Recipes with Greek Olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

(Eurokinissi via -ilialive.gr/Yiannis Spyrounis)

The recent Summer Fancy Food Show presented by the Specialty Food Association at the Javits Center in New York featured partner country Greece with many of the favorite Greek foods and products we all know and love, especially Greek olives and extra virgin olive oil from various regions of Greece. Cyprus also featured olives and olive oil in its section at the show. It is definitely worth it to try the many different types of olive oils available and choose the one you like best. Some prefer the bolder, spicier flavors for their cooking and savory foods, while others may prefer milder varieties for baking.

A few of the brands of extra virgin olive oil at the show were Cretan Mill from Crete, Iliada from Kalamata, Olympion from Chavari in Ilia, and Vasilissa from Stayia farm on Evia. The exhibitors were all very friendly and helpful to those interested in trying the many types of olives and olive oil. From the classic cold-pressed extra virgin oils to flavored oils with oregano, garlic, or citrus, there was olive oil for every taste and dish. More information about the exhibitors and products from Greece and Cyprus is available online at the Specialty Food Association website: www.specialtyfood.com.

Olives add their distinct flavor to many dishes, and especially salads in summer. Try the following recipes with your favorite Greek extra virgin olive oil and the olives of your choice.

Summer Arugula Salad

3-4 cups baby arugula

3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 small to medium red onion, finely chopped

5 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons Greek olives of your choice

Wash the arugula. Pat dry with a kitchen towel or use a salad spinner to remove the excess water. Place the arugula in a salad bowl. Add the chopped red onion. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek extra virgin olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat evenly. Add the olives and enjoy.

Tomato Salad with Olives

2 pounds tomatoes, sliced

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 large cucumber, sliced

1/2 cup feta

¼ cup Kalamata olives

¼ teaspoon dried Greek oregano

Greek sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Toss together the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, feta, olives, and oregano in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Drizzle with Greek extra virgin olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Serve as a side dish or serve atop pasta for a quick and easy vegetarian main course.

Greek Egg Salad with Olives

6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped

3/4 cup cucumber, chopped

6 tablespoons feta

3 tablespoons Greek olives, of your choice, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 whole-wheat pitas, toasted

In a mixing bowl,stir together the Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, and the garlic. Fold in the hard-boiled eggs, the chopped tomatoes, the chopped cucumber, feta, and chopped Greek olives. Season with black pepper to taste. Serve with a side salad and the toasted whole-wheat pitas. If preferred, serve on toasted bread as an egg salad sandwich.