Olive Oil Muffins




Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed.

Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes.

Sift icing sugar over the muffins and serve.

Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread




Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 180°C. Spray a ~20cm loaf tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a large spoon just until evenly incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Tap the tin on the counter a few times to settle the batter. Sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds (if using), pressing them down lightly. Bake until the top is browned and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. (If the bread begins to brown too much before it’s fully baked, lay a piece of tin-foil on top.) Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Olive Oil Cake




Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a 25cm cake tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil, milk, liqueur, orange juice, and lemon zest. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Whisk until well blended. Fold in the almonds.

Pour the mixture into the buttered cake tin. Bake for 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool. Run a knife around the edges and place it on a plate.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Garlic, Olive Oil and Hot Pepper Pasta




Saute garlic gently on low heat until golden brown - careful not to burn it - about 4-5 minutes. Add the red pepper and parsley and sauté for a few more minutes. Add anchovies and stir, maintain on low heat until pasta is ready.

Cook pasta with sufficient water, and when it is almost done, drain it in a colander and turn it immediately into the pan, mixing the pasta and sauce together well. Serve on warm plates.

Garnish with freshly-chopped parsley if desired.

Usually not served with Parmesan - to your own taste.

Smashed Potatoes




Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Smash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.

Add lemon zest and olive oil. Fold into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Thyme Biscuits




Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, pepper, and thyme into a bowl and whisk together to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, lemon juice, and zest. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until you form a nice smooth dough.

Roll heaped teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls. Place them about 5cm apart on the baking trays. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are browned around the edges. Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes before transfering them to wire racks to cool completely.

Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries




Note: Requires an icecream maker for best results.

In a pot over medium heat, whisk together the milk and cream. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until thick and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and beat until combined, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Slowly add 2 cups of the hot milk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until just combined. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking with a handheld whisk until combined. Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in a larger one partially filled with ice water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the gelato to a chilled container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. 

One hour before serving, prepare the strawberries: In a bowl, combine the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, scoop the gelato into individual bowls and top each with 1/4 cup of the strawberries with their juices.

Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.