In Partnership with GeoEvoo Inc.
We were never a bread and butter family. If bread was going to be served with lunch or dinner (and let’s face it, it usually was), it was used to sop up all of the delicious sauces and juices which came with our great meals, like green beans with potatoes, stewed green peas and horiatiki salad. No butter required. And even if the meal was not bathed in rich delicious sauces, butter was unnecessary because our parents would either drizzle our pieces of bread with olive oil, or create an aromatic olive oil and vinegar combination that we could then dip our bread into.
The key to making a great olive oil dip (we know, we know, this isn’t really a dip…but what do you want us to call it?) is great olive oil. We are lucky that we receive a steady supply of olive oil straight from Greece and our family’s olive trees but we know that not everyone has access to their own person olive groves, so if you don’t…don’t despair. We prepared (and devoured) this particular olive oil dip with olive oil given to us by GeoEvoo Inc, a family run business that in 2012 began importing extra virgin olive oil from their family estate in Messinia, Greece. These trees have belonged to the family for over 100 years, and have been cared for with love and dedication which shines through in the flavor.
The OLO-ENA olive oil produced by GeoEvoo Inc is made using only one type of olive, the koroneiki. The olives are hand picked and pressed during the months of November or early December giving you, and us, an olive oil that is of the highest quality. For now, the OLO-ENA olive oil is only available in Canada and is a limited reserve, as the family continues to focus on quality over quantity. And we are so lucky that they do!
The star of any olive oil dip will always be the olive oil. Choose your olive oil carefully and remember that olive oil tends to be more costly than many other oils. If you find a brand that seems like a great deal, question its purity. In fact, even high-priced olive oils have been subject to much investigation with plenty of reports highlighting that these products are often mixed with other oils. So shop carefully and support distributors you know you can trust.
Warming up your olive oil is key to bringing out all of the lovely flavours of this bread dip. Just be careful not to over heat your oil as you will burn the delicate taste you are trying to develop.
Mia Kouppa: Olive oil dip
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 basil leaves, left whole
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (22 – 30 ml) balsamic vinegar
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat warm up the olive oil, basil leaves, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
- After a few minutes you will see the oil sizzling and you will begin to smell the fresh aroma of the herbs and garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Pour the oil and herbs onto a medium sized dish.
- Drizzle the vinegar on top of the oil and serve immediately with fresh bread or pita bread. Enjoy!