How is Flavored Olive Oil Made?

Olive oil is an essential ingredient for cooks, but flavored olive oils are a newer option that can add a whole other dimension of depth and flavor to food. There are three ways to make flavored olive oil: co-milled, infused, or via oil-to-oil blending. At Pasolivo, we use nothing but the freshest, natural ingredients to create our award-winning oils. A number of our flavors are made by co-milling – meaning the olives and the herbs (like our Basil) go through the olive press together. For other flavors, we opt for naturally extracted oils (such as oil from the zest Meyer lemons and Persian limes) and combine that with our extra virgin olive oil olive to create their unique flavors. In this week’s blog, we’ll explain the three ways flavored olive oils are made and how to cook with them.

Co-Milled Olive Oil

First-of-all, there are several factors that influence the quality of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) including when the olives are harvested, how they’re picked and how fast the olives get to the mill. At Pasolivo, we hand-pick our olives to prevent imperfections or damage from machinery. We also have a mill on-site, which means everything gets processed within hours of picking to ensure the highest quality.

When it comes to flavored oils, each blend starts with our freshly picked olives. From there, we combine in natural ingredients – with no artificial flavorings or preservations. During last year’s harvest, we added 1,200 pounds of fresh red jalapeños into the mill along with the olives to give this oil its fiery kick. Once the oil separates from the paste, all those flavors commingle into one delicious, flavored olive oil. We use the same process for our garlic and basil olive oils.

Infused Olive Oil

Infused olive oil is made by adding herbs or fruit to an already processed olive oil. While the bottles often look decorative, the flavor is weaker than with co-milling or oil-to-oil blending. Infusion is often used for small home batches, but rarely in bulk. The ingredients decompose at a different rate than the oil and can cause botulism to occur, a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves. At Pasolivo, we never infuse.

Oil-to-Oil Blending

For the flavors we don’t co-mill, such as our citrus olive oils, we blend naturally extracted oil from the fruit or herb with our Pasolivo Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Unlike some other producers, we never use artificial flavoring or colors. While doing oil-to-oil blending is more time consuming, it produces a superior flavored oil with a fresher taste. Because we produce our flavored oils in small batches, we are also able to routinely test and adjust each batch before bottling. Managing flavors throughout the year helps ensure the highest quality and best tasting oils.

How do I use flavored olive oil?

Flavored olive oil can be used the same way as any extra virgin olive oil. Sauté, bake or drizzle it over your favorite foods. Here are some simple recommendations for using flavored olive oil:

Garlic Olive Oil: A garlic lover’s dream. It’s wonderful over pizza, pasta, seafood or just for dipping.

Red Jalapeño Olive Oil: Fresh jalapeños add wonderful flavor and a touch of heat. Try pairing with seafood, tacos, or eggs for a little more spice.

Lemon Olive Oil: Versatile and brightly flavored with fresh lemon zest. Enjoy over roasted vegetables, salad, or even vanilla ice cream with a bit of sea salt.

Other Pasolivo flavored olive oils: Basil, Garlic-Lemon, Rosemary, Lime, Cilantro-Lime, Tangerine & Citrus

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Was Olive Oil the First Gift Ever Given?

Sadly…no, but olive oil gifts are not a new idea.

According to legend, the city of Athens earned its name because of an olive tree. When the gods could not decide who the city belonged to, the king of the city held a contest seeing which god could bestow the best gift. After creating the olive tree and gifting it to the city, the goddess Athena was chosen as the victor. The Athenians prided themselves on their wisdom, and in their wisdom, saw many benefits of olive oil and the olive tree. The tree provided olives to eat, shade to sit under, and leaves to preserve food, while the oil was useful for improved health and enhanced cooking. This gift became the first instance of award winning olive oil, but it would not be the last.

Even after several millennia, olive oils are still being given as gifts and winning awards.  Pasolivo’s very own extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) have a long award winning history. In fact, all five of our current extra virgin olive oils— Cucina, Classic, California, Tuscan and Il Singolo— won Gold Medals at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition 2021! This makes our oil not only one of the Best Olive Oils from California, but also one of the Best Olive Oils in the World!

