbly.  
    Serves 6-8

  • Duck with Fig Balsamic


    4 Duck Breasts
    1/2 cup Crystal City Fig Balsamic
    3/4 cup Chicken Stock...
    2 Tbs Crystal City EVOO
    2 ripe pears, cored cut in 1/4 " slices
    1 yellow onion, cut in 1/4 " slices ( I recommend a large onion)
    1-1/2 lbs fingering potatoes, (boiled, cut in 1" pieces) (I picked a bag with small potatoes so I only had to cut a few.)
    2 Tbs Sage or Rosemary, fresh & chopped. ( I used Sage)

    Score duck breasts crisis cross with sharp knife ( I did just fat side). Season with salt&pepper. Heat oil in large skillet med-high heat. Add duck about 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil..(I covered not tented).
    Reserve 1/4 cup pan drippings.
    Add the pears, onion and potatoes to the skillet with the drippings. Sauté until brown.. About 5 min. (I used the same pan but recipe called for a new pan). Stir in sage, season with salt & pepper. Transfer to serving dish, cover to keep warm.
    Same pan.. Heat chicken broth and fig balsamic vinegar.. Bring to boil then reduce to a glaze... About 5 min. ( I did not let mine get too thick). Season with salt and pepper. ( I left this last s&p out)
    Slice the duck breast... (I removed the fat as I was slicing). Place on top of onion potato pear hash. Drizzle Fig glaze over the top and serve!

    Pairs well with a hazelnut spinach romaine lettuce avocado salad with Crystal City EVOO and Strawberry Balsamic.

  • Potatoe, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Red Pepper, Baked Eggs


     Potato, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Red Pepper with Baked Eggs

    1 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes cut in 1" pieced
    1 Jar Delizia Roasted Red Peppers in UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 fresh chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
    1/4 cup Crystal City Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    8 large eggs
    2 teaspoons of salt, plus salt to taste
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    fresh ground pepper to taste

    Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan, cover with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes at a simmer until the potatoes are just barely tender but still not cooked all the way through.

    In a large oven proof saute pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat.  Add the sliced onions and saute until they just  begin to take on a golden color.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.  Remove the pan from heat.

    Drain the potatoes well and allow to sit for a minute to help the moisture evaporate.  Add the potatoes to the saute pan with the onions, tossing well, and allow to cook over medium heat until they just begin to turn golden brown. Add the roasted red peppers, thyme leaves, paprika and toss to mix.

    Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

    Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until the potatoes are nicely browned.

    Remove the saute pan and carefully crack the eggs over the hash, leaving space in between each egg, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and slide the saute pan back in the over for an additional 3-5 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked.

    Add finely chopped parsley to the pan and drizzle with additional Crystal City Extra Virgin olive oil and paprika if desired.

    Serves 4

  • Sweet Corn Soup



    Sweet Corn Soup

     This is summer in a bowl!

    8 ears of super sweet corn
    3 shallots, thinly sliced
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, woody stems discarded
    1 large bay leaf
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
    1 cup of heavy whipping cream - optional
    1 bunch chives, finely minced
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ultra fresh, herbaceous, peppery Crystal City Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

    Optimally, this recipe is made in pressure cooker.  However, excellent results can be achieved on the stove top.

    Shuck the corn, cut the kernels off each ear reserving them and any liquid in a large bowl.  Cut the cobs in half and reserve. In a 8+ quart pressure cooker or stock pot, sauté 2/3 of the sliced shallots for five minutes or until slightly golden in 1/4 cup of olive oil of your choice.  Add the garlic and thyme, and sauté for another minute, making sure that the garlic does not brown.

    To the pressure cooker or stock pot add the stock, cut corn, and cut cobs.  If using a pressure cooker, cook under pressure for 15 minutes.  If cooking via stove top, simmer the pot gently over low heat for 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, sauté the remaining shallot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until caramelized and fragrant and reserve.

    At the end of the cooking process, remove the cobs and bay leaf and add the cream (if using).  In a food processor or blender, process the entire contents of the pressure cooker/pot in batches.  The liquid will be scalding hot so be very careful!

    Strain through a fine mesh strainer discarding any corn particulate and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into bowls and serve immediately topped with minced chives, caramelized shallots, ground pepper, and a nice drizzle of throat catching UP EVOO.

