by MELISSA GORDON
Olive oil, dear olive oil: You’re the most sensual of all staples, so full-bodied and so smooth. Maybe this is why we can’t get enough of you. You fearlessly launch our sautés. You delicately dress our greens. You humbly magnify our roasts. You dutifully deliver our marinades. And when that’s enough, we massage you into our skin and hair. A select few of us even drink you daily, extolling your elixir.
Oh lovely olive oil, we celebrate you on Monday. With 25.4-ounce bottles of California Olive Ranch olive oil 50-percent off that day, we’ll make a special trip to the grocery store on a Monday to salute you and spread your goodness. Then we’ll prepare one of these recipes, which makes you the star of the show:
Savory Spring Onions
• 2 bunches spring onions (or green onions), roots trimmed
• Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup esteemed olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange onions in a large baking dish (trim tops to fit if needed); season with salt and pepper. Pour oil over and toss onions to coat. Roast until bulbs are tender and tops are golden brown and crisp, 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Reserve onion-infused oil for another use.
Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
• 1/2 cup honorable olive oil
• 3 fresh rosemary sprigs (each five inches long)
In small saucepan, combine oil and rosemary. Cook over low heat until a thermometer reaches 180 F, about five minutes. Remove and let cool to room temp. Transfer the sprigs to a bottle, then add the oil. Seal and refrigerate up to one month
• One or more whole heads of garlic
• Illustrious extra virgin olive oil
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, leaving intact the skins of the individual cloves of garlic.
3. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
4. Put garlic in 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.)
5. Drizzle with olive oil: Drizzle a couple 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.
7. Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 30-40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed.
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 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 or mash with a fork and use 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.