Ok, we’ve established that these are award winning olive oils, but does that make them a good gift?

Think back to the best gift you have ever received.  Got it in your mind? Now I would bet that it had all three of these qualities: it had value; it improved your life in some way; and it showed that the person giving it to you really knew and understood you.

So, since high grade olive oil has all of these qualities, it’s no wonder Athena thought that olive oil gifts were a great idea.

Let’s talk about value. What makes some olive oils more valuable than others? True value starts at the very beginning. When the trees are planted according to design, carefully interspersing certain varieties in order to cross-pollinate, this produces more abundant and higher quality fruit.  Then when harvest time comes, a hand-picked olive has much less bruising which protects the flavor of the olive oil.

For the best single estate olive oil, the olives are picked, milled and processed by the same company in the same location.  The reason this adds to the value is that the olives don’t need to travel long distances between the harvest and the milling stages and can therefore stay on the trees until they reach the ideal level of ripeness.  The lack of long distance travel also decreases the bruising, which in turn, enhances the flavor creating a fresh olive oil full of flavor.

When it comes to the milling of the oil, an extra virgin olive oil is first cold pressed olive oil.  This means that no extra heat or chemicals can be added to the process when milling.  First cold pressed olive oil takes much longer and requires more intense labor but is necessary when it comes to creating the best extra virgin olive oils.

Pasolivo checks all of these boxes. Our olive oils are single estate, hand picked, first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil which means that Pasolivo Olive Oil is has an extremely high value.  High value = Great Gift!

The second quality that makes a gift special is that it in some way improves your life.  Now this could be emotional – the gift makes you happy.  Many people would put food items at the top of the list when it comes to bringing happiness to life.  But, to truly improve your life, wouldn’t it be great if the food item not only brought happiness, but also increased your health at the same time?

This is true of Pasolivo extra virgin olive oil.  It’s so great to know that we can all have the joy that comes from the burst of flavor when it hits the tongue, all the while knowing that we have created one of the highest polyphenol olive oils in order to promote cardiovascular health as well.  Improved Life = Great Gift!

How about the third quality?  Really knowing someone and knowing what they would like takes work.  Putting in this work takes time and effort and is obvious to the recipient, which makes the gift more special.

Knowing how much work it takes to find the perfect gift, Pasolivo strives to constantly have an expansive line of oils, each with its own flavor profile.  These include: Cucina, Classic, California, Tuscan, Basil, Rosemary, Garlic, Garlic Lemon, Lemon, Citrus, Tangerine, Lime, Cilantro Lime, and Red Jalapeño.

So, the challenge for all of us now is to try each one of these amazing California olive oils with our friends and find out which ones are their favorites.  Being Known and Understood = Great Gift!

At Pasolivo, our desire is that you, just like the people of ancient Athens will be blessed by olive oil gifts and the people who give them!

 

What is California Olive Oil?

As a consumer, you might be asking yourself “What is California olive oil?”

Is olive oil different based on where it comes from? We thought we would check in with our General Manager and Level Two Olive Oil Sommelier, Marisa Bloch Gaytan, to share some information on this topic.

Most people know Italy for its olive oil, but Spain is actually the largest producer of olive oil in the world. In general, when people think of extra virgin olive oil their minds tend to go to Europe because they have been producing olive oil for centuries. Olive oil is a fairly new industry in the United States, at least when it comes to producing it, so why choose California olive oil?

If you live in the United States, think about it this way. Extra virgin olive oil is best consumed when it is first produced. After that, you want to use it within approximately two years from that date, however some oils can last longer than that. If your EVOO has to come all the way from Europe, you are wasting precious consumption time on travel. Just like getting your produce at a local farmers market, why not get your olive oil close to home as well? Pasolivo welcomes people to come and view our property where you can see the trees, view the mill, and taste the olive oils before purchasing them. When you buy local, California olive oil, you are more easily able to monitor the freshness and quality of oil you are purchasing.