    Serves 4-6

  • Strawberry Puree




     Strawberry Puree


    16 oz package of fresh Strawberries

    2 tbs. Sugar  (you can use sugar substitute)

    ¼ cup Crystal City Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar

    1/8-1/4 cup Crystal City Blood Orange Olive Oil


    Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth puree.  It only takes a few minutes.

    Drizzle generously over Angel Food Cake.  Add some whipped cream on top and serve!  (Vanilla ice cream a long side the cake is also very good and don’t forget to drizzle the puree over the ice cream too!)

  • Carrot Zucchini Gingerbread


    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 cup finely grated zucchini
    1 cup finely grated carrot
    1/2 cup toasted almond oil
    1/2 cup molasses 
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon cloves
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup hot water

    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon honey ginger white balsamic

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Grease a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with toasted almond oil.

    Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and cloves and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

    In a separate bowl stir combine the almond oil, brown sugar, eggs, molasses, ginger and whisk well.  Add the carrot and zucchini.  Add the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the hot water in three additions, beating until flour is just incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. 

    Whisk the powdered sugar with the honey ginger white balsamic and drizzle over the cooled gingerbread.       

  • Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes


     Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    2 T Butter Infused Olive Oil

    1/3 c Cinnamon Pear Balsamic

    4 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled & cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

    1 t  Lemon Seneca Lake Salt


    1. Preheat oven to 400F. Thoroughly whisk together the olive oil and balsamic. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato wedges with the mixture to coat.

    2. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until browned and crispy for about 30 minutes, flipping once.

  • Garlic Asiago Cheddar Cheese Crackers


     Garlic-Asiago-Cheddar- Cheese Crackers


    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground fine black pepper (optional)
    1 1/2 cups aged, shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese
    1 cup garlic UP Garlic Infused Olive Oil (try experimenting with other infused olive oils)        

    Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to distribute.  Add the cheeses and pulse again to finely chop the cheese into the dry ingredients.  Add the oil(s) and continue to pules until the oil is incorporated thoroughly. 

    Gather and press the dough in to two flat discs.  Wrap each disc and chill for an hour.

    Preheat the oven to 425 F.

    Line a baking sheet.  Roll out one disk at a time to 1/4" thick.  Cut in to squares, rounds - whatever floats your boat.  The way you choose to cut the crackers will not affect their taste.

    Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges become golden.     

  • Red Pepper Hummus


     Red Pepper Hummus 

    There are very few ingredients required to make hummus.  In light of this, it's imperative that the handful of ingredients used be of the highest quality available especially where the olive oil is concerned. This, and only this, is the secret to amazing hummus.

    And while it's hard to imagine getting tired of great hummus, if you'd like a little change of pace, try this exceedingly delicious and easy rendition that includes heart healthy roasted red peppers marinated in UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    1 jar Delizia Roasted Red Peppers, drained
    2 - 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained
    2 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup Certified UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil of your choice or any infused olive oil
    2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

    Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until creamy and smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired.   Refrigerate until ready to serve and drizzle more fresh olive oil over the top if desired.        

  • Kale/Butternut Squash Salad


    2 cups raw, peeled butternut squash cut into 1/2" cubes.
    2 cups prepared quinoa, cooled (optional)
    1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
    1/2 cup shaved Pecorino
    6 cups washed, dried mixed greens or baby kale
    pinch of sea salt

    1/2 cup +2 tablespoons UP EVOO ( I used Cobrancosa) or any infused olive oil of your choice
    1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Grapefruit White Balsamic ( or any white balsamic of your choice)
    2 tablespoons minced shallot
    2 tablespoons grainy mustard
    pinch of sea salt
    fresh ground pepper

    Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    In a large bowl whisk the 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 tablespoon of balsamic,  Add the cubed butternut squash and toss to dress with olive oil and balsamic. Place the butternut squash in a single layer in a pan or on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, or until the squash becomes golden brown.  Allow to cool.

    In a blender or food processor, add all of the dressing ingredients.  Process to combine well, and adjust seasoning accordingly.

