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Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil

Of all the ways to cook garlic, roasting the heads whole is the easiest, sweetest and most succulent method. Any harsh flavors are caramelized away, leaving creamy toasted cloves behind. Of course, this method is only improved by olive oil, which bathes the cloves in richness, intensifies and extends their flavors, and helps prevent any drying out. If you haven’t tried roasted garlic, cook up a few heads today!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205° C): A toaster oven works great for this.
  2. Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the whole garlic bulb. Leave intact the skins of the individual cloves of garlicFresh garlic on a wooden background.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the top of the cloves. This exposes the individual cloves of garlic.Fresh garlic with the cloves exposed and set on a wooden background.
  4. Put garlic in a baking pan or muffin tin: Place the garlic heads in a baking pan, cut side up. (A muffin pan works great for this, as it keeps the garlic bulbs from rolling around.)Fresh garlic with the cloves exposed set in a muffin tin.
  5. Drizzle with True Fields olive oil: Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves.
  6. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil.Foil wrapped head of garlic in a muffin tin.
  7. Bake: Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 30-40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed.Roasted garlic cloves in a muffin tin.
  8. Cool and remove roasted garlic cloves from their skins: Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. Eat as is (I love straight roasted garlic) or mash with a fork and use it for cooking. Can be spread over warm French bread, mixed with sour cream for a topping for baked potatoes, or mixed in with Parmesan and pasta.

Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/health-news/replacing-saturated-fats-with-olive-oil-saves-lives-harvard/103884
https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/health-news/mediterranean-diet-again-named-best-overall/103624

Mediterranean Diet  

The “Mediterranean Diet” is a foodway created by those who live around that warm inland sea and now followed by people around the world. Its main components are whole grains, fish, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil. It includes a moderate amount of dairy, mostly cultured, and low amounts of land animal meat. As well as the ingredients, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes family, connection, and a modicum of physical activity.

Olive Oil Foundations

Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet, used in everything from deep frying to desserts, lamplighting to massage. Olive trees grow abundantly all around the Mediterranean, and their fruits produce a wonderful oil in all qualities from flavor to healthiness. Olive oil is monounsaturated, the best kind of saturation level for cardiovascular health and lowered ‘bad’ cholesterol. It’s also rich in antioxidants and nutrients.  What a lovely base to build a foodway on!

Saturation Levels

Above we mention that olive oil is ‘monounsaturated’. But what does that mean, and why does it matter? Hundreds of thousands of words have been written about the chemistry of olive oil, but here’s a brief summary.  Fats are composed of long chains of carbon atoms bound to a glycerin molecule.  When all the carbons are bound to 2 hydrogens the fat is ‘saturated’ with hydrogen, A fat that has one missing hydrocarbon per chain (which results in a single double bond between carbons) is monounsaturated.  Polyunsaturated fats have, you guessed it, multiple missing hydrocarbons and single or double links between carbons.

One interesting feature of fats is that the higher the proportion of saturated fats, the higher the melting point and temperature before catching fire.   Olive oil, very rich in monounsaturated oleic acid, pours at room temperature but as a thick golden liquid. Also, monounsaturated fats are the best for cardiovascular health.  Studies have shown that they drive down the concentration of “bad” LDL cholesterol. 

Drizzle of Deliciousness

Olive oil achieves the amazing feat of being both delicious and good for us.  It is one of those foods which expresses <i>terroir</i>, the character of the place where it’s produced. Therefore, olive oils vary widely in flavor, from grassy to buttery, peppery to rich, but every one is delicious and every one enhances the food prepared with it. In many Mediterranean cuisines there’s a custom of finishing off a dish with a drizzle of olive oil to add that last bit of mouthwatering shine. What could be more beautiful or more tasty?

Mediterranean Themes

The Mediterranean diet is excellent for novice and experienced cooks alike. Many of the cuisines under its banner are quite ancient, and their recipes are tried and true for new cooks. Meanwhile those who love to experiment in their cooking have a wide field of ingredients and techniques to work with, all tied together by the delicious olive oil. 

Here at the home of the Cinder Grill we have some Mediterranean-themed recipes, including but not limited to:

And we’re always working on creating more, because we’re so inspired by the Mediterranean Diet. This foodway is not only delicious, not only healthy, but also joyful. It includes a wide range of ingredients and recipes that are beautiful and appealing, none more so than olive oil. It also includes many health benefits, ranging from the cardiovascular health we discussed earlier to overall increased longevity.  Enjoy all these luscious possibilities with the Cinder Grill!

