Ascolano Olive Oil

I had opportunity to bring home a bottle of Sigona's Ascolano Olive Oil.  In my kitchen all newbies get fully utilized in any way possible that was meant to be! 
After some research, the Ascolano olive is native to Tuscany hence somehow got a passport and made it's way to California.  It is grown in N.California hence the olive yields little oil, so it is a treat to acquire some from the years batch where you can find it. 
First up to bat, a tub of cherry tomatoes.  Toss generously in the Ascolano oil.  Add some garlic bulbs, more the merrier per your taste.  Maybe a rosemary or thyme sprig and roast in the oven on 400 for 20 minutes or so.  What you have is a lovely tomato confit that stores well in a container for a few days.  Utilize on bruschetta with your favorite cheese.  It brings super life to some pasta for a quick dinner.  Utilize in panzanella salads.  Or as my crazy mind works, I also threw some on a sandwich.  Quick, easy, simple but delicious!
Tomato Confit
Next up with this peppery olive oil with a polyphenol of 378.  What is a polyphenol you ask?  I am no expert but the higher the number the more potent the potential antioxidants of the olive oil to nourish the body are.  
Let's just marinate some fish and steak and let it kiss the grill later. 
Ascolano also made great friends with a balsamic I have from Spain.  Throw in some rosemary, chopped garlic and a bit of salt!  Awesome vinaigrette you can utilize with salads.
Maybe the craziest of my experiments was the Lemon Thyme Olive Oil cookies.  These were actually good and assume go well with afternoon tea, or a foodie convention.  Maybe it's a millennial thing.  Well the folks at worked enjoyed them.  Next time think some lemon icing is in order.
Lemon Thyme Cookies
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, pepper, and thyme into a bowl and whisk together to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, lemon juice, and zest. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until you form a nice smooth dough.
Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls. Place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are browned around the edges. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
Hence the simplest of utilization of this lovely olive oil yielded the most wows in my experimentation.  Next recipe blew me away.  Who knew roasting some grapes in Ascolano olive oil in the oven again at about 400 for 15-20 minutes.  Serve over vanilla bean ice cream and prepare to melt yourself!  Deeeeeee licious!!
Well Ascolano, I am sure we will find out other wonderful pairings for you!  Until next time... Cheers!



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