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Spartan Rolling Hills-Certified Organic since 2006--We can ship to anywhere in Canada, USA and  the world.


 

"Bringing the very highest quality products to the everyday table." 

For a great "Horyiati" Greek Salad visit Trish Stratus' Stratusphereyoga website.

Storing and Selecting Olive Oil

How do I store olive oil?

 
Olive oil can be kept over two years and longer than any edible oil. It should be stored in a cool place away from sunlight and heat.

 

Should you refrigerate Olive oil or our olives the oil will congeal and turn cloudy. The cloudiness will disappear when the oil returns to room temperature. The flavour of olive oil can be adversely affected by light. Bottling in plastic is detrimental to olive oil quality as the plastic can react with the olive oil in time. 

 

Isn't it all just olive oil?

Like wine, no two olive oils are alike. Each is a unique product of soil, climate, olive varieties and age, and processing methods. Oils can be fruity or flowery, nutty or spicy, delicate or mild, and can range from clear to pale green to golden to deep olive green in colour. When properly processed olive oil can fully maintain the flavour, aroma and vitamins of the olives.

The health benefits, aroma and flavour of olive oil is determined by the quality of the olives, the harvesting method, how the oil is pressed and by the region of its origin. Early harvested "agourelaio" olive oil is the best olive oil, Greek olive oil is known for its early harvest qualities. About 85% of Greek olive oil is early harvested or agourelaio, 50% of Italian is early harvested and only 35% of Spanish olive oil is early harvested.

 
Olive oil is classified primarily by its acidity level. The lower the acidity level, the better the quality and taste.

Definitions (from the IOOC) http://www.internationaloliveoil.org.  Early harvested Agourelaio olive oil has very low acidity

 

Extra Virgin Regular or Organic Olive Oil (EVOO or EVOOO)

 
Produced from the first cold pressing of olives without using any chemicals. Overall acidity must be 0.8% or less. . Extra virgin olive oil has all the benefits attributed to olive oil.


Virgin Olive Oil

Produced from the second cold pressing of olives and left over pulp.

Olive Oil/Pure Olive Oil

 
Produced by the chemical extraction of oil from the pulp remaining after cold pressing. Some extra virgin or virgin olive oil is added to give some flavour but it has little or no health benefits and is generally tasteless.

Pomace Oil

 
Olive oil without the addition of extra virgin or virgin olive oil. Pomace oil is not consumed but is used for lamp oil, making soap or lubricating machinery.

 
Blended Olive Oils

 
Produced by the blending of olive oils from different geographical locations or countries, and/or different types of olives. The oils blended together are often inferior olive oils from poor or damaged olives.

 

Bargain priced extra virgin olive oils are usually blended oils.

 
Like a fine wine each variety of olive oil is evaluated by tasting and measuring acidity before bottling.


Olive Oil Use for Flavour and Health

 

How do I use olive oil?

 
Use extra virgin olive oil for all your food and cooking needs including baking and frying not simply the preparation of salad dressings.

 

Replace all your cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil and substitute extra virgin olive oil for butter even when dining out ask for extra virgin olive oil to dip your bread into instead of butter.

Is olive oil a fruit juice?

 
Yes, olive oil is a natural fruit juice.

 
Unlike other fruit juices, extra virgin olive oil needs no chemical processing and can be enjoyed immediately after its extraction from the fruit.


Can I fry with olive oil?

 
Yes, you can fry in olive oil. Olive oil, as with any fatty substance, deteriorates during frying especially if it is used over and over and if the frying temperature is very high.

 

High temperatures destroy the good ingredients of any oil and create harmful agents for the liver, the arteries and the heart.

 

These harmful agents are less likely to be created in olive oil than in all known vegetable oils. This is because olive oil has a high percentage of oleic acid, which is much more resistant to oxidization than the polyunsaturated acids, which are found in large amounts in seed oils. Also more importantly olive oil contains natural anti-oxidizing agents such as phenols and vitamin E.

Can I bake with olive oil?

 
Yes, you can bake with olive oil.

 
Extra virgin olive oil can substitute for butter or margarine in recipes to produce a light taste and moist, even texture in bread and cakes. The antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil will keep the baked goods fresher longer.