Olive Oil Bruschetta using True Fields EVOO

While nothing’s quite as lovely as late summer tomatoes, bursting with juice and sunlight, this all-season bruschetta comes pretty close.  Here we use the Cinder Grill to firm up quality canned tomatoes until they reach a pleasant meaty texture, and bolster their flavor with some diced sun-dried tomatoes and of course good olive oil.  Enjoy sunshine in winter with the Cinder Grill!

  • 1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, drained, trimmed of any hard bits or remaining skin, halved and seeded.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 15 large basil leaves, thinly sliced into a chiffonade
  • 2 tbps chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 large baguette or loaf of Italian bread, sliced 1 inch thick on the bias
  • Halved garlic cloves, for rubbing the toasted slices (optional)

Directions

  1. Set Cinder to 325 F.  Line the bottom plate with a large sheet of parchment paper. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on the parchment, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, and arrange tomatoes on the plate. Try to keep them from touching if possible, and make sure they are in a single layer.  Once the Cinder comes to temperature, cook, with the lid up, for one hour. This dehydrates and firms the tomatoes.
  1. After an hour, transfer the tomatoes to a cutting board and chop into rough half inch pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, sundried tomatoes, and basil.  Add a little vinegar, a few pinches of salt and a pinch of sugar, mix, and taste. Season further if necessary.
  1. Wipe down the Cinder if necessary and set it to sear. Working in batches, toast the bread slices on both sides on the Cinder Grill (30-45 seconds a side), and rub them with halved garlic cloves. Spoon tomatoes on top and serve. 

Olive Oil and the Keto Diet

Fat is one of the pillars of the Keto Diet, and olive oil should be a major source of that fat.  The whole point of the Keto diet is to reset one’s metabolism so that the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This causes the body to ‘unpack’ those stores of fat we see externally as padding, and use them as well as ingested fat, resulting in a lighter body and many health benefits. For these purposes, among others, olive oil is one of the best fats available, being both delicious and healthy, benefiting certain body systems which might otherwise suffer from a high fat diet. Let’s explore these truths a little more.

Olive Oil and The Heart

As noted above, the keto diet relies on switching the body over to burning fat for fuel, which requires a considerable fat intake. However, one potential drawback to using fat as fuel is that many animal and even plant fats are saturated. Consuming saturated fats raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other issues. But Olive oil is here to help, with monounsaturated fats, anti-oxidant polyphenols, and other plentiful nutrients. Olive oil has been scientifically shown to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. How does it do it?

The Marvels of Monounsaturated Fats

What is a monounsaturated fat, anyway? Simply put, it’s a fat molecule with one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. This causes a carbon double bond. In turn this double bond puts a ‘bend’ in the chain of carbon atoms, which means that monounsaturated fats flow at room temperature and body temperature.  Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and contribute to the buildup of cholesterol in the body, while polyunsaturated fats go rancid more quickly than monounsaturated fats.  For these and other reasons, monounsaturated fats are best for the body, and no edible oil has a higher level of monounsaturated fat than Olive oil.

Incorporating Olive Oil

Including olive oil in the keto diet can be as simple as drizzling it over food before serving. Extra Virgin Olive oils especially are natural sauces in and of themselves. Try trimming red meat of its fat deposits, then replacing that richness with a good drizzle of olive oil.  Also olive oil is better at frying than its reputation suggests, and it can be blended into any dressing or soup which needs more richness. Mashed cauliflower with olive oil is so luscious you won’t miss the potatoes or the cream.  Indeed, adding olive oil to any vegetable helps carry fat-soluble vitamins, and also makes the dish more satisfying.

The Keto Diet is all about health, and Olive oil is one of the healthiest and most delicious oils available in the kitchen. So enjoy your Keto cooking, rich with Olive Oil, from your Cinder Grill!

True Fields Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Cinder Grill

Whoever came up with “Everything old is new again” must have been thinking of handpicked olive oil. This ancient condiment fits perfectly into modern lives, more popular and more delicious than ever. Not only is olive oil extremely healthy, especially extra virgin olive oil, but current technology helps it stay fresher longer, giving the cook more time and opportunities. This blog post focuses on the tasty relationship between True Fields olive oil and the Cinder Grill, and how to make the most of both together.

Olive oil for Healthy Cooking

The premiere grade of olive oil is the famous extra virgin, but that’s not the only one available. One of the special aspects of extra virgin olive oil is its high level of polyphenols and other healthy compounds. However, polyphenols especially come in large molecules which break down over heat. For this reason, the best grade for cooking is actually plain, refined olive oil. Save the beautiful True Fields EVOO olive oil for toppings and condiments.