    Combine 1/2 of the butternut squash, quinoa, and kale and arrange on a large platter or in a large shallow salad bowl.  Add some dressing and toss to combine.  Add the rest of the butternut squash over the top, sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds, and add shaved Pecorino.

    Serves 6-8

  • Latke Waffles


     Latke Waffles

    2 pounds baking potatoes (preferably organic) washed and scrubbed clean
    1 large onion, grated
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons table or fine sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons Baklouti Agurmato Olive Oil - or any olive oil of your choice
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs
    Baklouti for greasing the waffle iron

    Heat oven to 350. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.

    Coarsely grate the potatoes by hand or on the disc of a food processor, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander. Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in eggs, Baklouti, salt, pepper, baking powder, and flour.Heat your waffle iron to high heat. Once hot, coat with Baklouti. Heap some latke mixture on top and spread it into an even layer. Cook until deep golden brown and then transfer to a baking sheet and place in the over to keep warm.

    Makes around 8 latke waffles

  • Cauliflower "Schnitzel"


    1 large head of cauliflower
    3 large eggs, beaten
    1 1/2 cups flour
    2 cups plain bred crumbs
    2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
    1/3 cup UP Certified, high-phenol extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying

    Slice the cauliflower in half straight through, leaving the stem portion of each half intact.  Carefully slice the two hemispheres, through the stem portion into 1/2" thick steaks.  It won't be perfect, some might fall apart, don't worry about it.

    Whisk together 1/3 cup of olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Place the cauliflower steaks and marinade into a large shallow pan or large gallon size zip lock bag.  Coat the cauliflower well and marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

    Whisk the eggs in a pie tin, or similar large flat, shallow dish.

    Whisk together the flour with a teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste.  

     In a heavy bottom pan, or dutch oven, heat 2" of super fresh, UP Certified, High Polyphenol (300 ppm+) extra virgin olive oil to 350 F.
    First dredge the marinated cauliflower in the seasoned flour.

    Dip each steak into the whisked eggs,

    Then dip into the bread crumbs.

    Fry the coated steaks on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to drain on a rack or paper towels before serving.

    Adjust seasoning by adding more salt if desired or pepper.

    For presentation, consider serving the steaks atop a bed of baby arugula or salad with additional lemon olive oil vinaigrette on the side and/or lemon wedges.

    serves 4-6 

  • Balsamic Truffles










    Balsamic Ganache Truffles
    1/2 Cup Steaming hot heavy cream
    1 pinch of sea salt
    8 ounces best quality dark chocolate in chip form, or chopped
    3 tablespoons dark or white balsamic - my favorite options for this are: coconut, raspberry, apricot, tangerine strawberry, maple, espresso, lavender, or traditional.

    1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling the truffles or use 6 oz. tempered (melted chocolate) for coating the truffles.

    Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl.

    Heat the cream and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan over low heat until it just begins to steam.  Do not allow it to simmer or boil.  

    Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring.  Stir the mixture gently until all the chocolate is melted.  Add the balsamic and stir to combine well.  Cool to room temperature and then place the bowl in the refrigerator, covered until the ganache has become cold and can be scooped and formed into balls. 

    Have a baking with a sheet of parchment ready that will fit into your fridge or freezer. 

    Take 1 teaspoon of cold balsamic ganache and quickly roll between your hands to form a ball.  If you spend too much time trying to get the shape just right, you'll begin to melt the ganache and it will be a mess.

    Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and then place the sheet in the fridge or freezer to firm up the truffles when you're done rolling all of them. 

    Now you can roll into cocoa powder or in tempered (melted) chocolate.  However, these are best stored in single layers, separated by parchment or wax paper in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  They can be taken out and served at room temperature. 

  • Shrimp Etouffee


    Shrimp Etouffee

     I know. Just stop. Breathe (deeply). Now let's collectively get over it.

    If you're familiar with Cajun cuisine then you know about roux.  And if you know about roux, you know it's a sacred pillar of the cuisine, revered, and ALWAYS made with a mixture of copious amounts of butter and flour.  The shrimp etouffee recipe above would typically call for no less than 1/2 cup of butter - let that sink in for a minute.  Now let's focus our righteous indignation where it belongs.

