If you are thinking that it's all been said on the subject of olive oil, think again! Nancy Harmon Jenkins is an American authority on this ubiquitous culinary favorite. Her latest book, Virgin Territory, makes a compelling argument that the oil we use the most, is really the one we know the least about. In the first hundred or so pages, Jenkins re-educates on the history of olive oil, how it is grown and produced and the differences between good and bad products in our market. Special attention is given to the topic of the Extra Virgin designation, labeling laws and the massive discrepancies and sub-par products that can be found on supermarket shelves, world-wide. The revealing discussion takes you from olive grove to press to laboratory and beyond, but before Virgin Territory starts reading like a textbook...the recipes start to trickle in. And what recipes they are. Jenkins is a brilliant guide on the subject of olive oil, truly an expert. And she is no less of an expert on what to do with it! Over 100 sumptuous and healthy Mediterranean recipes with excellent photography fill the remaining 230 pages. Selections include authentic favorites such as tapenade and pesto, Oven-Braised Artichokes with Potatoes and Onions, Ribollita, North African Seafood Tagine and even a chapter on sweets and desserts. Each demonstrates the importance that olive oil can play in a dish. Stunning photographs show the dishes, the fruit and the author's own property where she produces her own small-lot EVOO from a 150-tree grove.
Virgin Territory covers it all and helps the reader re-approach olive oil with better understanding of how to cook with and shop for one of the world's favorite ingredients.
Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (February 10, 2015). 338 Pages.