Blog Archive

We are huge fans of tapenade, the robustly flavored olive condiment born in Southern France. So much so that we created three different tapenades each with a unique flavor profile. Tapenade is not just a dip or a spread, it is incredibly versatile as a flavoring ingredient, you’ll want to keep a jar of it in your fridge at all times. We’ve compiled a list of 18 ways to use tapenade for you here.

      1. Toss tapenade with boiled new potatoes, blanched green beans, and shallots.  Chill.  Add a few tomato slices, hard-boiled egg, and tuna for a Niçoise-esque potato salad.
      2. Add a dollop to your morning avocado toast.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.  Fried egg highly encouraged.
      3. Thin the tapenade out with more olive oil and add a touch more lemon juice.  Bam!–Olive Vinaigrette for salads!
      4. And speaking of salads, think green salad, pasta salad, potato salad — just before you dress it, stir some tapenade into the dressing, whether it’s mayo or a vinaigrette.
      5. If you’ve ever had a muffuletta, you know that olives are great on sandwiches. Mixing some tapenade in with mayonnaise is a simple way of having a muffuletta-style experience without having to travel to its native New Orleans.
      6. Take that tapenade mayo and put it on a burger. Even better, make it a lamb burger.
      7. Swirl it into a simple soup.
      8. Dress a bowl of pasta.  Use a little pasta water to loosen it up.  Shower with parmesan and fresh mint and/or parsley.  Yum.
      9. Another pasta idea? Stir some tapenade into your red sauce (the plainer, the better, so the flavors of the tapenade aren’t lost) and toss with hot noodles.
      10. Rub it under the skin of your next roast chicken.  Roast some potatoes in the same pan to catch the olive-y drippings.
      11. Mix the tapenade into softened butter and spread on grilled sweet corn.  Sprinkle with chives.  This move will change your life.
      12. Take some of that softened tapenade butter and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment and roll it out into a 1- to 2-inch thick log and chill to harden. Cut slices to set on top of grilled or seared meats or fish. The heat from the meat will melt the butter, creating a delicious sauce as it mixes with the juices from the meat.
      13. Stir it into hummus, make a cucumber salad, and grab a bag of pita chips on your way to the park.  Picnic!  Don’t forget a bottle of wine.
      14. Grill steaks or fish and smear a spoonful over the top.
      15. Pizza. This may sound crazy, but, trust me, it’s delicious. Especially if you’re making homemade pizza, just spread some tomato sauce over the dough, spoon some tapenade over and sprinkle with julienned red onions.
      16. Add it to sandwich salads, like tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, they’d all benefit from a spoonful of tapenade stirred in. Or, save yourself the trouble and use the tapenade mayo from above when you make the salad in the first place.
      17. Eggs! Tapenade and eggs are a great combo in just about any form. Just remember that the tapenade is so powerful, a little goes a long way. Smear some across the interior side of your omelet just before folding or stir it into your eggs before scrambling. For over-easy eggs, just after you crack your egg into the pan, spoon a little tapenade into the still liquid whites. When you flip the egg, the tapenade gets cooked in.
      18. And don’t forget deviled eggs. Tapenade is a terrific topper for deviled eggs.

    Thanks to The Strawberry Plum for tapenade ideas and inspiration.

Shop Tapenade Online

 

It’s time to fire up the grill and we have a host of easy grilling marinades to kick off your summer. Check out our favorite ways to flavor meat, poultry, seafood and veggies using We Olive olive oils, balsamic vinegars and your favorite pantry staples.


Garlic Rosemary Balsamic Marinade

This simple marinade is delicious on flank or skirt steak but really works for anything you plan to grill: pork, chicken, even veggies will benefit from a soak in this sauce!

 

Jalapeno-Lime Marinade

This Jalapeno-Lime Marinade is our favorite marinade for steak or chicken, especially if it’s going to end up in a taco! You can also use it on pork, seafood and even veggies.