    If you're still with me, (I assume if  you're still reading this, there exists at least a modicum of trust), then you'll make your roux forever more with extra virgin olive oil and never look back. It will be our delicious, healthy little secret. 


    1/2 cup Baklouti Agrumato, or any UP extra virgin olive oil of your choice
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 cups chopped onions
    4 cups chicken, shrimp or vegetable stock
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    2 ribs celery, chopped 
    4 large garlic cloves, minced
    3 tablespoons tomato paste 
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 bay leaf
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
    1 bunch of green onions, sliced
    Steamed white rice, for serving

    In a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, add Baklouti Agrumato or extra virgin olive oil of your choice. Add the flour, stir it to combine well, and then babysit it.  Continuously stir the flour to make a roux - this can take up to 10 minutes and needs your constant attention lest the flour burn. Stir the roux over medium heat until it reaches a deep caramel brown color. 
    Add all the vegetables and garlic to the roux, and saute until the vegetables become soft, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the mixture and stir cooking for another minute.  Add the bay leaves, thyme, and stock.  Whisk constantly over medium until the mixture becomes smooth and begins to simmer.  Turn down the heat to low, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
    Cook partially covered over low heat, keeping the pot at a simmer for 30 minutes. 
    Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for approximately 5 more minutes.
    Serve immediately over steamed white rice with sliced green onions and more Baklouti for drizzling. 
    **Disclaimer - this recipe is designed to have a spicy kick.  If you still want some of the taste of the Baklouti Agrumato but desire something a bit more mild, go with 1/4 cup Baklouti and 1/4 cup UP extra virgin olive oil of your choice.
    Serves 6-8 (with leftovers as the sauce gets even better the next day)

  • Empanadas


      Olive Oil Pastry
    1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry  Flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/3 cup UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    3 to 4 tablespoons water

    Empanada Filling 
    1 pound ground beef or turkey
    1 large yellow onion, finely minced
    2 cloves garlic minced
    2 tablespoons UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or infused Olive Oil made with UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 jar Delizia Roasted Red Peppers in UP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drained and coarsely chopped
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 /2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
    Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
    1 egg beaten

    To make the filling, heat olive oil of choice in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the ground meat of your choice.  Saute until well browned.  Add the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the roasted peppers, garlic, oregano and cook for another few minutes until most of the moisture in the mixture has evaporated.  Add the cheese, mix well, taste and season with salt and pepper, and then set aside to cool slightly.

    Preheat the oven to 375.

    Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Mix the UP extra virgin olive oil and water together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix well until a dough forms.  Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Roll out to 1/8" thickness and then using a round glass or a large circular cutter (4"-5" diameter would be perfect), cut out rounds of dough.  Fill each with 2 tablespoons of cooled filling, brush one half of the inner edge of  the circle and then pinch firmly closed to form a half moon shaped empanada.  Use the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge and help seal the empanadas.  

    Arrange on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until each empanada is golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly and serve warm.  Can be frozen and reheated with excellent results.

    Makes approximately 1 dozen empanadas

  • Brined Turkey


       Turkey about 12 pounds

    For The Brine

    1 1/2 cups kosher salt
    2 1/2 gallons cold water

    3 tablespoons Crystal City Mushroom Sage Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
    1/2-3/4 cups chicken stock, as needed

    Place Turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If turkey floats to top weigh down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.  Preheat oven to 400° rub 2 tablespoons mushroom sage extra virgin olive oil over the skin of turkey. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in  cavity. Tuck wing tips under loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in roasting pan. Tent breast with foil. Put turkey in preheated oven.  To ensure the bird cooks evenly rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about one hour remove foil and baste Turkey with 1/2 cup of warm stock mixed with one tablespoon mushroom sage extra virgin olive oil. Start checking internal temperature after about one hour by inserting an instant read thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh not touching the bone.  If legs or breast begin to get too brown cover loosely with foil roast until internal thigh temperature reaches 165° total roasting time should be about two to two and three-quarter hours. Let bird rest least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

  • Ceviche

    The success of this ceviche is predicated on the quality and freshness of the fish, as well as the specific olive

    oil you use.  Beyond being mindful about thesetwo factors, this is an exceedingly easy dish to dazzle your seafood loving guests with.


