Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Olive Oil

Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

Olive oil is the flavorful, monounsaturated oil extracted from ripe olives. Olive oils range in color and flavor depending on the grade, the growing region, the quality of the fruit, and the process by which they are extracted.

All olive oils are graded in accordance with the degree of acidity they contain, but the means and conditions of extraction also contribute to the oil’s grade.

According to the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), virgin olive oils are obtained solely by mechanical means under conditions that do not lead to alterations in the oil. This means that virgin oils are extracted through pressing the olives without the use of heat or chemicals that can compromise the product. There are two main grades of virgin oil: virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.

The IOOC dictates that virgin olive oil can contain no more than 2% acidity. Extra virgin oils, which are finer and more expensive, may have no more than 0.8% acidity, and no defects in flavor or aroma. The United States is not a member of the IOOC, but oils from California are regulated by the California Olive Oil Council, whose standards are even stricter: It allows no more than 0.5% acidity.

Oils labeled simply “olive oil” (or pure olive oil ) are a combination of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin oils. This grade of olive oil is mostly recommended for frying, since the nuances of flavor and aroma of extra virgin and virgin oils are lost when heated to high temperatures.

For more information on olive oil grades and uses, check out http://www.internationaloliveoil.org.

How to choose:

Since heat destroys the subtle nuances of flavor and aroma, choose inexpensive olive oils of lower grades for high heat cooking.

For dressings and drizzling on finished foods, use the more expensive, flavorful extra virgin oils.

How to store:

Olive oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. It can also be refrigerated, where it will last up to a year. When olive oil is chilled, it becomes cloudy and thick, but it will return to a clear, liquid state when brought to room temperature.

    Recipes

  • Sponsored Content

    Grill-Roasted Fish in Parchment with Tomatoes and Olives

    Fish baked in parchment is a classic  technique for flavorful, perfectly cooked fish with little effort and even less clean-up. Here it's adapted for the summer months by baking the…

  • Recipe

    Dill Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Everything Bagel Spice

    Perfect for brunch, these sophisticated pancakes channel the flavors of bagels with lox and cream cheese. Save any leftover spice mix to top Greek yogurt along with a drizzle of…

  • Recipe

    Miso-Marinated Grilled Vegetables

    The savory flavor of miso works wonders in marinades, giving everything it touches depth of flavor.

  • Recipe

    Orange-Cumin Marinated Chicken Thighs

    This Spanish-inspired marinade has a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor that works well with not only chicken but a wide range of meats and vegetables. The chicken thighs are delicious served…

  • Recipe

    Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinated Lamb Chops

    This bright marinade is always a sure-fire hit (besides lamb, it's great on chicken, swordfish, and potatoes). The chops are delicious served with some pita bread and grilled eggplant.

  • Recipe

    Lime Leaf Pico de Gallo

    Lime leaves have a strong citrus flavor, so a little goes a long way. Serve with an assortment of favorite chips like tortilla, taro, plantain, and potato.

  • Recipe

    Spicy Shrimp Crêpe Purses

    Serve the purses as an appetizer, or serve in a folded crêpe with a salad for lunch or a light supper.

  • Recipe

    Charred Octopus

    Tender and ever-so-slightly smoky, with a hint of the sea , charred octopus makes a  great starter and a delicious addition to pasta and risotto. The octopus needs to braise for 2…

  • Recipe

    Green Bean Salad with Coriander Oil

    Every Sunday, we would have a big family meal, and my mother always cooked green beans when they were in season. This recipe always reminds me of her. I think…

  • Recipe

    Crisp Indian-Spiced Potato Wedges

    Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these potatoes bring the heat and full-spice flavors of India to the table.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Season 4 Extras

Durham, North Carolina (412)

From rooftop to rain in North Carolina, Moveable Feast host Pete Evans is joined by the Lantern restaurant co-founders and siblings Andrea & Brendan Reusing to create an amazing local…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks