Venice Olive Oil

Venice Olive Oil Veggies

While everyone else was hoarding toilet paper, I headed to Venice Olive Oil to stock up on my favorite flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Venice Olive Oil veggies appear on my dinner plate several times a week. To make these tasty treats, I keep these essentials in my kitchen: Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, Butter Olive Oil, Harissa Olive Oil, Cranberry Pear Balsamic, Molto Benissimo Balsamic, and 18 Year Traditional Balsamic. 

What’s Molto Denissimo? According to Venice Olive Oil, this “exquisite and exceedingly rare 1.36 density balsamic is extremely complex boasting flavor notes of cherry wood, dried fruits, raisins, figs, along with hints of dark chocolate and malt.” It’s thicker than a traditional balsamic, almost like a balsamic reduction.

I recently realized I didn’t have many side dishes on my blog.  It’s not that I don’t like vegetables; it’s that most them are so easy to fix, they hardly need a “recipe.”  This post contains a 7-in-1 Venice Olive Oil Veggie special, 7 different veggies with various oils or vinegars, all very easy to make and quite tasty.  If you are a fan of green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, corn, Brussels sprouts, sugar snap peas or carrots, keep reading for serving suggestions.

Here are some links to other recipes in which flavored olive oils or balsamic vinegar are key ingredients:

Venice Olive Oil is located at 5214 N. Nevada Ave, Suite 130, in Colorado Springs. During the pandemic, they are open for business in-store M-W-F-Sat from 10am – 4pm, and closed Tu-Th-Sun. They can do curbside, shipping or in-store shopping. The phone number is (719) 632-5160.

While Venice Olive Oil is my favorite local boutique olive oil store, I’ve found other equally wonderful shops in our travels. Check one out in your neck of the woods.

Almond Garlic Green Beans

Almond Garlic Green Beans

Whether it’s raw or cooked, garlic has an impressive list of health benefits. With 4 or 5 cloves of garlic in a simple veggie dish for 2 people, almond garlic green beans may be a new miracle cure. More importantly, the sautéed garlic adds a delicious flavor to this veggie side dish.

Active time:  5  Total time:  10

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • green beans (enough for 2), sliced and trimmed into bite-sized pieces
  • Butter or Tuscan Herb olive oil, enough to lightly cover green bean, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • handful of slivered almonds
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium-high heat.  Add green beans and slivered almonds and stir until lightly coated. After a minute or two, add the garlic. Cook until the almonds and garlic are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Roasted (or Sautéed) Asparagus

Whether it’s roasted in the oven or sautéed on a stovetop, asparagus is easy to make, tastes great and is good for you.  Topping it with parmesan cheese is optional. 

Active time: 5  Total time:  15 to 20 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • To roast asparagus in the oven, you’ll need a rimmed baking sheet (about 12.5 x 10 inches) 
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup.
  • Nothing special is needed for sautéing asparagus on stove top, other than a skillet, of course. 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • asparagus (enough for 2), ends trimmed (to sauté on stove top, snap into bite-sized pieces)
  • Butter Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover asparagus, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese for topping, optional

Directions for roasting:

Preheat conventional oven to 425 degrees, or convection to 400.  Place parchment paper or aluminum foil on rimmed baking sheet for easier cleanup.

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard them. Place the spears on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with Butter or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss until asparagus is evenly coated with olive oil. Arrange the spears in a single layer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Shake pan once during cooking.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired. 

Directions for sautéing:

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard them. Snap the remainder of the spears into bite-sized pieces. 

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium high heat.  Add asparagus pieces and stir until lightly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the asparagus is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Top with parmesan cheese if desired. 

Roasted Cauliflower 

Roasted cauliflower can be made with any olive oil, but I enjoy trying different flavored olive oils. For this recipe, my current favorite is Harissa Olive Oil from Venice Olive Oil.

Harissa is a hot chili paste from North Africa.  Harissa Olive Oil is spicy, and pairs well with cauliflower.  This recipe works equally well with cauliflower rice or florets.

Active time: 5  Total time:  15 to 20 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • Rimmed baking sheet (about 12.5 x 10 inches) 
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • cauliflower rice or florets (enough for 2)
  • Harissa Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover cauliflower, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Preheat conventional oven to 425 degrees, or convection to 400.  Place parchment paper or aluminum foil on rimmed baking sheet for easier cleanup.

