You know olive oil is great for roasting vegetables or incorporating into salad dressings. But did you know that olive oil has many more uses than this? It is true! We have rounded up 10 unique ways to use olive oil in your kitchen, plus one bonus use that you have probably never thought of. Here are all the ways you definitely should be using olive oil:
Pair it with cheese.
If you are not drizzling olive oil on your cheese plates, you are really missing out. Whether you are eating soft or hard cheeses, the olive oil pairs with it beautifully and helps to enhance the flavors. We like to drizzle slices of cheese with olive oil and top it with a little bit of fresh ground pepper to really make the flavors pop. Just make sure to serve the cheese with forks or toothpicks so you do not get oil all over your hands.
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Mix it into yogurt.
Another dairy product that pairs well with olive oil is yogurt, especially plain Greek yogurt, which has a savory rather than a sweet taste. In fact, mixing a little olive oil and some dried spices into Greek yogurt will instantly turn it into a delicious dip that will pair excellently with chips and crackers. Make a big batch and eat it all week. If the olive oil separates from the yogurt, just give it a little stir to mix it back together.
Drizzle it on ice cream.
Olive oil also pairs well with sweet dairy, namely ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is an obvious choice (try adding sea salt and/or fresh fruit), but dark chocolate actually goes really fabulously with olive oil as well since it is not as sweet as milk chocolate. And, of course, many fruit-flavored ice creams also go fantastic with olive oil as well, no chopping required.
Combine it with fruit.
Even if it is not blended into ice cream, fruit goes fabulously with olive oil. You can use the olive oil as a dressing for a raw fruit salad, or toss the chopped fruit in the olive oil before roasting to really bring out the flavors. Reach for sea salt if you want to make it more savory, or dark chocolate if you prefer it more sweet.
Poach food in it.
Poaching is a technique that refers to covering a food in a liquid (usually water, milk or stock) and heating it at a low temperature. You can actually use flavored olive oil to poach food, and it works especially well for eggs and fish. While poaching is often used for proteins, it is also a delicious way to cook vegetables. Try poaching a head of garlic in olive oil and you will see what we mean!
Bake with it.
Olive oil almost exclusively gets praised for its cooking capabilities, but it is actually a superstar baking ingredient as well. Olive oil lends its distinct flavor to any recipes it is added to, which is why it takes center stage in desserts such as olive oil cake. Just be aware that if you swap in olive oil for a neutral flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil, it will change the flavor of the final bake, so keep that in mind. The good news is that common flavors in baking, like lemon, orange or even chocolate are complemented and even enhanced by the fruity notes in high quality olive oil.
Top your soups with it.
If you want to make a soup thicker, decadent and more flavorful, adding a drizzle of olive oil prior to serving will do just that. This works especially well with vegetable-based soups, which do not have meat to add fat to them. We recommend adding the oil just before serving because it will separate out from the main body of the soup when stored in the fridge.
Freeze fresh herbs in it.
Bought too many fresh herbs and cannot use them all up before they go bad? Do not fret! Get yourself an oversized ice cube tray or silicone ice mold and pack the remaining herbs into the cubes. Then, cover them with olive oil and put the trays in the freezer to set. Whenever you are ready to cook, just throw a pre-seasoned olive oil cube in the pot or pan and you will be ready to go.
Infuse your own olive oils.
You can definitely buy flavored olive oils that are already infused, such as chili infused olive oil, but you can also infuse your own olive oils at home. Make sure your herbs and other ingredients are completely clean and dry before putting them in the olive oil to prevent contamination. Put them in a bottle to infuse for up to two weeks and then strain the oil to remove the ingredients. Enjoy your homemade infused olive oil!
Use it as a preservative.
Olive oil can act as a preservative because it protects food from both oxygen and water, both of which can contribute to accelerated decomposition. First, boil the vegetables in vinegar until they are cooked to your preference. Then, toss them with whatever spices you want, put them in a jar, cover them with olive oil and seal tightly. You can also add a thin layer of olive oil to fresh dips and sauces (like pesto) to help prevent oxidation.
Bonus: Add it to your haircare or skincare routine.
Olive oil is a great ingredient to add to DIY skincare and haircare masks. Not only is it super moisturizing, it is also packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that will benefit your skin and hair.
Are there any ways to use olive oil that we missed? If you have thought of a creative way to use olive oil in the kitchen (or around your house), drop it in the comments below to share with the rest of us!