Taste test: Spiral’s dip and toss oils

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours:

  • sundried tomato and basil which was great in a greek salad (below)
  • rosemary and roasted garlic which was a perfect match for cold lamb and roasted vegetables salad
  • and basil and Parmesan which turned a simple potato salad into something special.

greek-salad

You could also use the oils for dipping bread in, or tossing through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The best thing about these oils are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three flavours are balanced well and would make a delicious addition to your kitchen. They come in an attractive slim bottle, and would make a nice gift idea paired with packet of fancy pasta.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Garden tomato and basil soup

Our tomatoes are starting to pick up the pace in our garden. We need to pick them early to stop the caterpillars having a feast before we do. Soup is a great way to hide any less then perfect tomatoes. I used some that had split from the fluctuating rain and my half-hearted attempts at remembering to watering. I recommend using a tomato peeler – it makes the job ultra easy with it’s special serrated jaws. Add some milk to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Make a big batch if you like, and then freeze the leftovers. You could use this recipe as a basis for passata for pasta sauce or a stew base.

Garden Tomato and Basil Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic, minced
1 cup tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy milk or milk
1 tbsp sugar
½ lemon, juiced
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in some canola oil for several minutes.
  2. Combine the tomato, stock, soy milk, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and add some basil leaves.
  5. Puree in a blender or food processor.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with basil.
  7. Serve with toasted cheese sandwiches or a crusty bread roll for a easy dinner or quick lunch.

Variation: Use a tin of tomatoes or a cup of tomato juice (e.g. V8) instead of real tomatoes.

Serves 2.

Macadamia pesto

We visited the Mitchie Markets on Sunday and picked up some potted herbs to plant in our veggie beds. We also discovered a new stand with seedlings and got six miniature lettuce. There are two lettuce growing from seeds we planted a month ago, but unfortunately that’s all. Perhaps we are cheating a little, but I haven’t been weighing the herbs.

A good pesto is more about the basil and less about the nuts, so to give a more local flavour I’ve swapped the traditional pine nuts for macadamias. The basil must be fresh.

1 garlic clove
50g macadamia nuts
1 cup fresh basil leaves
50g Parmasen cheese
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Put the garlic, nuts, basil and cheese in a food processor (or using a mortar and pestle) and mix (pound) into a paste.
  2. Add the oil to moisten.
  3. Cook your favourite pasta.
  4. Mix pesto in with a little reserved pasta water and heat briefly.
  5. Season to taste and serve.

Note: You can keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks in a sterilized glass jar and covered in a layer of olive oil.