    1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
    2 tablespoons Honey-Serrano Vinegar or Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar
    1/3 cup UP Hojiblanca you could also substitute Baklouti, Chipotle, or Cayenne Olive Oil here
    1/2 cup finely diced red onion
    1/3 cup chopped cilantro
    1 finely diced seeded, jalapeno (optional)
    2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
    1 large avocado, finely diced (optional)
    1 pound raw, super fresh Rock Cod, Bay Shrimp, Scallops, Sea Bass, Striped Bass, Grouper, Lingcod, Snapper, etc. cut in to small uniform pieces
    Sea salt to taste

    Combine the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and sea salt.  Whisk to combine.  Add in the other ingredients including the fish and stir to combine well.  Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Serve.  The longer you allow this to sit, the more the fish will begin to "cook" in the acid of the lime juice and fall apart.  Ideally, you want to mix this and serve it straight away.  However, if you do let it sit, it will still be edible but the fish will break up.

  • Fall Garden Spanakopita with Garlic Oil


    8 cups washed and dried greens coarsely chopped in any combination such as:  kale, beet greens, collards, spinach, Swiss chard etc.
    1 pound package thawed phyllo dough
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
     8 oz. whole milk ricotta
    1 teaspoon corn starch
    8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
    1 large yellow onion, finely diced
    salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Brush a 9"x13" baking pan liberally with olive oil. 

    In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil.  Add the diced onion and saute until translucent.  Add the greens and saute until cooked down, about 3 additional minutes.  Add the feta and ricotta to the greens and mix thoroughly.  Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of water and add to the greens.  Continue cooking over medium high heat until the mixture thickens and season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Allow the mixture to cool until just barely warm.

    Take the thawed phyllo out of the refrigerator. Unroll the sheets and cover with a clean barely dampened towel. 

    Liberally brush three sheets or spray three sheets with garlic infused olive oil and layer one on top of another, lining the bottom and part way up the sides of the baking pan. Add 1/3 of the spinach mixture and spread evenly over the phyllo.  Continue brushing each sheet with olive oil and layering three sheets at a time followed by two more layers of spinach and ending with three sheets of phyllo on top.

    Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is deep golden brown and crisp.   Allow to cool slightly and cut into squares.

  • Spicy Baklouti Chili Gumbo


    1/2 pound smoked spicy sausage, such as Andouille sausage, cut into 1/2" slices

    1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp

    1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

    1 large celery rib, finely diced

    1 green pepper, finely diced

    1 red pepper finely diced

    6 cloves of garlic, minced

    1 yellow onion, finely diced

    2 green onions finely sliced

    1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

    1 dried bay leaf

    4 cups chicken stock

    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    1 large tomato diced

    2 cups sliced okra (optional)

    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Baklouti Fused Chili Olive Oil

    1/2 cup all purpose flour

    salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Rice to serve

    In a large, heavy pot heat the Baklouti chili oil over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.  Set the chicken aside and add the sausage to the pot.  Saute the sausage slices until browned, and set aside.

    In the same pot, set over medium heat, add the flour to the oil and pan drippings stirring and scraping to incorporate.  Cook the flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until it turns a deep rich brown.  Be careful not to go overboard and cook it until it burns!

    Add the remaining two tablespoons of Baklouti chili oil to the flour mixture along with the garlic, peppers, onion, celery, and okra.  Saute over medium low heat until the vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.

    Add the stock, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot and stir to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until  until the gumbo thickens.  Add the Chicken and sausage back to the pot.  Lower the heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp during the last two minutes and cook through.

    Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.   

    To serve, ladle the gumbo over rice and top with the sliced green onion and chopped parsley.

    Serves 6-8      

  • Tuscan Herb Olive Oil Rubbed Roasted Italian Beef

    Tuscan Herb Olive Oil Rubbed Roasted Italian Beef and Italian Beef Sandwiches

    For this exceedingly simple yet extremely delicious application, I asked my butcher (husband) to recommend the ideal cut of beef to make Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches.  He brought me two "lifter" cuts off the chuck.  Don't worry if you can't find "lifters" though, just use a chuck roast and you're all good.