 

Lemon Herb Marinade

This lemon herb marinade is our go-to for summer grilling. It’s the perfect seafood marinade but it also works beautifully on chicken and vegetables. We used fresh oregano and parsley in this version, but you can swap out any fresh herbs you have on hand. If you don’t have Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, use regular extra virgin olive oil and the zest of a couple of lemons instead.

 

Blackberry Basil Marinade

The combination of our Fresh Basil Olive Oil and our Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar is somehow reminiscent of perfectly ripe tomatoes. Drench all of your favorite summer veggies in this before they go on the grill. Our favorites are zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, peppers and mushrooms!

Smoky Citrus Marinade

The flavors in this marinade are bold and make for a delicious Spanish-inspired meal from the grill. We Olive’s fruity and aromatic Blood Orange Olive Oil is paired with oregano, garlic and smoked paprika and works equally well on both meats and vegetables. Try it with this recipe for Spanish Blood Orange Pork Kebabs.

The weather is warming up and we’ve added some new seasonal items and brought back some customer favorites to our wine bar menu! Come into a We Olive & Wine Bar near you to enjoy our Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad, back by popular demand, along with these new sandwiches, salads and bites!

 


We Olive Seasonal Summer Salad

We serve this fresh and flavorful summer salad in our wine bar during the warmer months. It’s a delicious starter or side salad but it makes a light summer meal when topped with grilled chicken or shrimp.

Burrata Bowl

This simple burrata bowl is one of our most popular wine bar menu items. Creamy burrata cheese is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with Coconut Curry Nut Crumbs, which add great flavor and texture. Serve this simple appetizer with toasted baguette and a glass of wine.

Hummus Sandwich

This hummus sandwich is a new addition to our wine bar menu and it is loaded with fresh, healthy toppings that will fill you up but won’t weigh you down. Use this recipe as a guideline for creating your own version with all your favorite things!

 

Find more wine bar recipes here!

Jalapeno Olive Oil

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to use Jalapeno Olive Oil, look no further! We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that includes our favorite tips, recipes and videos on how to use Jalapeno Olive Oil just for you.

If you haven’t experienced the delicious burn, this olive oil will become a kitchen staple, brightening up all kinds of dishes. Fresh jalapenos are crushed with the olives to create this naturally flavored olive oil. It is a wonderfully vibrant olive oil that has a nice heat without being over-powering.

Our Favorite Pairings

Try our Jalapeno Flavored Olive Oil with We Olive Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar for a sweet heat dressing for salad or slaws.  Add a little soy sauce to that combination for a quick teriyaki-like marinade or sauce. Or, slather pork chops and ribs with Jalapeno Olive Oil and We Olive Peach White Balsamic vinegar for a sticky, sweet, & spicy supper.

Tips & Videos

Try using Jalapeno Olive Oil instead of vegetable oil in your favorite cornbread recipe or get wild by trying it in your brownies.  Bring fresh, vibrant heat to any meat dish by using Jalapeno Olive Oil, salt, and pepper as a marvelous marinade.  Try Jalapeno Olive Oil in your scrambled eggs or pep up your pico by adding it to your favorite salsas.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salad with Cilantro

Avocado with Jalapeno Olive Oil & Garlic Salt

Our Favorite Recipes

Spicy Olive Hummus

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Tropical Salsa

Strawberry Salsa

Peppadew Cheese Dip

Pineapple Jalapeno Teriyaki Marinade

Spicy Citrus Pesto

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Pineapple Jalapeno Noodle Salad

Spicy Peach Coleslaw

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Red Curry Mussels with Lime, Jalapeno & Ginger

Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita

Fresh Tomato Jalapeno Bloody Mary

Spicy Paloma Cocktail

We All Love The Earth

Small Steps That Make a Big Impact

This Earth Day we are celebrating the small things we can do as individuals that add up to a big impact on the environment. For many of you, that means reusing and refilling your olive oil and vinegar bottles. To encourage the REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE mindset, we’re offering 22% off refills at all We Olive locations on Earth Day, which you can get details on below. But there are lots of ways that we can each make an impact in our homes and communities. With that in mind, we’d like to put the spotlight on two We Olive corporate team members who have taken environmental protection into their own hands, or grabbers that is!