So what is California olive oil? By definition, it is extra virgin olive oil that is produced in California using California grown olives. If an EVOO says California on the label, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a true California olive oil. Some producers purchase oil from other countries to blend with their California oil. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this practice, but it means the olive oil is no longer single sourced and was not solely produced in California. The oils may not even be produced at the same time. California legislature is currently working on passing a bill (AB-535) on olive oil labeling in California. This bill would require olive oils that say California olive oil or other terms that allude to the oil being produced in California, to consist of 100 percent olives grown in California. Just like purchasing any olive oil from the grocery store, consumers need to watch out for false labeling to ensure they are getting the quality they are looking for. This is why I always recommend buying directly from the source/producer whenever possible. But do California olive oil producers offer the same quality as the oils that come from Europe?

Many parts of California have similar climate and soil to that of parts of Europe where most olives are grown. This makes California another ideal place to grow this wonderful crop. Pasolivo is located on the Central Coast of California in Paso Robles where the winters are moderate and the summers are warm, which is perfect for olives. California olive oil producers also use the same equipment that is used in Europe to process their olive oils. Producing quality olive oil is all about the farming practices, how you harvest your olives, how quickly you get the olives to the mill, your milling practices and how you store the olive oil once it is produced. Pasolivo prides itself on growing our own olives, milling them in our own mill, bottling the oils on property and selling direct to consumer in order to control the quality from start to finish.

If California olive oils want to get certified as extra virgin olive oil, they must conduct a series of lab tests and send their oils to get certified. In order to obtain certification, there are certain labs and panels that are approved internationally. Most producers in California choose to use the California Olive Oil Council for certification. The California Olive Oil Council has some of the strictest requirements in the world to get certified. This means that an oil could potentially get certified by a different panel, but not pass the requirement for the California Olive Oil Council. EVOO’s need to pass lab tests as well as sensory analysis to ensure the quality and integrity of the oil.

So to recap, what is California olive oil? It is extra virgin olive oil that is grown and produced in California to the highest quality standards, just like the olive oils from Europe. California olive oil has stood its ground in international competitions, winning awards that make it some of the best olive oil in the world. In fact, Pasolivo became the top award-winning olive oil producer in the United States for the 2021 New York International Olive Oil Competition, taking home five gold medals.  The best part? United State consumers don’t have to get their oil shipped from Europe; instead, they can buy it from their own backyard.

Is olive oil a healthy fat?

Olive oil is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as more people learn about the importance of eating healthy fats. One of the best sources of nutritional fats and cooking oils you can buy is high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). In this week’s blog we’ll explain why olive oil is a superfood and how its nutritional benefits exceed other cooking oils.

What is a superfood?

Superfoods are densely nutritious foods that are exceptionally good for your health and well-being. Some of the most powerful superfoods are garlic, blueberries, broccoli, spinach and olive oil. Experts suggest incorporating these nutritious foods into a balanced diet. Thankfully, really good olive oil compliments and enriches most foods.

What are the health benefits of olive oil?

Nutrient-rich superfoods contain a variety of vitamins and minerals to help ward off disease and extra weight. They also improve energy levels, support cell growth and protect organs.  Healthy extra virgin olive oil is known to be one of the best superfoods because of its powerful antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. Even though oil is all fat, studies have shown evoo can lower cholesterol and body inflammation. However, it’s important to buy top rated olive oil. Regular olive oil, virgin olive oil or extra light olive oil has been chemically refined and overly processed which significantly reduces its nutrients and flavors.

What’s the best oil to cook with?

It depends. Not all cooking oils perform the same, but quality olive oil tends to be the most versatile and most flavorful. While evoo has several health benefits, it’s smoke point is relatively lower than other oils. Therefore, we recommend it for low and medium heat cooking, as well as dipping and drizzling. Vegetable oil has a higher smoke point which works well for deep frying, but it’s generally less nutritious. It’s usually made from a blend of sources including corn, palm and soybeans. It also contains a higher amount of polyunsaturated fats which can increase inflammation and harm heart health. Avocado oil and sunflower oil are more nutritious options and they have a relatively high smoke point. However, they don’t have much flavor. 

How can olive oil be used?

