I feel that a good finishing olive oil is an essential element of the pantry — especially right now, in the summertime, when fresh vegetables, warm from the farmers market, need nothing more than a drizzle of fruity olive oil to bring them to the table. Here is my current favorite olive oil, an organic selection from Katz in California.
This oil was recommended to me by my local cheesemonger, who said that it had some of the flavors he expected in much more expensive French and Italian oils. He said that it has been used by Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, and that it was one of his own personal favorite oils. How could I say no?
Well, that oil has disappeared very fast. It had a buttery yellow color, as you can see above, with just the slightest tinge of green in some lights. It had a floral, grassy flavor up front, which reminded me ever so slightly of fresh sweet corn. But then it finished with a pungent wallop of black pepper, tingling down the back of the throat. It was wonderful on bread, pasta, and salads. I loved the peppery finish, and its lightness up front. It was so good, in fact, that I may wait to try another sort of oil, and just buy one more bottle of this stuff.
Have you found a favorite finishing oil lately?
(Images: Faith Durand)