In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Fresh Pressed Olive Oils and Salads

Carmelo’s Simple, Easy Vinaigrette

Tossed greens with evoo and balsamicThis one is so simple, basic and easy I couldn’t help but call it just that: a simple, easy vinaigrette. I like to keep a mixture of this handy for a quick lunch when I’m on the go. It’s also easy to bottle and take to work.

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the minced shallot and balsamic. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil (this will help emulsify the mixture). Let it stand for 5 minutes to let the flavors meld and the heat in the shallot “soften.”

If desired, based on your taste, add more or less of oil or balsamic to fit what you like best.

This mixture can be stored at room temperature for up to three days. I like to keep it out of the fridge to keep the oil from congealing.

Salad tips: When mixing a salad, be sure all leaves are dry. This will help to ensure all leaves are coats with the dressing and not diluted with water. I think one of the greatest things the produce industry has ever done to provide super healthy, ready-to-use veggies. Earthbound Farms Organic Spring mix comes prewashed and ready to use, and it’s packed with organic, super food phytonutrients!

A little of this vinaigrette goes a long way. You don’t want your greens to be swimming in a puddle of vinaigrette! The secret to using less dressing, but still having a delicious salad, is tossing it well…mucho tossing, as I like to say. Make sure all leaves get coated the same and there is no extra heavy or absent taste of the dressing… just a smooth delicious healthy salad.

Add to the mix: When greens and vinaigrette need a little something more, consider adding in one or more of the following and toss to coat:

• A Honeycrisp apple (sliced into matchsticks)
• Grilled chicken strips
• Orange segments
• Dried cranberries
• Nuts/seeds (I like pecans, walnuts or pepitas/pumpkin seeds)
• Sliced veggies
• Sliced olives (have you seen our olive bar?)

Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette

Whisking in a little Dijon makes for a richer, thicker dressing while also adding another layer of flavor. A little goes a long way, just remember to toss everything together well to coat evenly. That way you still have a healthy, delicious salad that isn’t swimming in dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 TBL minced shallots
  • 1/2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Traditional 12-year-aged balsamic
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press California Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the minced shallot, Dijon and balsamic. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil (this will help emulsify the mixture). Let it stand for 5 minutes to let the flavors meld and the heat in the shallot “soften.”

If desired, based on your taste, add more or less of oil or balsamic to fit what you like best.

This mixture can be stored at room temperature for up to three days. I like to keep it out of the fridge to keep the oil from congealing.

Peppery Arugula with Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil and Kosher Salt

Arugula salad 1824Don’t scramble long for a side dish with too many components. Some greens, such as arugula, with a delicate, nutty flavor and peppery finish, already come with flavor so great all you need to do is drizzle on some olive oil and add on a sprinkling of kosher salt. It’s an excellent accompaniment to fish or pasta.

To serve 4:

  • 4 large handfuls of Arugula (baby or regular)
  • About 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press California Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • Kosher salt

What to do: Place the arugula in a large mixing bowl and drizzle in 1 TBL of the olive oil. Begin to toss the arugula and oil, adding more oil if needed to lightly coat each leaf.

Divide the tossed salad among four salad plates and sprinkle with a Kosher salt. Enjoy!

Best Bread Buddies: Olive Oil & Balsamic

bread dipper 1806This go-to bread dip is tangy, smooth and an instant crowd pleaser, whether it’s for your book club, Super Bowl party or simply while you and your spouse wait for the lasagna to finish baking.

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press California Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 TBL Sigona’s Traditional 12-year-aged balsamic
  • Your favorite fresh bread, cubed (Focaccia or a French baguette work well)
  • Options: add in a sprinkling of dried Italian herbs for more flavor. I like oregano or basil.

Directions: Use a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Pour on the oil and then the balsamic. Dip in the bread cubes, being sure to get a little of each element, and enjoy.

Caprese skewers

Nothing is easier than this dish, which is good because your guests will gobble them up and you’ll have to make more! These are also easy to pack and take for your brown-bag lunch.

What you need:

  • Cherry tomatoes, we recommend Sweet 100s or a mix of colors/varieties
  • Fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • Fresh mozzarella, we recommend Cantare’s Ciliegine
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press California Koroneiki extra virgin olive oil
  • Sigona’s traditional 12-year-aged balsamic
  • Salt & pepper

What to do: Thread a sweet 100 cherry tomato onto a wooden skewer with a basil leaf and a piece of fresh mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and aged balsamic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Expecting a hungry crowd? Don’t present skimpy skewers. Thread the skewers with 2-3 pieces of each ingredient.

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