It's quite unorthodox to be writing about olive oil on the wine blog. Yet as it is sometimes about cooking rather than drinking wine, who would have thought! I am on the mission to get many foodstuffs done for my party guests whilst spending very little time preparing and serving them. I just love to chat, forgive me for my lazy or shall I say relaxed approach to hosting!
Before I begin, the key point is actually partying and entertaining guests rather than talking about Esti Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Greece.
I have been thinking about this party for a long time. I want sheer simplicity, but with some bold flavours too. I guess it is similar to when you like honest people, but them being themselves too.
One thing I have learned from Leith's Cookery School quite a few years ago, was that you should never buy shop made pesto. It is so easy to make it yourself that you will never get back to a commercial form! Simply get a bunch of basil, a handful of pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves (more or less depends how you like it), some Parmesan cheese and of course a dollop of great quality olive oil. Thankfully this olive oil made from Kalamata olives, with its flavoursome qualities it fits the bill perfectly.
I have chose this product as our Organic Star, not because it is Greek as the origins of my name or that it is green as my favourite colour, but for its flavour. You will love your pesto and should you also consider making some alterations, simply pick different herbs (i.e. coriander or parsley) and choose other types of nuts like walnuts (to make a Georgian style of sauce) and you have a very nice selection.
It does not end here of course. After quite some time contemplating simplicity and frugality, I must admit I have learned that you do not need much; when you want less, you can actually be happier. Hence my next selection of dips would be ultra-simplistic: I am going to make an asparagus and pecorino dip, black beans and garlic, chickpeas, African spices and Parmesan varieties. They will be bold, but they will all need a good portion of a flavoursome olive oil. That is how I, without cooking much, can save time and turn myself to be a great host.
Some would like to talk, some would love to hear what's new with their friends and that's how they roll. I prefer to offer a good snack and enjoy each other's company. Cheers to that (I am not going to talk wine this time, but surely you have loads of Organic Star reviews from the previous months and months if you need inspiration!)
Finally, if you are wondering why I am eating cheese, then no. I am vegan and cheese is not an option for me, but I am not going to deprive my friends. I am in no circumstance going to cook them meat, but cheese as a non-killing option, so I will do my best to create a delicious dip (made of organic ingredients of course).
Yet for myself, well for everyone really, I will do a simple salad of high quality vine ripened tomatoes (from a hot country, so provenance of food is vital) and other salad veggies that I find in my local organic store. With no need to buy dressings, as their quick and simple to make and shop bought ones are normally loaded with chemicals, simply mix 3 parts of this olive oil with 1 part of unfiltered organic vinegar and 1/2 part of wholegrain mustard for a classic French dressing. Yum!
I will also have a supply of root veggies - they are absolutely stunning roasted and then simply served with a drizzle of this Esti organic olive oil. You can make it mild or spicy, it doesn't matter that much. The main thing you are not cooking your oil, so the whole goodness of its fat and micro-elements is still there in a pure form. That's how I love my wine too - a real wine, not some neutered lifeless alcoholic drink.
My friends know I am going to showcase something special from my own little cellar. I will select a delicate red to go with this all - it is warming, but mild enough not to overpower the olive oil.
Enough talk, I am going to serve some of this Esti oil with some bread whilst I am finalising details for my get together. Exciting. Cheers to you and come back soon for our festive editions of Grapes Alive!
P.S. If you are wondering what kind of wine would be best with dips that are based on this aromatic olive oil, you can use our popular guide 'How to Pair Wine and Food in 3 Simple Steps'. Yet the idea is simple - pick younger reds that have a vibrant acidity and a bit of a kick (maybe with some pepper notes too) or fresh but medium-bodied white wines.