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Olive Oil Tasting Brunch

Posted Nov 20 2012 7:30am

Hello friends! Are you almost ready for Thanksgiving?! I beat the rush and did my grocery shopping Friday night. Done and done. There will be no fights with old ladies for pumpkin puree this year.

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Don’t worry. My weekend got more interesting after some late night grocery shopping. I ended up at my friend, Christie’s, for one of her epic brunches. I’ve written about them a few times and each brunch she outdoes herself. This time there was a theme…Olive Oil!

When I got there she had the table all set up for the 5 of us to try 8 different types of olive oils. They ranged from light and herbaceous to rich and spicy. Along with the oil were TONS of cheeses, bread and other little bites to enjoy.

That popcorn isn’t plain ol’ boring popcorn. It was popped in one of the oils we tried and it had a little truffle salt on it. It also managed to make its way to my plate over and over again.

One of the things I enjoy about the brunch, besides hanging out with my friends and eating amazing food, is that I get to see a real home chef in action. I’m so impressed when she cooks in front of us like it is no sweat. I like to be myself so I can look at a recipe and taste test. Christie just does.

For this brunch I got to make her watch torta fritas, a fried dough puff. Those suckers were so light and fluffy that they just disappeared off my plate.

When it was time to start tasting we all took a seat at our little tasting stations, complete with a tasting menu.

I did ask how she randomly had so many of those cute little spoons. I have one. If you came to my house I could serve you one kind of olive oil in one spoon. That isn’t nearly as fun. Apparently people who entertain often have these types of things. Who knew?!

We started with her everyday oil, Roi Olive Oil, and moved our way through the list. I found two faves in Osco Sabina Olive Oil and Castello della Paneretta Olive Oil.

Just a note here…My everyday olive oil is Filipio Berio. It is quite tasty, but doesn’t quite compare to some of these. I realized that I might need to branch out from Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop in this department.

I got a little confused and didn’t realize that there was still food coming after the olive oil, but fortunately I wore yoga pants and was able to enjoy a few more things. Christie ended up not serving everything she had on the menu because we all literally might have busted a gut in her dining room.

She decided to go “light” with an arugula salad and cauliflower soup.

The salad included some pine nuts, currants, shaved parm and was dressed with the Osco Sabina olive oil. It was rich and full without being super heavy. There was also a faint trickle of heat on the back of my throat when we were done. I had no idea that olive oil had some many neat little tricks up its sleeve!

The soup was a cauliflower puree soup and we topped it with a little bit of the super spicy Castello della Paneretta olive oil.  This oil is described as a “two cougher” because of the spice and I definitely heard a few coughs at the table. The spicy paired perfectly with the creamy texture of the soup.

Just a little drizzle!

 

We all checked out each other’s drizzle art. Mine ended up being dots rather than a drizzle. I am always a little off the  mark. If this was a Rorschach test what would this mean?!

Of course, any good brunch can’t end without something sweet. For this brunch it was an olive oil cupcake with lemon mascarpone topping. The cupcake was light and fresh. It was also eaten very quickly.

I took some solid notes on our tasting, including on the cheeses. Christie has a knack for pairing items so I also love to get her recommendations on cheese and wine, which happens to be a favorite meal of mine. She kindly obliged.

By the time we were done I was ready to nap at the table. If I had been in my pjs I probably would have just laid out in her living room for a bit (which I HAVE done before). Instead I said my good-byes and many many MANY thanks for a wonderful brunch and went home to sleep on my couch for an hour.

So to sum up my weekend…I grocery shopped, ate olive oil and cheese, drank a lot of wine, and got a manicure. If that doesn’t scream a good weekend then I don’t know what does.

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I hope you guys are having a good week! Tomorrow I will show you a sneak peak into some of the dishes I’ll be making for Thanksgiving!

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