March Olive Oil and Balsamic Must-Haves

Simple Savory Omelette with Herbes de Provence and Fresh Veggies

Here, two French culinary concoctions combine to create one delicious dish. Herbes de Provence is the name used for a spice mixture common in the Provençal region of France, and an omelette…well, maybe just the word hails from the French language, but the popularity of the dish and its name has something to do with Napoleon Bonaparte and a now-annual omelette festival in Bessieres, France (Google it!). Long story short, our Herbes de Provence olive oil adds an infusion of flavor to an omelette without adding heaps of ingredients. More ingredients makes for a tasty omelet, but can make an omelet difficult to cook and fold! Inspired by The Olive Oil & Vinegar Lover’s Cookbook. Makes 1 large omelette.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
  • 2 crimini mushrooms (baby bellas), sliced
  • 1 sweet mini pepper, diced, or 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 to 2 green onions, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Thomasville Tomme cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Half a medium avocado, peeled and sliced

Directions: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an 8” or 10” nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the remaining tablespoon oil. Whisking well until the mixture is foamy.

Add the eggs to the skillet, pouring over the vegetables. Add the cheese and allow the egg to cook for about 1 minute before slowly swirling the pan to move the uncooked egg to the edges of the pan for another 30 seconds or until it is nearly set. Using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold the omelet in half. Cook another minute then remove from the pan.

To serve: Either present the omelet whole or divide it into halves or fourths. Top with sliced avocado and another sprinkling of cheese. Serve immediately.

 

Mixed Greens Salad with a Blackberry-Ginger Vinaigrette

The blackberry-ginger balsamic is a delicious combination of sweet-tart blackberries and the gentle, warming spice of exotic ginger. It gives great flavor to a simple yet elegant salad topped with California-grown walnuts and chèvre. Serves 4 to 6 as a side.

Vinaigrette:

Salad:

  • About 5 oz. mixed greens or a heaping handful per serving
  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced on the bias
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (look for the in Sigona’s dried fruit & nut department)
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries (slice larger berries if desired)
  • Optional: Sliced or crumbled chèvre (goat cheese) or feta, as desired

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic, lemon juice and Dijon. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the greens and green onions with a couple tablespoons of vinaigrette until lightly coated. Transfer the greens to a large serving platter or divide among individual salad plates.

Top the salad with walnuts, berries and crumbled cheese. Drizzle a bit of the remaining vinaigrette over the top and/or serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.

 

Tangerine Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs

(For Instant Pot or Slow Cooker || Paleo-friendly)

What would normally take about 3 or 4 hours in the oven, might take you just one hour from start to finish in the Instant Pot! Braising the meat makes for tender ribs that are infused with flavor, and using our tangerine balsamic adds a sweet, slightly citrusy note. Inspired by Eating Well. Pair this dish with roasted sweet potato wedges or a cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” Serves 2 to 4. 

Ingredients:

Using an Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker):

1). Season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add in 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add the ribs and cook for about 3 minutes per side to get them nice and browned. Remove ribs and set aside.

2). Reserve 1 tablespoon of oil from the bottom of the pot and carefully discard the rest. Add the tablespoon of oil back to the pot on sauté.

3). Add the onions, stirring occasionally. Cook until soft, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic to deglaze the pot, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more, until the balsamic has reduced a bit, then switch off sauté.

4). Add the ribs and the broth to the Instant Pot. Close the lid, making sure the release valve is in the correct position. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook for 40 minutes and hit start. Allow the pot to do a natural release for at least 10 to 15 minutes before doing a quick release. Open the lid and use tongs to remove the ribs to a serving dish, keeping warm.

5). Remove the herb sprigs and spoon off the fat from the liquid left in the pot. To do this, you can transfer the liquid to another container that’s easier to spoon from, or, if you’re doing them ahead of time, refrigerate the liquid for a few hours or overnight, then remove the layer of solidified fat. Reheat the ribs and sauce together on sauté and follow the rest of the directions when ready to eat.

6). If removed, add the liquid back to the Instant Pot and set to sauté. In a small bowl, mix together the arrowroot powder and water to create a slurry; whisk the slurry into the liquid in the Instant Pot and stir until combined and sauce has thickened. Turn off pot and remove sauce from heat.

7). To serve, spoon some of the sauce over the ribs and serve the rest on the side. Sprinkle the dish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Using a slow cooker:

1). Follow steps 1-3 above, but use a sauté pan over medium-high heat on the stove top.

2). Add the browned ribs to a slow cooker. Pour the balsamic mixture over the ribs and add the broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Use tongs to remove ribs; set aside and keep warm.

3). Follow steps 5-7 above, using a skillet to thicken the sauce and/or reheat when it’s time to eat.

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