I acquired a ‘taste’ or more like ‘love’ for olive oil at a very young age. That is the only oil my mom used to cook with. It’s ironic that I don’t like olives although I will eat them only if they are part of a recipe. On my last cooking tour to Umbria last year, we went on a guided tour of a “frantoio”, or oil-mill. It’s quite the experience to taste the different types of olive oil. My favourite is extra virgin olive oil. I use it for cooking, salad dressings and have began to use it for baking as well.
One of my favourite cakes is Lemon Olive Oil Cake. In my quest to find baking recipes made with olive oil, I recently came across Giada de Laurentis’s Olive Oil Muffins recipe on the Food Network. This is such a savoury muffin with the added flavour of lemon and orange zest, almonds and what I refer to as the secret ingredient – balsamic vinegar. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar – who can argue with that combination.