Everyday extra virgin olive oil is incredibly versatile for cooking. Over time, the Pasolivo family has developed an array of recipes to bring out your inner chef. That includes: main dishes, side dishes, soups, salads, appetizers, drinks and desserts. Many of our recipes explain how to cook, bake and dip with California olive oil. It’s not just a cooking oil, it’s a major ingredient meant to enhance the dishes that you love. For that reason, we offer flavored olive oil such as Red Jalapeno Olive Oil, Citrus Olive Oil and Rosemary Olive Oil. Each flavor compliments a dish differently.  Scroll down to view some of our favorite recipes.

Olive Oil Cocktail

Pasolivo’s most notable cocktail uses olive oil and citrus to make an incredibly smooth and delicious refreshment. 

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again then strain in a chilled cup.

Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas

We love these Jalapeño Chicken Enchiladas topped with cheese and saucy goodness. Serve with chips, salsa and margaritas!

Ingredients:

To serve:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes

Preparation:

Brush a 9×9 pan with Pasolivo Red Jalapeno Olive Oil. Warm Pasolivo Red Jalapeno Olive Oil in a fry pan. Then add Pasolivo Kosher Flake Sea Salt and onions. Saute until the onion is translucent. Add jalapeno and cook for an additional minute. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, onion mixture, and chicken. Spread 1/4-1/3 cup mixture into each tortilla, roll up, and place in pan. When all tortillas are in the pan, brush them with Pasolivo Jalapeno Olive Oil. then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Tangerine Olive Oil Brownies

Once you’ve tried this brownie recipe, you’ll never use a boxed mix again!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken/chopped into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan, or line it with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Microwave sugar, Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil and water in a large microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles, stirring once. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until melted. Stir in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir well. Stir in nuts. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out slightly sticky. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

How do you store olive oil?

Olive oil is a household pantry staple. Many people store it near the stove for convenience or style. However, that can be harmful for three reasons: heat, light and air. In this week’s blog, we’ll explain how to properly store extra virgin olive oil and keep it fresh for as long as possible. 

Should olive oil be stored in the fridge?

Not everything is fresher in the refrigerator. Pasolivo’s Olive Oil Sommelier Marisa Bloch Gaytan says avoid storing evoo in the fridge because it can affect its taste and health benefits. Olive oil will solidify and then thin out at room temperature, but repeating that action will break down its chemical components and lower its quality. Gaytan suggests keeping your healthy olive oil out of the fridge, away from the stove and away from windows. You should also avoid placing olive oil on top of the fridge where it can get hot. 

Where should I store olive oil?

The best place to store olive oil is in a cool, dry and dark cupboard. If you’re unsure whether or not your oil has gone rancid, we suggest a smell test. Fresh quality olive oil smells bright, earthy and clean, but old olive oil may smell like crayons or glue. Remember to protect your olive oil from the three major enemies: heat, light and air. We also recommend using it quickly and buying good quality olive oil for its extended shelf life, health benefits and sophisticated flavors.

How does light harm olive oil?

Light is another major enemy to olive oil. Too much direct sunlight will degrade its quality and remove healthful antioxidants through a series of chemical reactions. 

Why the Pasolivo black bottle?

Pasolivo’s dark, iconic and sophisticated black bottle is designed to block out the harmful effects of light. Clear, light-colored or even dark-colored glass bottles won’t protect from exposure and plastic bottles can leach toxins such as BPA. That’s why Pasolivo completely blacks out its glass bottle.

How long can I keep my olive oil?

Pasolivo’s award winning extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of about three years, but once you open the bottle we suggest using it sooner rather than later. Just like heat and light, it’s important to protect your evoo from air. Too much oxygen will damage the oil and make it go rancid. Keep a cork in your bottle or use a sealed pour spout to minimize oxidation. We also suggest consuming your olive oil within 30 to 60 days of opening. 

What is the best olive oil for cooking?

Quality extra virgin olive oil is always the best choice for cooking. After that, just pick your favorite flavor and enjoy the experience. At Pasolivo, our master blender uses twelve different varietals to produce award winning oils. We offer several blends such as our Classic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We also have flavored oils such as Red Jalapeno Olive Oil, Basil Olive Oil and Garlic-Lemon Olive Oil.  To view more flavors, click here.

