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Fennel, Arugula and Green Apple Salad

For The Dressing

  • 1 cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 oranges, juiced, one zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

For The Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved. Yields about 2 cups.
  • 1 granny smith apple, – 1/2 diced, 1/2 julienne
  • 1 cup arugula

Directions – Download The Recipe

Combine all dressing ingredients and wisk to emulsify.
Combine fennel and julienne apples and mix with dressing. Place over arugula and toss in dressing as well. Garnish with apple slices.
Serves 10-12

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Crostini With Figs & Honey

Submitted by Ralph Copeland. Ralph is from Crane, Texas. He is Sandy’s cousin and frequent travel partner.

Ingredients

  • Loaf or baguette of French or Italian bread
  • 5 teaspoons Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Six ounces mild or “sweet” Gorgonzola cheese
  • Eight dried figs, cut in half; or 16 dried figs, depending upon their size and the size of the croutons. If in season, use fresh figs.
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Herbs de Province
  • 2 teaspoons mignonette pepper, with allspice
  • 8 sprits of fresh opal basil, or fresh mint.

Directions – Download The Recipe

Cut eight one inch thick croutons, on the bias, from the loaf or baguette; it’s best if the bread is slightly stale. Toast each crouton on one side only. Place two of the croutons, toasted side up, on each dessert dish or bread plate.

Brush each crouton generously with a fragrant olive oil (a garlic-infused oil is especially suitable). Rub each of the toasted oil-coated croutons vigorously with the cut end of a garlic clove halved cross ways.

Parboil the figs in a small pan of boiling water briefly-perhaps 30 seconds, more or less, depending on the texture of the figs. Dunk the figs in ice water briefly to stop the cooking, and drain on paper towels. (Alternately plump the figs in ice water for a couple of hours.) Pinch off the stems. Place two figs-or two fig halves-side by side on the croutons, which-oiled and garliced-are now crostinis.

Sprinkle each crostini with a generous tablespoon of mild, or “sweet” Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled into pea-sized pieces. (Or try a good chevre cheese, or even Roquefort.) Drizzle each crostini, and the plate surrounding it, with a teaspoon of honey, preferably a strong dark honey like tupelo or buckwheat, though orange-blossom or wild flower honey “is also nice and will suffice.”

Drizzle the edge of each plate with 1/4 tsp of plain olive oil.

Sprinkle a pinch of Herbs de Province (includes savory, rosemary, and lavender, among other things) on each crostini, and grind a little mignonette pepper (50/50 white and black peppercorns, plus a pinch of coriander seeds) mixed with a few whole allspice berries, over each plate. (A few pink peppercorns in your mill made for eye appeal.)

Garnish the place with a couple of sprigs of fresh opal basil if it’s available; fresh mint sprigs work well, too.

Fresh figs, “just as they are” or halved, work well when you can find them. Some people “gild the lily” with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, pressed through a fine sieve. (Herbs de Province and mignonette pepper by mail from Penzey’s Spices, Milwaukee, WI.; www.penzeys.com)

Serving Size: 4

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Chorizo and Chicken In A Sherry Cider Vinaigrette

This flavorful dish is a perfect addition to a spread of tapas or mezze served with Sangria.  Serve this dish with slices of French bread, pita bread or Spanish breads. Accompany it, if you like, with a variety of olives, hummus, fresh fruit or other Mediterranean influenced snacks.

Download The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 package Aurelia’s Spanish Chorizo, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (more if needed to balance the flavors)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups yellow raisins, washed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Directions

  • Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then place it in the hot pan. Sauté the chicken until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate.
  • In the same pan, wilt the shallots and garlic, and then add the chorizo and sauté until it also nicely browned.
  • Remove to the plate with the chicken.
  • Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Next add the apple cider, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan and heat through to meld all the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more sherry vinegar if necessary to balance the flavors. Set aside to cool (to room temperature). Just before serving stir in the grapes, chopped red pepper and parsley.

Serving Size: 4

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Basic Polenta

Ingredients

  • 2  cups coarse cornmeal for polenta
  • 6 cups chicken stock, cold
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Combine polenta, chicken stock and milk in a large saucepan and stirring quite often, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes or until cornmeal is no longer grainy to the taste. Add more stock, milk or water if needed until polenta is cooked. Stir in the parmesan and butter and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve hot or pour into a well buttered or parchment line baking pan and refrigerate. When it has firmed up, cover with plastic wrap.