Place cauliflower rice or florets on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with Harissa Olive Oil. Add salt to taste. Toss until cauliflower is evenly coated with olive oil. Arrange the cauliflower evenly in the pan. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Cooking time will be shorter if you are using cauliflower rice. Shake pan once during cooking. 

Corn off the Cob

 

Corn off the cob, sautéed in butter olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper is just as yummy as traditional corn on the cob.

There are a surprising number of ways to cut the kernels off the cob. Since a few kernels inevitably land on the floor, some methods recommend using a bundt pan or bowl to collect them. In my one-butt kitchen, I’d rather pick a couple of stray pieces off the floor than mess up additional dishes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob, starting at the top and cutting downward.  Don’t worry about cutting into the cob too deep. Your knife will stop if it’s too deep. 

Active time:  5  Total time:  10

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • Nothing special for this one

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • Butter olive oil, enough to lightly cover corn, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the corn upright on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob, starting at the top and cutting downward.  

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium heat.  Add corn and stir until lightly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Corn is done as soon as it warms up. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Roasted Brussels sprouts with flavored olive oil, salt and pepper are good right out of the oven. To make them even better, use any good traditional balsamic or reduction to drizzle over them before serving. I love the Molto Benissimo Balsamic for this dish. It’s rich like a balsamic reduction. The 18 Year Traditional Balsamic works well too. 

Active time: 5  Total time:  25 to 35 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • Rimmed baking sheet (about 12.5 x 10 inches) 
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts (enough for 2), trimmed and cut in half
  • Butter or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover Brussels sprouts, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Molto Benissimo Balsamic or 18 Year Traditional Balsamic

Directions:

Preheat conventional oven to 400 degrees.  Place parchment paper or aluminum foil on rimmed baking sheet for easier cleanup.

Place Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt to taste. Toss until evenly coated with olive oil. Arrange the Brussels sprouts evenly in the pan. Cooking time will depend on the size of those tasty morsels, anywhere from for 20 to 30 minutes. Shake pan once during cooking. Watch carefully after 15 or 20 minutes.  

To serve, place Brussels sprouts on plate, then drizzle balsamic over them. 

Sugar Snap Peas

Contrary to the name, there’s no sugar in sugar snap peas. In fact, they are low in calories, high in fiber, and have numerous other healthy attributes.  This mildly sweet, crisp pea is delicious sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with dill weed, salt and pepper.

Active time:  5  Total time: 10

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • Nothing special for this one

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Sugar snap peas, enough for 2
  • Butter olive oil, enough to lightly cover peas, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • 1 tsp (or more) dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Trim the ends of the peas.  

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium heat.  Add peas and stir until lightly coated. Add dill, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Peas are done as soon as they warm up. 

Roasted or Sautéed Carrots

Carrots

Carrots are versatile vegetables. The sweet, concentrated flavor and soft texture of roasted or sautéed carrots are quite different from the crunch of a slightly bland raw carrot in a salad. While I like carrots raw, roasted or sautéed, I must admit that cooking them seems to intensify their flavor.

Baby carrots, which are really regular carrots cut into smaller pieces at some processing plant, work just as well as full-grown whole carrots in this recipe.  If you use adult carrots, cut them into baby-sized pieces.

Roasting and sautéing carrots work equally well. If I’ve already got something in the oven, I’ll use the stovetop, and vice versa.  The carrots will cook a little faster on the stovetop.

Active time: 5  Total time:  10 to 20 minutes

Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils

  • To roast carrots in the oven, you’ll need a rimmed baking sheet (about 12.5 x 10 inches) 
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup.
  • Nothing for sautéing carrots on stove top, other than a skillet, of course. 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • carrots (enough for 2), cut into uniform pieces (see note below)
  • Butter Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover asparagus, probably 2 or 3 tablespoons 
  • 1 tsp thyme (more or less according to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for roasting:

Preheat conventional oven to 425 degrees, or convection to 400. Place parchment paper or aluminum foil on rimmed baking sheet for easier cleanup.

If you use whole carrots, peel and cut them into uniform pieces, a couple of inches long, and maybe 1/2-inch thick. If you use baby carrots, give them a quick rinse and they are ready to go. 

Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with Butter or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss until carrots are evenly coated with olive oil. Arrange the carrots in a single layer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Shake pan once during cooking. 

Directions for sautéing:

If you use whole carrots, peel and cut them into uniform pieces, a couple of inches long, and maybe 1/2 thick. If you use baby carrots, give them a quick rinse and they are ready to go. 

Pour olive oil into skillet over medium high heat.  Add carrots and stir until lightly coated. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until carrots are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

 

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