Olive Oil

Huile d'olive | quantum-isoraka.com

Hello to all the readers of the culinary blog of the Quantum Isoraka restaurant!

Today, I’m going to talk to you about an ingredient that I use a lot in my cooking: olive oil. You will discover why this vegetable oil is an excellent ally for preparing tasty and healthy dishes, and how to choose and use it to its best advantage.

I will also share some recipe ideas inspired by Mediterranean, Indian, and Southern European cuisine that showcase the qualities of olive oil.

What is olive oil? What are the advantages of olive oil in cooking? How to choose and use olive oil? Some recipe ideas using olive oil

What is olive oil?

Olive oil is a vegetable oil obtained from pressing olives, the fruits of the olive tree. This tree has been cultivated for millennia in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, as well as in India and certain regions of Southern Europe. There are numerous varieties of olives, which yield olive oils with different flavors and colors.

Olive oil is divided into three main categories based on the extraction method and quality:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: This is the highest quality, obtained through mechanical processes without chemical or thermal treatment. It has a fruity taste and an acidity level below 0.8 grams per 100 grams.
  • Virgin olive oil: This is a good-quality oil, also obtained through mechanical processes, but it may have some organoleptic defects (odor, flavor). Its acidity is below 2 grams per 100 grams.
  • Olive oil: This is a lower-quality oil, obtained by blending virgin olive oil with refined olive oil (chemically and thermally treated to remove impurities). Its acidity is below 1 gram per 100 grams.

What are the advantages of olive oil in cooking?

Olive oil is a highly appreciated ingredient in cooking because it adds flavor and texture to dishes. It can be used both raw and cooked to season salads, vegetables, pasta, rice, fish, meat, or even desserts.

Olive oil is also known for its health benefits. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (omega-9), which help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). It also contains antioxidants (polyphenols, vitamin E) that protect cells from aging and cardiovascular diseases. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the healthiest in the world. This diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, fermented dairy products, and a small amount of red meat. It is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and certain cancers.

How to choose and use olive oil?

To fully enjoy the qualities of olive oil, it is important to know how to choose and use it correctly.

Here are some tips:

  • Prefer extra virgin or virgin olive oil, which are purer and more flavorful than regular olive oil. Read the labels carefully to check the origin, variety, and expiration date of the oil.
  • Choose olive oil that suits the dish you are preparing. There are mild, fruity, robust, or spicy olive oils that pair well with certain foods. For example, mild olive oil goes well with salads, fish, or desserts, while robust olive oil is better suited for meat, cheese, or grilled vegetables.
  • Store olive oil in a cool, dry place away from light to prevent it from becoming rancid. Use it preferably within six months after opening. Use olive oil in moderation, as it is still a fat. One tablespoon of olive oil provides about 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. The recommended amount is two to three tablespoons
  • day per person.
  • Avoid heating olive oil to high temperatures as it loses its nutritional and flavor qualities. Opt for gentle or moderate cooking methods, or add olive oil at the end or after cooking.

Here are some recipe ideas using olive oil:

Greek salad

Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, black olives, and feta cheese, all cut into pieces. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and sprinkle dried oregano.

Tandoori chicken

Marinate chicken pieces in a mixture of plain yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, tandoori paste (or curry), crushed garlic, grated ginger, salt, and pepper for at least two hours in the refrigerator. Cook the chicken in the oven or on the barbecue, basting regularly with the marinade. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.


Sauté sliced onions, diced eggplants, and zucchini in a large pan with a little olive oil. Add peeled and crushed tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or cold with toasted bread or rice.


Heat some olive oil in a large pan or casserole. Brown pieces of chicken, rabbit, or pork. Add chopped onions, crushed garlic, paprika, saffron, salt, and pepper. Pour in chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add round-grain rice and mix well. Reduce the heat, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cleaned mussels, peeled shrimp, sliced squid, and frozen peas. Continue cooking until the rice is tender and the mussels have opened. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

A cake

A cake with olive oil is an original and flavorful recipe that allows you to create a moist and fragrant dessert. Olive oil adds a fruity touch and a melting texture to the cake while making it lighter than if using butter.

To prepare this cake, you will need: 4 eggs 200g of sugar 200g of flour 1 packet of baking powder 150ml of olive oil The zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture turns pale. Add the flour, baking powder, olive oil, lemon zest, and juice. Mix well to obtain a smooth batter. Pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before removing it from the pan. You can enjoy it as it is or drizzle it with a lemon glaze.

In conclusion, olive oil is a food with multiple benefits for health, beauty, and cooking. It contains unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and aging. It can also be used as a natural treatment for the skin, hair, and nails. Finally, it adds flavor and freshness to many Mediterranean or exotic dishes. There is a wide variety of olive oils available, depending on their origin, production method, and taste. Therefore, it is important to know how to choose and store them to fully enjoy their qualities. We hope this article has allowed you to learn more about this exceptional product and that you will not hesitate to incorporate it into your daily diet.

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