Olive Oil for Uncooked Sauces

Olive oil makes a healthy, luscious base for cold sauces such as salsas and relishes. Just chop up the herbs, vegetables, and other items that strike your fancy and turn the little pile into a condiment with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of EVOO.  This is the perfect application for extra virgin, taking advantage not only of its delicious flavor but of oil’s ability to dissolve other flavors.  This helps preserve and mingle the flavors for the best effect. Try making a chimichurri or a salsa and dolloping the cold sauce onto a freshly seared chicken breast or salmon steak for a flavor and temperature contrast that can’t be beaten!

Olive Oil for Hot Sauces

A common finishing step in making many pan sauces is to “mount” them, or thicken and enrich them, often with softened butter. Lush EVOO can pull off this trick as well! Due to olive oil’s lack of water and emulsifiers, you’ll have to whisk a little harder, but its large molecules will slip into your sauce with only a little effort. Of course, if you’d rather make a cooked roux, remember to use a drizzle of True Fields extra virgin olive oil at the very end.

Olive Oil as a Condiment 

Like many of the best foods, from coffee to cheese, wine to vanilla, olive oil can express that mysterious quality known as terroir. This is when the location of a food’s production greatly affects its qualities of taste and texture. Look at your olive oil, both on the bottle and online, to discover the special aspects of its terroir. Then take advantage of those qualities, whether your oil is peppery, buttery, grassy, or more, to use the oil itself as a condiment on foods from toasted bread to seared steak. 

Olive Oil Not for Searing

With all these possibilities, what can’t olive oil do? Well, in a word, sear. Because of its rich and complex makeup, extra virgin olive oil denatures and then burns at relatively low heat. Even refined olive oil has a smoke point of 360F, far below the Cinder Grill’s sear at 450.  Burning such a precious oil will do no favors to the oil, the food, or the chef. So don’t try to use olive oil to sear. 

Recipes Using Olive Oil

Of course, we list quite a few dishes featuring olive oil on our Recipes page. Here are a few which demonstrate some of the points in this blog post: 

  • This Guinea Hen recipe by Michelin Starred Chef Critchley features an uncooked relish built on EVOO.  
  • Spaghetti Squash soaks in olive oil and garlic as it cooks, soaking up the rich flavors the oil carries.
  • An exception to the no-cook rule, these marinated Sungold Tomatoes use very gentle heat to bring out the flavors of the tomatoes and marinade.
  • A good drizzle of olive oil fittingly dresses this beautiful beet salad, making the roasted root vegetables glisten like jewels.

Take these recipes as inspiration but don’t stop here. The possibilities are endless when you combine True Fields extra virgin olive oil and the Cinder Grill!

Shrimp Rolls 

Celebrate summer’s seafood splendor with Shrimp Rolls – as delicious as lobster rolls with none of the fuss and at half the price! Also, the shrimp will always be perfectly cooked, toothsome yet tender, when you use True Fields EVOO when marinating.

  • 1 pound 21-25 count Shrimp, Peeled and deveined
  • 1Tbsp Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tsp True Fields Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 Tbsp chives, minced
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt or to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 top-split hot dog buns 
  • 4-8 leaves of a tender lettuce such as Boston lettuce.
  1. Preheat your Cinder Grill to 155 F. 
  2. Mix salt, sugar, and water until dissolved. Add shrimp and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare an ice bath.
  4. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Lay out shrimp in cinder, close lid, and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. At the end of the 20 minutes quickly transfer shrimp to an ice bath. Wipe down Cinder plates. Let shrimp cool for 15 minutes.
  7. In a large bowl, mix True Fields EVOO, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, chives, celery, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and leave in the refrigerator to chill.
  8. Remove shrimp from the ice bath, pat dry, and cut it into bite-size pieces.
  9. Remove a large bowl from the fridge and mix shrimp into the dressing.
  10. preheat Cinder to Sear.  pour one Tsp oil on Cinder Plate, spread around, and lay buns on their sides to toast. After 45 seconds or sufficient toasting, drizzle the remaining oil over, turn buns over, and toast other side. When fully toasted remove buns to platter.
  11. Line each bun inside with 1-2 lettuce leaves.  Divide shrimp mixture between buns and serve.

Marinating With Olive Oil

Extra virgin Olive oil is an iconic ingredient. Delicious, nutritious, beautiful, and rich with history, it can be used in endless ways.  One of the many places Handpicked True Fields olive oil provides both health and cooking benefits as in marinades. Many foods, notable meats, are improved by a flavorful soak. Furthermore, most marinades are improved by extra virgin olive oil in multiple ways. Read on with us to see why.