Its All Greek to Me

Aubergine: Large firm vegetable with a purple almost blackskin is used in moussaka and many other dishes.

Bread: Bread is served with every Greek meal and is often used to soak up any sauce, oil or juices on the plate. Loaves are traditionally round with a light coating of flour.


Cheeses: Feta, kasseri, kefalotiri are commonly used cheeses.

  • Feta is a soft, moist white cheese made from ewe's milk, creamy sometimes crumbly in texture.
  • Kasseri is a medium-hard, strongly flavoured yellow cheese with a rind pressed into the shape of a cylinder.
  • Kefalotiri is a firm, dry, salty yellow cheese with a tough rind moulded into the shape of a skull. "Opah"cheese or Saganaki is made from Kefalotiri.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The most versatile and commonly used ingredient in Greek Cuisine. Next time you are going to visit a friend, take them a bottle of olive oil with the bottle or wine!!

Filo Pastry: Paper thin sheets of pastry made from flour and water, used for both sweet and savoury dishes.

 

Garlic: Used fresh in Greek cooking.

 

Greek Coffee: Also known as Turkish coffee, it is very finely ground to a powder. The coffee is combined with water and sugar and cooked over a flame in a cylindrical pot with a pouring lip called a "briki". It is heated until it just reaches the boil and a thick froth has formed and served in demitasse cups accompanied by a glass of iced water...and brandy. The bottom 1/3 is not consumed and when finished, the cup is turned over, left for a few minutes and then your fortune can be read...a real Greek tradition.

 

Herbs: Oregano, thyme, mint and parsley are used fresh and dried in Greek cooking.

 

Lamb: The most popular meat used in Greek cooking. It combines well with almost any herb, spice, fruit or vegetable. Lamb is particularly complemented by olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano. At special occasions, lamb is roasted outdoors over an open pit and basted with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

 

Lemons: (Greeks answer to ketchup) used to flavour most Greek dishes, fish, meat, potatoes, fried eggs, sauces, soups, dips and syrups, to marinate and tenderize meats.

 

Octopus: Baby octopus are used for pickling, pot cooking or grilled. Do not salt octopus as this will toughen the flesh. Larger octopus are less tender and need to be pounded with a mallet, marinated for several hours or overnight before being grilled or barbecued. For best grilled or BBQ octopus, boil it till tender and then grill it or BBQ. Sprinkle it with extra virgin olive oil and oregano and squeeze a fresh lemon and serve with pita or bread. Traditional Greeks will drink ouzo with octopus.

 

Olives: Kalamata type olives are the most commonly used today. They are black, firm-fleshed, slightly sweet olives ideal for salads, and cooking.

 

Ouzo: Colourless, aniseed-flavoured spirit, traditionally served in small straight-sided glasses, often mixed with a little water. Real Greeks drink ouzo straight up with octopus as a meze.(appetizer).

 

Metaxa: An excellent Greek brandy that ranks with the best in the world but at regular prices. Goes well with a fine Greek coffee. When visiting a Greek home, take a bottle of Metaxa to your host.

 

Brown lentils, chick peas, black-eyed beans, broad beans, canellini beans and lima beans are commonly used in Greek cooking. They are added to rich tomato-based sauces to make soups or casseroles, or simply mashed into a dip with oil and lemon juice, or served cold as a salad with a dressing to taste.

 

 Spices: The main spices used in Greek cooking, ground white pepper, cracked or whole black peppercorns, ground or bark cinnamon, whole cloves and allspice. Many dishes are flavoured with oregano and fresh lemon.

 

Taramasalata: A highly flavoured dip usually made from cod's roe, olive oil, lemon juice, mashed potato or soaked and squeezed dry stale bread.

 

Tzatziki: Traditional dip made with thick strained yogurt, grated or chopped seedless cucumbers,  fresh crushed garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.

 

Vine Leaves: Available from supermarkets and delicatessens in packets or jars, (fresh young leaves are used). Dolmades, stuffed vine leaves with ground meat and rice, slow cooked in a casserole pot and when tender, covered with an egg and lemon sauce. Dolmades are served as appetizers or as a meal.


Yogurt: Firm, plain natural yogurt is always best for dips and cooking. For making Tzatziki, use "strained yogurt"..available a most Greek grocery or pastry shops.

 

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