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How to Use Olive Oil in Cooking

Imagine eating pasta or lasagna without olive oil. It just would not be the same. Olive oil is one of the greatest discoveries. It helps manage cholesterol too. The smell and taste of olive oil is magical. Olive oil is very versatile and apart from cooking, it is used to make numerous salad dressings. Studies confirm that olive oil protects from metabolic syndrome which is responsible for the obesity epidemic.

Here are some ways to use olive oil to create delicious but easy dishes:

  1. Olive oil is excellent for shallow frying meat and vegetables. Add some herbs and garlic and you have a nice accompaniment to pasta and bread.
  2. You can also grill vegetables like cut zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, carrots, garlic, and onion. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil, some salt and pepper over the vegetables in a baking tray. Make sure all the veggies are coated in the oil. Season with herbs of your choice – rosemary, oregano, thyme and such – before grilling in the oven. Grill at 190 degrees C till the vegetables are soft yet firm enough to hold its shape.

Combine this with some couscous with a dressing of lime, olive oil, pepper and salt. You can add some pomegranate, almond flakes and mint to the couscous for texture and to balance the sweet, the salty and the sour.

  1. Make Aglio e olio. This simple mix of garlic and olive oil combined with salt and chili flakes tastes absolutely divine. In a pan, add some olive oil and some garlic. Cook this on a low flame so that the garlic infuses the olive oil. When the raw smell of garlic has gone away, increase the flame to medium and add the chili flakes and salt to taste. Take off the flame and add immediately to cooked pasta.
  2. Olive oil, soya sauce, honey and garlic is a great marinade for homemade chicken wings or even ribs.
  3. Balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil and pepper and salt make a light yet delicious dressing for salads
  4. Here’s a recipe for Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
  • Reduce balsamic in a sauce pan till it has reduced to a thick and sticky glaze. Set aside.
  • Cut tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into thick slices, separate basil leaves from stalks and crush some garlic.
  • Assemble the caprese by placing one layer of tomato followed by the mozzarella. To this, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper. Repeat this however many times you like. Finally drop teaspoons of the balsamic reduction all over the topmost layer.

Get creative and add your own twists to the recipes!