 

What are the Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

What are the Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Regular intake of extra virgin olive oil has been associated with a variety of benefits that increase life expectancy and mitigate the signs of aging. Over the past decade, researchers from around the world have uncovered increasingly more evidence about the wide range of health benefits and why the high-quality olive oil can extend human lifespan. In this blog, we will highlight five major health benefits of extra virgin olive oil as well as the best olive oil you can buy for your health.

  1. Lowers “bad” cholesterol

Top quality olive oil is loaded with antioxidants that naturally lower the body’s “bad” cholesterol.  Bodies need a healthy amount of cholesterol, but much of the fat-like substance is dangerous. High-quality extra virgin olive oil contains high density lipoproteins (HDL), a “good” cholesterol that helps remove too much of the body’s low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, from oxidizing in the body.

  1. Lowers blood pressure

Several studies have shown olive oil lowers blood pressure because of its heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols. However, not all olive oils are the same. Real extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil, which makes it more expensive, but it also contains the most nutrients to lower blood pressure and the highest levels of polyphenols. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to several health complications, such as a life-threatening aneurysm.  Experts suggest consuming two to three tablespoons of the best quality olive oil daily to prevent high blood pressure.

  1. Helps prevents cancer

Researchers discovered a chemical compound in olive oil called oleocanthal that kills human cancer cells without damaging non-cancerous cells. However, scientists will underscore quality matters more than quantity. Olive oil has various levels of oleocanthal concentration because of its origin, harvest time and processing methods. It’s important to research before you buy, but consumers can also do their own taste test. Oleocanthal is responsible for creating a warm, coughing sensation that happens in the back of the throat. Less expensive and higher-refined extra light olive oil won’t give that same sensation.

Photo: Jane Anderson
  1. Helps cognitive function

In addition to preventing cancer, the powerful antioxidants in olive oil can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Antioxidants help protect memory and learning ability by fighting a build-up of proteins commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil is also a good source for essential brain vitamins. Studies show, vitamin E helps prevent mental decline, while vitamin K boosts your brain processing speed and ability to remember words. If you’re looking for the most brain-boosting benefits, make sure to consume top-rated olive oils like Pasolivo.

  1. Improves skin and hair

The antioxidants in olive oil are not only great for fighting disease, they’re wonderful at keeping skin healthy and preventing signs of aging. Olive oil moisturizes, fights bacteria, and prevents free-radical damage. Extra virgin olive oil, the best olive oil for skin, has been used since ancient times for keeping a healthy complexion. It’s great for taking off makeup, soothing sunburns and moisturizing hair. We suggest using a natural product that contains olive oil like our Natural Hand Lotion. With all of its incredible qualities, people who use a high-quality olive oil daily are more likely to live longer, healthier lives.

For more information on olive oil for your skin, click here.  

How to Bake with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil cakes are nothing new, but they’re becoming more and more popular for several reasons. Extra virgin olive oil is a wonderful alternative to butter and other cooking oils because of its nutritional benefits and unique flavor. It’s also a great way to keep your baked goods moist. In this blog, we explain when to use it, how to bake with it, and why you are going to love it. 

What’s the best kind of olive oil for baking?

Quality and flavor are critical when selecting an olive oil for baking. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO is always going to be the best option because it comes from the first pressing, which means more health benefits and more flavor. Using anything labeled “extra light olive oil” won’t reduce the number of calories, it just means less flavor and less nutritional value. That’s because extra light olive oil is a mix of highly processed olive oil and other cooking oils like vegetable, peanut and canola. For baking, we suggest using a mild extra virgin olive oil that’s buttery, fruity and not so bitter – like our Pasolivo Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If you are looking to add a dash of flavor to your baked items, you can also try a flavored oil. We love our Tangerine Olive Oil in brownies and our Lemon Olive Oil in chocolate cake. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want the flavor of the oil to overpower the rest of the dessert. More robust and peppery olive oils like our Tuscan Olive Oil or Classic Olive Oil are better for salads, steaks and potatoes, but not necessarily baked goods.