Carrying Flavors

Many flavor molecules are chemically related to proteins and sugars, especially those produced during the Maillard Reactions. During marination, these larger molecules can often travel better in fats than in water-based solutions, due to the different molecular structures. In addition to its triglycerides, Olive oil contains other large molecules which help carry the flavor molecules to their new destinations in your food.

Providing Flavor

Speaking of those large luscious molecules in olive oil, many of them have delicious flavors of their own, such as the richness of oleic acid and the sharpness of polyphenols. True Fields Olive oil not only carries flavors but contributes them, lending any food lushness and vibrancy. Lean foods, such as poultry breasts and boneless pork, particularly benefit from vivacious olive oil.

Viscosity is our Ally

Even the most flavorful marinade does no good if it runs right off. Here’s another way in which True Fields olive oil can help in the marination. It’s an intrinsically viscous oil; also, like most oils, when blended with a water-based liquid the resulting emulsion is very thick indeed. Olive oil plus a little whisking can turn a thin marinade into a thick robe of flavor which clings to the food. 

Moisture is our Goal

A constant issue facing cooks is how to keep food from drying out while cooking.  The same heat which produces delicious changes in flavor and texture can drive the water-based moisture away. However, as the old saying goes, “oil and water don’t mix.” A coating of pure cold pressed True Fields olive oil-based marinade works as a barrier against escaping moisture. Furthermore, the olive oil lubricates the food itself, contributing to the moist and juicy mouth feel. 

True Fields handpicked Olive oil is delicious, healthy, and versatile. Using it in marinades and sauces will expand both culinary abilities and nutritious opportunities. So let the olive oil flow!  

Salmon Salad with Arugula, Grape Tomatoes, and True Fields EVOO

Salmon Salad with True Fields extra virgin olive oil

When the temperature rises few dishes are as simultaneously refreshing and sustaining as a nice salmon salad topped with some tasty TRUE Fields extra virgin olive oil. The dressing can be doubled or tripled as a dipping sauce for good crusty bread, capers, and green onion – scatter those over the greens.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound skinless boneless salmon filet
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp True Fields extra virgin olive oil, the good stuff
  • 1/2 tsp salt, preferably sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 4 oz baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 1-pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp white or champagne vinegar
  • A large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

Method:

  1. Season the salmon on both sides with the dill, salt and pepper, place in the oven, and cook to 300 F for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients and some True Fields EVOO.  Taste for seasoning, then toss with the arugula and tomatoes in a large bowl. Spread on a serving platter.
  3. When the salmon is done, lay it atop the salad and serve!

Olive Oil in Recipes

hand-picked, small batch, extra virgin olive oil delivered to your door

Celebrate Olive Oil!

We absolutely love olive oil and have included it in many of our recipes. Because of that, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight how olive oil is used in these recipes.  Not only can you make these delicious dishes using True Fields EVOO, but you can take inspiration and ideas from them. This will help you develop your own olive oil recipes.

In our recipe for Salmon Filet With Blistered Tomatoes, olive oil does double duty.  It functions as a lubricating cooking medium – the tomatoes and salmon wouldn’t stick when cooking, but the olive oil guarantees it. It also makes a luscious sauce all on its own, enriching the delicious fish even further.

Chef Critchley’s Beet Salad glistens with an easy, elegant vinaigrette.  The perfectly roasted beets, neither mushy nor heavy but sweet and toothsome, look like a pile of jewels when coated in olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings. Furthermore, they taste even better than they look!

Another vegetable that benefits from olive oil is the zucchini. Its fellow summer squashes do as well in this colorful recipe. Summer squash can be watery and bland, but not here! Then the olive-oil-based dressing enriches the vegetables and enhances their flavor.

Meat benefits from olive oil just as much as vegetables do. No meat demonstrates that better than lamb. The olive-oil-based marinade carries flavors much more efficiently than a water-based marinade, and the thickness of the oil helps the seasonings cling. 

Beef also benefits from olive oil, as in this Grass-Fed Beef Shoulder. For all of its richness, olive oil also has a lightness to it.  This helps elevate the beef from being stodgy to being satisfying. Also, the glistening glow that olive oil lends to all it touches makes the already gorgeous beef look absolutely mouthwatering.

Poultry and olive oil are natural partners, such as in this Cornish Game Hen recipe. Cooking such small birds evenly can be a challenge, but the olive oil provides crispness, succulence, and a delicious sheen to the seared hens, making them irresistible.

These recipes just begin to demonstrate the luscious versatility of olive oil.  We very much hope they serve as a delicious inspiration and also delicious meals!