CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
I admit, I love small, family producers of high quality products. Having a small, family business myself, I know what goes behind producing a product and the satisfaction that comes with making that happen.
So, when the Konstantopoulos family contacted me, asking if I would be willing to try their Euphoria Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I was absolutely thrilled to be part of it. Their family has been making extra virgin olive oil in Messinia, Greece, at the base of Mount Taygetos, since the 1600’s. Each generation passing down the traditional, sustainable cultivation practices to the next. Something I hope to do with my own children in regards to winemaking.
I also wanted to make a recipe that would showcase this beautiful oil. When it comes to special oils like this one, I like to use them in salads and to finish a dish. This way I get to taste all the delicate flavors oils like this one have to offer. There is nothing worse than a salad made with low quality olive oil. You miss out on the distinctive and bright flavors. It’s truly a night and day experience.
Anyway, this salad should be the center of your holiday buffet table. Not only is it beautiful, but the presoaking of the components in the salad give it an extra punch of flavor. And what could be more appropriate with this Greek olive oil but one of my favorite cheeses, feta. This salad has a bit of everything for the palate; cool cucumbers, bitter radicchio, spicy radishes, tangy feta, earthy beans and sweet peppers…all topped with this rich, flavorful oil blended with a bit of lemon and honey. It’s mouthwatering.
The Konstantopoulos family has generously offered to send one lucky reader a 500 ml bottle of their extra virgin olive oil, just like the one you see here. Here is another cool thing about this company, if you live/work in Manhattan, New York, they will hand deliver their olive oil to you when you place an order. I love that! What a cool holiday gift that would make for someone you know in the city. Of course they will also ship anywhere, but I love the hand-delivery method. We do that for our customers with our wines as well.
Leave one comment per person telling us, “your favorite dish that showcases using extra virgin olive oil”. We can’t wait to hear your suggestions.
Contest ends tomorrow, December 8th at Noon, Pacific time. Winner will be announced in a new post, make sure to check back. Good luck to everyone.
Don’t forget to try this salad, it really is fantastic.
Holiday Chopped Salad
1 large seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks (3 cups)
2 cups coarsely chopped radicchio or red cabbage
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
2 small green bell peppers, cut into bite-size chunks (1-1/2 cups)
8 ounces radishes, halved or quartered (1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
8 ounces good quality feta cheese, broken into chunks
Snipped parsley or mint
Place cucumber, radicchio, beans, sweet peppers and radishes in separate resealable plastic bags. For dressing, in a screw top jar, combine oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and cracked black pepper. Cover and shake well.
Pour 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing into each bag. Seal bags; turn to coat vegetables and beans. Chill 3-4 hours, turning bags occasionally (cucumber, beans and peppers may be chilled for up to 24 hours).
To serve, arrange undrained vegetables, beans and cheese in strips on a platter. Sprinkle with parsley and more cracked black pepper.
~To turn this into a main dish, add 3 to 4 ounces of shredded cooked chicken or cooked peeled shrimp.