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Olive Oil 101

How to enjoy your extra virgin olive oil—Texas style!

Visit countries like Spain and Italy and you’ll notice something on the tabletops of restaurants and homes—extra virgin olive oil. EVOO is considered a part of the every day diet in Mediterranean countries and for good reason. Not only is it a healthy addition to any diet, it’s simply delicious.

Extra virgin olive oil can be used on almost everything… I’ve even seen it poured over ice cream! While you don’t necessarily have to replace your Hershey’s syrup with EVOO, there are tons of ways to incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your everyday diet and enhance the health and flavor of you favorite dishes.

So how exactly can you incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your diet? EVOO can easily be used in salad dressings, marinades, and is even a delicious accompaniment to crusty bread. The only limit is your imagination.

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about smoke points. Within this discussion, EVOO has gotten a reputation of burning up quickly, which decreases its health benefits and diminishes its flavor.  The smoke or flash point for extra virgin olive oil is around 410 degrees Fahrenheit, and truth be told very few of us ever cook at such a high temperature. If you’re worried about over cooking your EVOO, you can keep a food thermometer in the kitchen to get an accurate reading and prevent burning. Or, there are recipes you can incorporate EVOO into without any heat at all…

If you’re interested in getting a little creative with your extra virgin olive oil minus heat, here is a simple, healthy and delicious idea straight from the Texas Olive Ranch kitchen that we know you’ll love:

Texas Olive Ranch Ceviche:

1 lb fresh fish (snapper, bass, halibut, or any ocean fish of your choice)
2 c fresh lime juice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2-3 mild jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/3c fresh cilantro
1 large, ripe avocado
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons of Texas Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tortilla chips for serving
In a glass or stainless steel bowl, combine chopped fish, lime juice, and onion. Make sure there’s enough juice to cover the fish—make it swim! Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours while the acid in the lime juice “cooks” the fish. When you take it out, you’ll see the fish is no longer raw when you break it open. Drain the juice and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine tomato, cilantro, and olive oil. Stir in the fish and onions and season with salt, pepper, orange juice, and sugar. You can cover and refrigerate to serve later, or chop avocado and fold in to serve immediately.

Enjoy with tortilla chips and a cold margarita!

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