5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
One is the loneliest number, and perhaps that's also why one is never enough.
For Cathy Whims, this is especially true when it comes to good olive oil.
Whims is the three-time James Beard nominee and executive chef of Nostrana in Portland, Oregon. Let's just say she's very hardcore about using quality olive oil - she even goes so far as to offer flights and tastings of her favorites at the restaurant.
In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if she drank the stuff ... with a ciabatta chaser.
Five Reasons Why One Olive Oil is Never Enough: Cathy Whims
Just one tablespoon of a fine oil can dress raw or cooked vegetables with impressive results and it only adds 120 calories. And it has no cholesterol and is high in vitamin E."
2. "One great all-purpose oil I use for cooking and on the table is a sweet, grassy and round 100% Arbequina olive oil from California. It is the perfect match for dipping our wood oven baked ciabatta into and reasonably priced and not too strong of a flavor profile to use in cooking.
Lots of chefs cut their cooking olive oil with a neutral oil like canola, or use a pure olive oil of a lower grade than extra virgin - but to my mind that's akin to cooking with margarine, and I don't cook with additives."
3. "Summer is almost upon us here in rainy Portland and I am dreaming of eating the first of our local tomatoes. To my mind, the perfect oil for an Insalata Caprese is a peppery, intense Tuscan oil like Frescobaldi's Laudemio extra virgin from the Chianti Classico region. Just add basil and mozzarella and open a rosé and I'm in heaven.
4. "Each December we celebrate the arrival of the just-pressed Olio Nuovo ('new oil') from Italy and our California producers. Bright green with chlorophyll, pungent and aggressive, we douse it generously over grilled bruschetta rubbed with garlic. Use enough oil that it drops down your arm when eating it."
5. "One of the few infused oils we use is called Olio Santo, or 'Holy Oil' made by steeping hot chili peppers in extra virgin oil for a few days. Its spiciness is perfect over a creamy foil of cooked heirloom beans or drizzled over a Neopolitan pizza."
What type of olive oil do you use (if any)? And is there more than one type in your repetoire? Share your oily thoughts in the comment section.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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