So many great dishes begin with olive oil. Here are six more creative ways to put this versatile oil to use.

By Allrecipes Magazine
July 15, 2020
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1. "Naked Pasta"

Change up your usual tomato sauce. Cook and drain pasta, reserving some cooking water. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. If needed, add a little of the reserved pasta water to get a slightly saucy consistency. Add shredded fresh basil leaves and toss to coat. Try this recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

2. Olive Oil Sundaes

This may sound odd, but it makes ice cream extra creamy: Drizzle top-quality extra-virgin olive oil over vanilla or strawberry ice cream, then add a pinch of kosher salt. Amazing! 

3. Divine Dressing

From-scratch salad dressing is easy, and the taste is amazing. In a screw-top jar, shake together olive oil, an equal amount of vinegar (e.g., balsamic, or red or white wine), a little mustard, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. If you want, add minced fresh garlic and/or shallot, chopped fresh herbs, or a bit of honey.

4. Zippy Dip

Stir together equal amounts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Then dip away with bread or crackers.

6. Infused Oils

Heat a little olive oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in your favorites — lemon, orange, or lime zest; crushed red pepper; a halved fresh chile; basil leaves; rosemary; or even a little bacon fat — and cook until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Use it immediately over pasta or as a dipping sauce. For a stove-free version, try this recipe for Infused Olive Oil.

7. Pesto Saver

Before refrigerating homemade pesto, add a thin layer of fine virgin olive oil on top of the sauce after putting it in a jar. The oil will help the pesto keep its green color.

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This article originally appeared in the August/September 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.