I know that olive oil is a key ingredient in cooking, especially Mediterranean diets, where it is a key part of everyday fare, but I never really could tell the difference between varieties and flavors. I was therefore intrigued when I was asked if I would care to review a book written about this all important and somewhat mysterious ingredient. A whole book on just olive oil? YES!
I enjoyed the beautiful photography and trendy graphics of the book, with pictures that draw you in and make you feel like all you want to do is bite into some freshly picked olives, or sit in the shade of an olive tree somewhere on the coast of California. Included as well is a section on the different types of olives, and what oils they produce. I like the analogy of olives to grapes, with olive oil compared to wine. Different soils, climates and terrains all have an effect on the olives, and the oil they produce.
Olive oil is apparently extremely versatile, and adds great flavor to cooking. The most interesting chapter of the book, in my humble opinion, is the section on poaching in olive oil. Recipes like Tuna with Citrus and Avocado salad, and Chicken Breasts with Asparagus and Pea Orzo, are high up on my to-do list. What could be better than cooking in a bath of oil? J
I also enjoyed the use of simple and basic ingredients, along with the side options for every main dish. Overall a very enjoyable read, and I thank Mary Platis and Laura Bashar for the opportunity of reviewing their book.