How and when do I substitute olive oil?

Olive oil can replace butter and margarine in almost every recipe. However, be wary of recipes that call for room temperature butter. Creaming butter makes a cake light and airy, but that doesn’t always work as well with olive oil. The best recipes for using extra virgin olive oil are slightly denser desserts like brownies, cookies and chocolate cake.

When you’re substituting, we suggest using slightly less oil than butter. So, instead of a one-to-one ratio, use three parts olive oil to four parts butter, meaning if it calls for a cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of olive oil.

What are the benefits of baking with olive oil?

Many bakers use olive oil as a substitute for butter because it’s healthier and dairy-free. If you’re consuming high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the health benefits are numerous. Scientists from around the world have discovered extra virgin olive oil can help protect against heart disease, stroke, and even weight gain. In addition to fighting off disease, the high number of antioxidants are great for strengthening the immune system and protecting against aging. So not only can extra virgin olive oil make you live longer, it will also make your cakes stay fresh, moist and flavorful.  

Recipes to try

We’ve included a couple olive oil recipes for you to try at home including Pasolivo’s Tangerine Olive Oil Brownies and Chocolate Lemon Olive Oil Cake.

Pasolivo’s Tangerine Olive Oil Brownies

Once you’ve tried this brownie recipe, you’ll never use a boxed mix again!

 

Cooking label:

Easy

Prep time:

15 Minutes

Cook time:

20 Minutes

Serves:

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil

2 Tbsp water

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken/chopped into pieces

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan, or line it with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda.

Microwave sugar, Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil and water in a large microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles, stirring once. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until melted.

Stir in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir well. Stir in nuts. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out slightly sticky. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Lemon Olive Oil Cake

If you didn’t tell a soul this was vegan, no one would know!

Cooking label:

Easy

Prep time:

15 Minutes

Cook time:

40 Minutes

Serves:

10-12 Servings

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil

2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups cold water

Preparation:

Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13-inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with a fork.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing.

For more recipes, click here.

What is extra light olive oil?

Many consumers believe lite olive oil is the same as extra virgin olive oil but with less calories. That is false. Several producers use the term “lite extra virgin olive oil,” but that can be very misleading. Lite olive oil is not considered a true extra virgin olive oil because it has been refined to a lower quality. This means you’re not getting all the same health benefits or flavor as a quality extra virgin olive oil.

How is olive oil graded?

Olive oil has four different grades of quality based on how it is made: extra virgin, virgin, regular or pure, and lite or extra lite.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO

Real extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade you can buy because it’s only been extracted once. Recent studies have shown almost 70 percent of so-called extra virgin olive oil sold today does not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. As a solution, the California Olive Oil Council established its Seal Certification Program where members, like Pasolivo, are required to meet certain quality standards.

 In order to qualify as extra virgin grade, the COOC states extreme heat and chemicals cannot be used during extraction.  At Pasolivo, we sustainably farm, harvest and cold press our olives on-site within hours of picking to maintain peak freshness and flavor.  We also never use machinery that could damage the olives during picking. This ensures we get maximum flavor, maximum health benefits, and a richer oil.

 Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil is the next best grade.  The term “virgin” means the oil is made from the first pressing, but the quality standards aren’t as strict. Another notable difference is the acidity. Extra virgin olive oil contains no more than .8 percent acidity, but virgin olive oil has about 2 percent oleic acid. Acidity doesn’t necessarily dictate the flavor profile, but it does determine quality.

Regular or Pure Olive Oil

Regular or pure olive oil is a mixture of oil from the second pressing plus what’s been extracted using heat and chemical treatments. Unfortunately, many of the health benefits are removed during that process. The reason it is called “pure” olive oil is because it’s not mixed with other oils. However, it is sometimes made with older, unhealthy olives that possess little, if any, health benefits.

Extra Light Olive Oil

Despite misconception, light and extra light olive oil is the lowest grade you can buy. That’s because it’s refined and often mixed with other oils such as vegetable or canola oil. This means less flavor and a lighter color, while calorie count and fat content stays about the same. Some consumers choose lite olive oil for its higher smoke point and neutral taste. Others are deceived by its packaging.

Which EVOO is the best?

Again, extra virgin olive oil is going to give you the most flavor and the most health benefits for about the same number of calories as another grade. It may cost more, but the price is worth the pay off. From decreasing the risk of heart disease and strokes, to its significant antioxidant content and its powerful moisturizing and rejuvenating benefits; true California extra virgin olive oil is the best you can buy.

Recipes for National Shrimp Day

Seafood fans across the country are celebrating National Shrimp Day on Monday, May 10. In honor of this day, we wanted to share a couple of our favorite shrimp recipes. Garlic-Lemon Shrimp with Pasta is simple and easy to make, and ready in 30 minutes or less. The Avocado, Mango & Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp is a little more complicated, but the combination of sweet, zesty and fresh flavors is well worth it.

Garlic-Lemon Shrimp with Pasta

Cooking level: easy
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
1/4 cup Pasolivo Garlic-Lemon Olive Oil or 1/4 cup Pasolivo Garlic Olive Oil
2 cups sugar snap peas trimmed and cut to bite size
2 shallots minced
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. Pacific Blue Kosher Sea Salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
12 oz Pasta

Preparation:

Cook pasta al dente, according to package.
Warm Pasolivo Lemon Garlic Olive Oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and sugar snap peas and cook about 4 minutes, until soft. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook each side, until the shrimp is cooked through. This varies based on the size of the shrimp, approximately 2-3 minutes each side. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and zest. Toss with the pasta, parmesan cheese and serve.

Avocado, Mango & Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp Recipe

Cooking label: medium
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3 
Ingredients:

Juice of 1 grapefruit
2 Tbsp Pasolivo California Blend Olive Oil
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Pasolivo Pacific Blue Kosher Sea Salt and pepper
1 pound of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 avocado, cubed
1 mango, cubed
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups of arugula
5 Tbsp Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Pasolivo Sparkling Citrus Vinegar
Zest of 1 orange or Orange Citrus Powder (recipe below)

Preparation:

Combine the juice of the grapefruit with 2 tablespoons Pasolivo California Blend Olive Oil and handful of chopped cilantro. Season with Pasolivo Pacific Blue Kosher Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the shrimp and marinate about 30 min.

In a large salad bowl, combine the avocado, mango, sliced onion (scallions work also) and arugula.

Discard the marinade from the shrimp and place the shrimp on bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. Grill the shrimp for about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Remove from grill.

Combine the Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil and the Pasolivo Sparkling Citrus Vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dress the salad just prior to serving. Arrange the dressed salad on a large platter and top with the grilled shrimp skewers. Sprinkle with orange citrus powder or orange zest.
Citrus Powder

Ingredients:
Zest of 3 oranges
1 teaspoon super fine sugar
Preparation:
Place the zest on paper towels and allow to dry completely (about 2 hours). Place the dry zest and the super fine sugar in spice grinder and pulse until powdery. Remove and keep in a small airtight container. Sprinkle powder over the shrimp just before serving.

Can you fry with extra virgin olive oil?

Despite common misconception, extra virgin olive oil is safe for sautéing and deep frying.

It’s also a healthier, more flavorful alternative to other cooking oils.

But what about its smoke point? 

Some consumers are worried extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point that’s too low for frying, but that’s not true. Especially with a high-quality olive oil.

Deep frying is usually done between 350 and 375 °F, and Pasolivo’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point of 425 °F.

However, some other lower-grade olive oils have a smoke point of 350 °F so, it’s important to research what you’re buying. Quality matters.

Why extra virgin olive oil versus other oils?

Since extra virgin olive oil is only pressed once, it contains more antioxidants, vitamins and heart-healthy polyphenols than other cooking oils.

It also adds a better flavor to enhance your dish.

All foods can lose nutrients when heated, but evidence shows extra virgin olive oil retains a significant amount of its heart-healthy compounds during cooking.

Adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and inflammation.

We recommend consuming it daily, whether that’s by the spoonful, drizzled over salad, or fried up with fish.

Extra virgin olive oil is a versatile cooking oil perfect for just about any dish.