Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thoughts of the Sunny Middle East

There is nothing I would like better on a dreary & foggy day in Halifax than a trip to the Middle East with all that sunshine.   I'm not really complaining, because wet & dreary is better than a blizzard, but still...
A few weeks ago, my Honey was in Israel on business and brought me back a very special gift... a bottle of the most exquisite organic extra virgin olive oil from the ancient olive trees of Palestine. The company is Al'Ard, and you can read all about them right here.   But here is their description of the organic extra virgin olive oil:
"From the holy land - the home of olive tree, where ancient traditions and age old farming methods guarantee ideal, high quality olives known for their superior taste & aroma, to make Al‘Ard (The Land) one of the best produced olive oil in the world."
I really couldn't get a photo that does the bottle or the oil justice, but from the photo above you can see how golden and yet tinged with a hint of green the oil is.  And the taste..... frankly, I can't find the words to describe how delicious it is... earthy and rich are two adjectives that come to mind.  Bottom line... the aroma, texture and taste are truly sensual.

This is a special olive oil... one that would be fantastic with a splash of good balsamic and some fresh, crusty baguettes.   I was going to make a simple salad that I would normally add a sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar dressing, but this time I let the oil dictate the dressing.  I wanted nothing to overshadow it, but I did want the supporting actors... ie, the vegetables and rest of the dressing... to pay tribute.   There is no real recipe, just a handful of this, a drizzle of that, but here are the ingredients

  • Romaine hearts - for crunch
  • Sweet red pepper chunks - for color and sweetness
  • Dried Black olives - as tribute
  • Sliced red onion - just because I love onions in my salad
  • Fresh mint & cilantro leaves - for more flavors of the Middle East
  • Crumbled Feta - because Greece is another lovely place to think about when it's gloomy
  • Dressing of lemon juice, garlic, touch of Dijon mustard and, of course...
  • Healthy drizzle of Al'Ard organic extra virgin olive oil
Now I think I'm off to buy another baguette to do some dipping!


Joanne said...

Good olive oil is such a precious, amazing thing! I'm pretty jealous. :P

Shaheen said...

I' purchased a fairtrade Palestenian Olive Oil last year too, and I have to say it was exquisite. The best way to enjoy it, is something like this a light salad; and of course, good baguette!