Many studies into the benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet show that olives and olive oil help to lower levels of bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attacks and certain cancers.
Residents of the island of Crete off the coast of Greece, have the lowest mortality rate for heart-related diseases in the world, and it’s not just the beautiful Mediterranean scenery that’s keeping them alive and kicking longer.
Olives and olive oil have long been a fundamental part of the diet of people from this region, the humble olive providing food and health-giving benefits for thousands of years.
Olive oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fats and contains no cholesterol, which is good news on the health front. Far from the old adage ‘If it taste’s good it can’t be good for you,’ olive oil is scrumptious as a dipping oil, in dressings and in your favourite recipes.
Did you know that olive oil is the only oil that is actually a fruit juice too? Or that you can taste olive oil in much the same way that you taste wine and that it has a technique and language all of its own?
While olives have been grown in Australia since about 1800, the Southern Australian states are uniquely positioned to offer olive growers a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean, mild winters and long hot summers, conditions which are proving ripe for olive production. Olivet Estate is one such South Australian producer of olive oil who focuses on the production of a delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the lively freshness and slightly bitter, elegant pungency of which has made it an award-winner. Owned and run by Italian family, the Scipionis, Olivet Estate produces a premium oil that’s full bodied, grassy flavoured with a peppery finish.
The following recipe for a traditional Italian snack is simple and so yummy. And it shows just how easy it is to add some olive oil flavour and goodness to your cooking at home.
Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (Pronounced Broosketta)
- medium loaf of crusty Italian Bread sliced
- 3 medium ripened Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup Olivet Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to tasteBlanch tomatoes by placing them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water allowing them to sit for 1 minute. The tomato skins must be removed. Roughly dice tomatoes, place in bowl, season to taste, add fresh basil, Extra Virgin Olive oil and stir.Once the tomatoes are prepared you simply toast the bread and top with the delicious tomato mixture and serve.
Visit Olivet Estate for more about the good oil.
By Sally Schofield