What’s On Your Salad?
While here in the United States we have entire supermarket aisles devoted to salad dressings, in most parts of the world people dress up their fresh veggies with two things: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Paired together, these two simple ingredients combine the smooth and savory feel of olive oil with bright and tangy flavors of vinegar. In addition to being downright delicious, both cold-pressed olive oil and balsamic vinegar have various health benefits.
A Healthy Duo
Olive oil is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It is chock full of healthy fats and antioxidants for whole body health. It helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces the risk for type II diabetes. It also helps promote shiny hair and healthy skin; some studies suggest it can even reduce the risk of deadly skin cancer.
Balsamic vinegar is prepared by the process of cooked grapes reduction, so it has a lot of the same healthy antioxidants that help slow the aging process. It is high in vitamin C and contains polyphenols that aid in digestion. Studies also find that balsamic vinegar helps regulate blood sugar and aids in the absorption of minerals including calcium and magnesium.
Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Pairings
Obviously, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a match made in food heaven… how could anyone improve on it?
At Texas Olive Ranch, we create a variety of flavored olive oils and vinegars that bring out the best in each other. These bold flavors go great on salad– but that’s not all! Try these combinations on your favorite dishes for a healthy kick in the taste buds.
Sweet Basil Olive Oil + Red Balsamic Vinegar
For fresh Mediterranean flavor, you can’t go wrong with this pairing. Rich and herby, Texas Olive Ranch’s Sweet Basil Olive Oil mixes nicely with the classic sweet yet tangy flavors of traditional Red Balsamic Vinegar.
How to use…
Make a quick and tasty bread dip by adding 1 part vinegar to 4 parts oil. Add a little cracked pepper and Italian seasoning before serving with hot, crusty bread. It’s also the perfect dressing for a quick and easy Caprese salad. Just pour over fresh mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes.
Rattlesnake Infused Chili Olive Oil + Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar
This is the perfect Texas take on the classic duo. Texas Olive Ranch’s Rattlesnake Infused Chili Olive Oil has a smokey, peppery heat to it. Meanwhile, the Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar combines bright citrus flavor with the bite of jalapeños. Together you get a spicy, citrusy blend that adds dimension to your favorite dishes.
How to use…
Make a fruit salad to remember with this unexpected twist. Chop fresh watermelon and cucumber into bite-sized pieces (yes, cucumber is a fruit!). Toss with equal parts Rattlesnake Infused Chili Olive Oil and Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese or your favorite goat cheese for added flavor that also helps curb the heat.
This same combination of spicy, smoky, tangy, and citrus also works great for an amazing chicken marinade to turn up the heat. Below you’ll see a chicken marinade that’s got a lot more sweetness.
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil + Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar
Lemon and blackberry go together like, well, olive oil and balsamic vinegar! The combination of Texas Olive Ranch’s sweet Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar and tangy Meyer Lemon Olive Oil screams fresh summer flavor and will wake up the senses.
How to use…
Break out of the ordinary and use this winning combination as a unique marinade for chicken. Add equal parts Blackberry Balsamic and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil in a zip-top bag with an extra half-cup lemon juice and half-cup honey. Marinate in the refrigerator for up to an hour before grilling. Serve the chicken with crumbled goat cheese and a fresh green salad.
For a more classic application use the the lemon olive oil and blackberry vinegar combination with a mix of fresh fruits.
Rio Grande Valley Orange Infused Olive Oil + “Figalicious” Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar
Sweet and decadent, this olive oil and balsamic vinegar pairing is the fruit lover’s dream team. Texas Olive Ranch’s Rio Grande Valley Orange Infused Olive Oil has a bright flavor that mingles delicately with the richness of the “Figalicious” Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar.
How to use…
What’s better than two superfoods? Three superfoods! Make your favorite Greek yogurt even more decadent by adding a teaspoon of Rio Grande Valley Orange Infused Olive Oil and “Figalicious” Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar each.
Garden Rosemary Olive Oil + Pecan Infused Balsamic Vinegar
If spice isn’t your thing, but you still want big Texas flavor, the combination of Texas Olive Ranch’s Garden Rosemary Olive Oil and Pecan Infused Balsamic Vinegar is the pairing for you. Both rosemary and pecans thrive in the Lone Star State and residents love incorporating the earthy herb and sweet nut into their cuisine.
How to use…
Texans love their steak, and you’ll love it even more with the flavors of rosemary and pecans. Make a marinade for skirt steak with Garden Rosemary Olive Oil, Pecan Infused Balsamic Vinegar, honey, and melted butter. Grill quickly over high heat for a little char and garnish with chopped pecans and fresh rosemary for a beautiful presentation.