Italy in an Instant

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Nothing can transport you to Italy quicker than opening a good bottle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The aroma, flavor and taste reflect the character of the land. From the delicate, fruity oils of the Ligurian Riviera to the pungent, peppery oils of Tuscany to the soft buttery flavors of the Umbria hills, the oils of the Italian peninsula are like a travelogue of flavor.

Yet less than 30 years ago olive oil was relatively unheard of in the US. It was barely mentioned in the early editions of the Betty Crocker Cookbook and wasn’t looked at as an ingredient in cooking until 1973 when Marcella Hazan published her classic book on Italian cooking. Today almost every kitchen on the planet has a bottle of olive oil in their pantry and every grocery store and market an array of oils on their shelves so much so that we may take it for granted.

Oils from CosituttiMarketPlace are sourced from small producers and generational families who are committed to preserving and protecting the culinary and cultural history of regional Italian food.  

Here are 2 of our favorite ways to create an Italy in an Instant moment using extra virgin olive oil.

Goat Cheese Log with Herbed Olive Oil

Fresh goat cheese in Italian is called Caprino Fresco, aged for three-four days with a soft creamy texture. 1 small bay leaf 4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves ¼ tsp. coriander seeds, crushed lightly ¼ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed lightly 10 whole black and red peppercorns ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil ½ pound log of soft mild goat cheese In a small saucepan simmer bay leaf, garlic, rosemary, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in oil for 5 minutes. Arrange goat cheese on a platter and spoon cooled oil mixture over. Serve goat cheese with bread.

Capezzana Olio di Oliva Torta

A typical Tuscan cake from our friends at Tenuta di Capezzana.

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • Grated zest of 3 oranges, plus 1 orange, sliced, for garnish

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until blended. Add the olive oil, milk, and orange zest and mix well. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the egg mixture, stirring just until blended. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Loosen the sides with a knife and invert onto a serving plate. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar. Garnish the individual servings with fresh orange slices. Serves 12.

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