    5-6 pound chuck roast
    12 cloves garlic sliced in half
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes 
    sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    1/4 cup Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
    2 cups beef stock or broth
    pickled vegetables or... THESE (optional for sandwiches)

    Preheat the oven to 425.  Cut 24 slits in to all sides of the roast and insert garlic slivers in to each slit.  Liberally slather the roast with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and coat with a blend of dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Place the roast onto a rack set in a roasting pan.  Roast at 425 F. in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, and then add the beef stock to the roasting pan.  Cover the roast with foil and reduce the heat to 300 F..  Slow roast for an additional 3 hours covered with foil.  

    This roast is delicious on its own.  However, you can also slice it paper thin for Italian Beef Sandwiches.  Serve the warm sliced meat dunked in to the seasoned roasting broth, on sturdy rolls with pickled vegetables and or peppers and a drizzle of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil to finish.
  • Roasted Beet Salad with Fresh Goat Cheese & Roasted Peacans


    1 1/2 pounds fresh beets

    8 oz. Cherve (fresh goat cheese)

    6 cups baby arugula or mixed greens

    1 cup whole pecans, toasted

    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic Vinegar

    1 tablespoon good quality grainy mustard

    fresh ground pepper to taste

    1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons UP extra virgin olive oil


    Preheat the oven to 400.  Trim the beets and wrap in one foil packet drizzled with a tablespoon of water.  Roast for 1 hour or until tender when pierced through with a knife.  Once the cooked beets are cool enough to handle, peel them by rubbing the skin off between paper towels.  Warning:  This will dye your hands bright red.

    Cut the peeled beets in to 1" pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons of Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic whisked together with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside.

    In a medium size bowl, whisk the remaining Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic with the grainy mustard until well combined.  Slowly drizzle in your olive oil of choice, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened or emulsified.  Add freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste.

    Arrange the greens in a bowl or on a platter and dress with the Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic vinaigrette.  Add the marinated roasted beets to the salad, along with the crumbled fresh goat cheese and toasted pecans.

    Serves 6-8 generous portions
  • Shaved Brussles Sprouts


    1 pound Brussles sprouts, stem end trimmed off

    2 large shallots, thinly sliced

    1/4 cup shave Parmesan cheese

    1/4 cup Melgarejo Arbequina

    1 tablespoon Lemon Agrumato (fused) olive oil

    2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

    sea salt to taste

    fresh ground pepper to taste


    Shave or slice the Brussles sprouts as thinly as possible.  This can be done on a mandolin, using the slicing disk of a food processor, or simply by using a very sharp knife coupled with decent knife skill.

    In a large saute pan, heat the arbequina olive over medium-high heat.  Begin by sauteing the shallots until they just begin to caramelize on the edges.   Add the shaved brussles sprouts and saute, stirring frequently until they are just barely softened, and begin to caramelize on the edges a bit.

    Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and toss well to combine.  Serve drizzled with the fused lemon olive oil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

    Serves 6 as a side
  • Granola with Crystal City Blood Orange Olive Oil, Coconut, Cherries, and Cashews


    6 cups old fashioned rolled oats

    1 cup cashews (or almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts)

    1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut

    1 cup dried cherries (or blueberries, dates, raisins, cranberries...etc.)

    1/2 cup Crystal City Blood Orange Olive Oil

    1/2 cup honey

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 


    Preheat oven to 325º F.

    Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Mix together the first four dried ingredients and spread out in to an even layer over the lined baking sheet.

    In a medium pot set over low heat, or in your microwave, gently warm the honey so that it becomes more fluid. Whisk the olive oil in to the warm honey along with the vanilla. It won't emulsify, but that's alright.

    Evenly drizzle the honey-olive oil mixture over the oats on the baking sheet. Toss everything gently to coat as much of the oats with honey and olive oil as possible. Redistribute in to an even layer and pop in to the oven on the middle rack.

    Every 10 minutes for about 1/2 an hour, check and stir the granola, the honey and olive oil will continue to coat the remainder of the granola as you do this. When the granola is fragrant and golden brown, remove it from the oven and stir it one last time to ensure even distribution of olive oil and honey.

    Allow it to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

    Makes approximately 9 cups.

  • Cinnamon Rolls with Crystal City Butter Olive Oil

    5 cups all purpose flour

    1/3 cup granulated sugar

    1 tablespoon salt

    2 packages rapid rise yeast

    2 cups warm water

    1/4 cup Crystal City Butter Olive Oil

    2 large eggs

    2 tablespoons Crystal City Butter Olive Oil

    1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

    1/2 cup raisins (optional)

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    1/3 cup Crystal City Butter Olive Oil

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.  In a large bowl mix the water, sugar, 1/4 cup Butter Olive Oil, salt and eggs.  Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.  Add yeast mixture.  Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle.  Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes.  Place in well greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    When doubled in size, punch down dough.  Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9 inch rectangle.  Spread 2 tbs. Butter Olive Oil all over dough.  Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough.  Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired.  Beginning at the 15 inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.  Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Coat the bottom of baking pan with 1/3 cup Butter Olive Oil and sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

  • Avgelomono Soup with Crystal City Baklouti Olive Oil

    Avgelomono is a comforting Greek Chicken, lemon, egg, and rice soup - perfect for the chilly winter months.


    8 cups good quality chicken stock or broth

    1 cup short grain starchy rice

    2 large shallots, or 1 medium onion diced

    1 bay leaf

    2 large fresh eggs

    1 pound chicken breast cut in 1" cubes

    1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

    1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh Crystal City Baklouti Olive Oil

    copious amounts of fresh cracked pepper

    Seneca Salt Company Natural lake salt to taste


    In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons Baklouti Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and sauté until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, chicken breast, bay leaf, and rice to the pot and bring to a simmer for a approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is very tender, and the soup is slightly thickened.

    In a heat proof bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. Add one cup of hot stock to the egg and lemon mixture whisking constantly. Add the egg and lemon mixture back in to the stock pot while stirring constantly. The soup will instantly thicken and become somewhat creamy. Simmer for an additional minute over medium heat stirring constantly.

    Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust the seasoning with additional pepper, and salt if desired.

    Serve each bowl with a healthy drizzle of Baklouti Olive Oil.

    Serves 6-8.

  • Basil Pasta Salad

    4 oz. spiral or small shell pasta

    1 medium zucchini, diced

    1 red bell pepper, diced

    8 dried or fresh mangos  OR dried or fresh apricot

    1/4 cup finely diced onion

    1/4 cup pine nuts

    2 oz. (1/4 cup) Crystal City Basil Olive Oil

    2 oz.  (1/4 cup) Crystal City Apricot Balsamic Vinegar

    1/4 tsp salt

    1/8 tsp pepper

    5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves

     Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.  Drain, rinse and cool the pasta to room temperature.  Place in a medium size bowl.

    Stack the basil leaves and slice along the spines; then cut cross wise in thin ribbons.  Combine all the ingredients and mix gently.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, mixing occasionally to combine flavors.

    Feel free to change the ingredients.  Try different oils and vinegars also.



  • Pomegranate Wild Mushroom Chicken

    2 Tbs Crystal City Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil

    4 Chicken breast tenders (or large breasts sliced horizontally to no thicker than 1/2 inch)

    About 1/2 cup flour

    Salt & Pepper to taste

    1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine

    2 cups sliced mushrooms

    2 Tbs Crystal City Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

    1 Tbs sour cream


    Flour the chicken on both sides.  Heat the Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil to medium in a large skillet.  Place chicken in the skillet, add salt and pepper, cook through, turning once - about 6-8 minutes total.  (If the chicken starts to burn, add the broth (or wine) early.  Place the chicken on a warm serving plate.

    Add the broth, mushrooms, and Pomegranate vinegar to the skillet.  Scrape up the bits of chicken from the bottom of the skillet.  continue to cook the sauce until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the sour cream and stir in; remove from the heat and pour over the chicken.  Serve.

  • Chocolate Truffle Cake


     2/3 cup cocoa

    1 cup plus 1 Tbs sugar

    3/4 cup *Olive Oil  (see choices below)

    1 Tbs flour or cornstarch

    2 tsp vanilla extract

    4 eggs,  separated

    About 3 cups mixed berries

    2 - 3 Tbs Crystal City Raspberry, Strawberry, or Espresso Balsamic Vinegar

    Whipped Cream (optional)


    Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Oil the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cake pan.  Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of cake pan, lightly oil the parchment.

    On medium heat, combine the cocoa, sugar and olive oil in a small pot.  Heat until the mixture just begins to bubble, stirring continuously, about 3 min.  Remove from the heat and let cool 5 min.  Stir in the flour and vanilla.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

    Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually fold the chocolate mixture by thirds into the egg whites.  Pout into the prepared cake pan.  Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges of the cake pull away from the sides and the top has firmed up.  Remove cake from oven and gently loosen the cake from the sides of the pan using a table knife.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Remove from pan and place on a serving plate.  Cover and chill for at least 6 hours. 

    Uncover cake and cut into 8 wedges.  Place each wedge on a dessert plate and heap with berries.  Drizzle with about 1&1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar.  Add a spoonful of whipped cream if desired.

    *This cake works with Lime, Lemon or Blood Orange Olive Oil.



  • Tangerine Pecan Salad

    2 Tbs  Crystal City Lemon Infused Olive Oil

    2 Tbs  Crystal City Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar

    6 Cups (or so) mixed greens

    1/4 sweet onion thinly sliced

    2 or 3 strips of bacon (optional)

    1/4 cup *toasted pecans

    1/3 to 1/2 cup feta, gorgonzola or goat cheese, cubed

    1 small can Mandarin orange slices, drained


    Combine the lemon oil and tangerine vinegar in a small container with a tight cover.  Shake vigorously.

    Place greens and onions is a salad bowl and toss with about half of the dressing.  Top with the remaining ingredients and drizzle with a little more of the dressing. Serve.

    *To toast the pecans, place them in a pie pan and bake them in a 325 degree oven until lightly toasted, 5-8 minutes.  Be sure they don't burn. 


  • Balsamic Glazed Baked Brie with Walnuts

    8 oz  Brie wedge or round

    1/3 cup chopped walnuts

    2/3 cup *Balsamic Vinegar

    Thin-sliced bread or crackers


    Pour the vinegar in a small saucepan.  Simmer until the glaze coats the back of a spoon and is reduced by about 1/2 or less; cool to room temperature.  Glaze will thicken as it cools.  It can be stored in the refrigerator.

    Place the brie on a heat-proof plate or dish.  Heat in the oven at 350 degrees until brie is slightly softened, 5-7 minutes.

    Top with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with the walnuts. Serve with warm bread or crackers.

    *Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Fig, Espresso, and other balsamic vinegars can also be used.  Sliced almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries also make delicious toppings. 

  • Cranberry Pear Glazed Butternut Squash With Rosemary

    1 - 2 pound Butternut Squash peeled, seeded and diced in to 1" pieces (about 3 cups)

    1/3 cup Crystal City Cranberry Pear White Balsamic

    1 Tbs sweet fruity olive oil such as Hojiblanca, Arbequina, or Cerasuola Crystal City Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    3" sprig fresh rosemary, leave stripped from stem and roughly chopped

     Seneca Lake Salt or Sea Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


    In a large bowl whisk the olive oil and balsamic together until thoroughly combined.  Add the rosemary and squash and toss to coat and combine evenly.

    In a large roasting pan lined with parchment, arrange the squash in a single layer, drizzling with any remaining marinade.  Sprinkle liberally with the salt and pepper. 

    Roast the squash for 30-35 minutes, stirring a few times until golden brown and caramelized.  Adjust seasoning and serve.   

  • Walnut/Cranberry Chicken Salad

    3  12.5 oz cans white meat chicken - drained

    1/3 (heaping) cup chopped walnuts

    1/3 (heaping) cup dried cranberries

    1 (heaping) TBS. mayonnaise

    1/3 cup Crystal City Walnut Oil (start with about 1/4 cup)

    1/2 tsp garlic powder  (a little more won't hurt it!)

    Salt&Pepper to taste


    Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with pita or any bread of your choice.  Perfect for that special luncheon!

  • CCOO Hummus


    3 15.5oz cans garbanzo beans, drained

    1/3 cup Crystal City Chipotle Infused Oil

    1/3 cup Lemon juice

    1/4 cup Crystal City Sesame Seed Oil

    2 large cloves garlic

    1 tablespoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)


    Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Serve with pita.

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