A land of olive oil

It's healthy and tasty and produced in this country. To celebrate this year's especially large crop, here are a few seasonal recipes.

Baked vegetables in oilve oil 311 (photo credit: Daniel Lila)
Baked vegetables in oilve oil 311
(photo credit: Daniel Lila)
Olive oil is the one ingredient that all the cuisines around the Mediterranean use. It is impossible to think of the culinary history of this area without it. The olive-picking season takes place from September to December. This year, the crop in Israel is expected to exceed 8,000 tons. To celebrate the olive harvest season, we asked chef Yoav Bliman to transform a few selected restaurant recipes that use olive oil as a main ingredient into ones you can prepare at home.
Cheeky tomato saladCheeky tomato salad
CHEEKY TOMATO SALAD ✔ 4 fresh tomatoes ✔ A small bunch of coriander, finely chopped ✔ 1 red onion sliced ✔ 4 Tbsp. classic refined Etz Hazayit olive oil ✔ Juice of one lemon ✔ Salt and ground black pepper
Slice the tomatoes and add coriander and onion, and mix gently. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
OLIVE TAPANADE ✔ 250 gr. black olives, pitted ✔ 2 garlic cloves.✔ Juice of half a lemon ✔ 5 Tbsp. aromatic accentuated Etz Hazayit olive oil.✔ Salt Process the olives and garlic in a food processor for a short time.
Continue processing while gradually adding olive oil until the texture is smooth. Put in a bowl and season with lemon juice and salt.
HOT PEPPER SALSA ✔ Half a cup of refined classic Etz Hazayit olive oil
Baked fish with hot pepper salsaBaked fish with hot pepper salsa
✔ 2 coarsely chopped red and yellow peppers ✔ 1 chopped white onion ✔ 3 garlic cloves, crushed ✔ Salt and black pepper
Pour a generous amount of olive oil into a cooking pot. Add the peppers, onion and garlic. Cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Cool, drain some of the liquid and grind in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
Try it with baked fish: Put 1 Tbsp. of salsa on each fillet and bake in the oven until done.
ARTICHOKE SALAD This dish can be served both hot and at room temperature.
✔ 1⁄4 cup aromatic olive oil ✔ 2 garlic cloves, crushed ✔ 10 halved artichoke bottoms ✔ A few sprigs of thyme
Heat the olive oil, garlic cloves, artichoke bottoms and thyme in a pan. When the artichoke bottoms are colored add lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Remove the thyme sprigs. Serve the artichoke with a another drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
 A wonderful healthy addition to each meal.
✔ 250 gr. green beans
✔ 1 large head of broccoli
✔ 4 garlic cloves, minced
✔ A few sprigs of thyme
✔ 6 or 7 sage leaves
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ Aromatic accentuated olive oil
Mix the beans, broccoli, garlic cloves, thyme and sage leaves in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and a generous amount of olive oil. Mix with your hands and place on to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until done, at 200º.
✔ 1 cup classic refined olive oil
✔ 6 garlic cloves, minced
✔ 1 tsp. dry chili flakes
✔ small bunch parsley, chopped finely
Aglio Olio PastaAglio Olio Pasta
Heat the olive oil with the garlic and chili over low heat. Add the parsley and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Aglio olio is usually used as a simple pasta sauce for a quick and tasty meal. Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Drain, and pour the aglio olio into the cooking pot and mix gently. Top with grated Parmesan. Serve with green salad and a glass of wine.
This sauce is good also over baked vegetables and potatoes. Experiment!
Recipes courtesy of Chef Yoav Bliman and Etz Hazayit.