A little over a year ago, a shop selling the most wonderful concoction of olive oils and vinegars opened in my neighborhood. One of the services they offer are tasting parties. I did this back in the Spring with a few friends and it was quite a success. The only ask of the owners is that each person in attendance make one purchase of their items. Last night I hosted yet another tasting party and it was another success. The owners are incredibly kind so there is this feeling of being around friends.
How this whole shindig works is that I bring lots of different foods that are devoid of any dressings or oils. Oil and vinegar samples are set up on a tall table in the center of the shop. So once my friends pick out the food items from the buffet table they are then able to go up to where the samples are and try the different oils and vinegars to see what they like best.
For food last night, I brought spinach salad, strawberries, apple slices, bruschetta fixings and of course cheese and crackers. For desert, I had pumpkin bread slices, brownie bites and vanilla ice cream. And yes, all of these items can be enhanced with different oils and vinegars. That was the biggest surprise to me.
Both strawberry and blueberry vinegars went great on the spinach salad. The pumpkin pie flavored vinegar was amazing on the pumpkin bread. Believe it or not, the chocolate raspberry vinegar was divine over vanilla ice cream. I also enjoyed a banana-walnut-caramel vinegar over the ice cream. Definitely a bananas foster taste without the added calories. Who knew?
My favorite ended up being a lemon flavored olive oil drizzled over apple slices. With baking season ahead this could be added into a number of things. And finally, here is a recipe using the oil pictured here.
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 3 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 tbsp. Grand Marnier
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- lemon zest
1.) Preheat over to 325. Grease a 3″-deep round 9″ cake pan and the outside of a heavy 3″-deep 3″ ovenproof ramekin or bowl with butter, then dust with 2 tbsp. of the flour, tapping out excess. Put ramekin or bowl upside down in center of prepared pan. Alternatively, grease an 11-cup Bundt pan with butter and dish with flour. Set prepared pan aside (Guess you have two choices here).
2.) Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add remaining 3 cups flour, lemon zest, oil, milk and liqueur and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add baking powder and stir until thoroughly combined.
3.) Holding ramekin or bowl firmly in place, spoon batter into prepared pan around ramekin or bowl or spoon batter into Bundt pan, if using, and smooth out top with the back of the spoon. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack to let cool completely, in its pan.