When polenta is firm and cold, it can be cut into shapes that can be baked or sauteed. Drizzle with Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Serving Size: 6

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Sandy Oaks Baba Ganoush

In olden days, a handsome Middle Eastern prince so loved baba ganoush that he vowed to marry the girl in his kingdom who could prepare it best. For many weeks the prince traveled from village to village, tasting baba ganoush prepared by eager maidens at every stop. Finally, he tasted a dish truly delightful in every respect. This baba ganoush was not only rich and smooth, fragrant and filling, and a perfect blend of eggplant, herbs, and spices; but also prepared by the hands of a girl of surpassing beauty. grace. and intelligence.

Declaring this maiden his bride-to-be, the prince set the date for the wedding, announcing to the world that in celebrating this glorious event, he desired neither gifts of gold and silver, frankincense and myrrh, nor silks and sandalwood. Rather, he sought the raw ingredients for his intended’s delicious baba ganoush. From all across his kingdom and from neighboring kingdoms as far away as Bulgaria and Baluchistan, various caliphs, emirs, and sheiks dispatched caravans of the sturdiest camels and the stoutest donkeys, laden with bunches of herbs, jars of spices, baskets of eggplants, and amphoras of ol-ive oil as gifts for the royal couple, filling the prince’s storerooms to the rafters.

Thus, the couple wed and began their married life together in the greatest happiness, for the princess loved her lord and was determined to honor him with the delight of his life: her baba ganoush. In return, the prince loved his lady dearly, especially her baba ganoush.

The first night after the wedding fete, the princess prepared a huge dish of her delicious baba ganoush, which the prince finished off in a trice, smacking his lips for more. Likewise, the second night, the third, and the fourth, the princess pleased her husband with heaping servings of her prized baba ganoush. On the fifth night, the prince detected that the baba ganoush was not up to its usual standard. Indeed, it tasted a little dry. With the greatest diplomacy, he intimated as much to his beloved. Yet on the sixth night, the fabled dish was even less satisfactory, though the prince forbore to admonish the light of his life as she seemed somewhat distraught.

On the seventh night, when the prince sat down for dinner, there was no baba ganoush! Wanting to approach the subject with absolute delicacy, the prince sweetly asked his wife, “Dearest, where is my baba ganoush?” With that, his beloved bride, the sunshine of his soul, threw herself at his feet, sob-bing and moaning, tearing at her hair and rending her clothes. “My darling,” gasped the prince, “what on earth can be the matter with you?” In response, his frantic bride wailed, “We’re out of olive oil!”

Princess, we feel your pain!

While I would never attempt to compete with a princess in a fable, I have developed my own recipe for baba ganoush. In case you’ve never tried this dish, it’s a very tasty dip that can be served with pita bread, your favorite crackers, bagle chips, or even flour tortillas, depending on which you prefer. In ad-dition to the basic ingredients, I’ve listed some op-tional ingredients for you to experiment with to give this dish a more traditional Middle Eastern flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium roasted eggplants
  • 3-4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon, to taste to taste
  • Sea Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh parsley or cilantro as garnish

Optional Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

Directions — Download The Recipe
Step One

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Prick eggplants with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Peel the loose layers of skin from a head of garlic, cut off the tops of the cloves, removing approximately  1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top. Place the garlic on a piece of foil large enough to surround it. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the garlic, making sure it’s well coated.
  • Wrap the foil around the garlic, making certain that it is completely covered.
  • Place garlic “package” and eggplants in oven.

Step Two

  • Roast the garlic until it feels soft to the touch when pressed, which should take 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove garlic from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Roast the eggplants until they are charred and collapse. This should take at least 1 hour.
  • Remove eggplants from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Once they have cooled, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, discarding any pockets of seed.

Step three

  • Place the pulp in your food processor.
  • Using a small knife, cut the skin around the individual garlic cloves, and then remove 3-4 closes from the bunch.
  • Squeeze the individual cloves out of their skins and into the food processor containing the eggplant. Puree eggplant and garlic, gradually adding the rest of the ingredients to the mixture until you have a smooth, creamy paste.
  • Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator and taste to see if additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice is needed.
  • Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve with pita, crackers, or whatever you choose.
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Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard Signature Olive Bread

Bake this delightful bread instead of, or in addition to, the traditional cornbread. Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard was kind enough to let us share the recipe with our readers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups olive leaf tea (lukewarm)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Mix together tea, yeast, and salt; add flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Let dough sit on kitchen counter for at least 2 hours or more.

It will double in size. Dough can be used right away or placed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Italian Style Olive Bread
Use refrigerator dough, portion out about 1 pound, 3 ounces of dough.

Roll out dough with rolling pin to form a round shape.

Place a handful of whole olives or 4 ounces in the center of the rolled dough.

Fold over edges and place dough seam down on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal.

Brush dough with Sandy Oaks extra virgin olive oil.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!