Charley & Natalie work at our corporate office in San Diego and when they aren’t thinking up new staff training programs or troubleshooting point-of-sale systems, they’re cleaning up their community and inspiring others to follow suit.

Noticing that their beloved beach town, popular with both locals and tourists, was plagued by litter, they decided to take action. They turned their weekend strolls around Pacific Beach into a mission, armed with buckets and litter grabbers, putting in the elbow grease to keep their neighborhood and beaches free from trash.

Their little effort turned into a movement called Don’t Trash PB. They invited others to join the cause by providing free buckets and grabbers to anyone willing to lend a hand. Check out their Instagram to see how they recruit new members and document their efforts. Be prepared to get inspired to make a difference in your community!

Don’t Just Recycle, Reuse!  22% Off Refills on Earth Day!

Our annual Earth Day Sale is tomorrow! On Monday, April 22nd, bring your reusable, refillable bottles in and save 22% on refills of bulk olive oil and vinegar. Offer valid on refills, in-store only. Offer not valid on new bottle purchases.

You’ve probably seen some variation of marinated cheese at the grocery store. It’s typically a soft, fresh cheese like mozzarella, goat cheese or feta, drenched in olive oil, herbs and spices and it is quite tasty. It’s delicious spread on crackers and bread, with crisp, fresh veggies or as a salad or sandwich topper. We’ve even put it on pizza and flatbread and have been known to spoon it directly into our mouths.

And as is usually the case, the homemade stuff is even better than what you’ll find at the market. With that in mind, we’ve put together a simple, step-by-step guide to teach you how to make marinated cheese at home.

1. Choose Your Cheese.

You really want a softer, fresh cheese that will benefit from adding flavorings. Aged, harder cheeses do not work well for this nor do really pungent, robust cheeses. We recommend sticking with a log of fresh goat cheese, a block of good quality feta or fresh mozzarella of any size or shape.

2. Pick Your Flavor Profile and Your Olive Oil

You can really get creative with flavors here. You may have some rarely used spices or an abundance of leftover fresh herbs you want to use up. Think about seeds like mustard, cumin, coriander and fennel. Spicy elements like chile flakes and peppercorns. Or more exotic flavors like lavender, star anise or cardamom pods. Any fresh or dried herbs work nicely as well. Consider adding garlic cloves or citrus peel for even more complexity.

When selecting the olive oil, you may want to go with a robust, peppery extra virgin olive oil and add lots of fresh herbs and some lemon peel. Or you can try a flavored olive oil like our Fresh Garlic or Meyer Lemon…or both! You’ll need enough olive oil to completely cover your cheese, usually a cup or two.

3. Choose the marinating method: quick or slow.

Quick Marinade

If you want to eat the cheese as soon as possible, you’ll want to go with the quick method that involves using heat to release all the flavor from your aromatics. Place everything in a small pot and pour olive oil over top. Note: If you’re using fresh herbs that are delicate like basil, chive and cilantro, add these after you’ve heated the oil. Dried herbs and heartier herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano can be heated with olive oil. Again, you’ll need enough to cover your chosen cheese, so at least a cup or more. Warm the pot over very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until you can really smell all of the aromatics and spices you’ve added.

Slice the cheese into rounds or pieces so that more surface area soaks in the oil’s flavor and place them in a container you can seal. We like mason jars but any container with a lid will do. Let the oil cool for a bit before you pour it over the cheese so it doesn’t melt. Pour the oil over the cheese and top with any fresh herbs, if using.

Slow Marinade

If you have the time and want to skip the heating step, you can simply put your cheese, sliced into rounds or pieces in a container and scatter the aromatics and spices over it. Pour the olive oil on top, cover it and refrigerate it for at least 12 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

4. Wait…or don’t.

If you’ve chosen the quick method, you can serve the cheese right away or let it sit in the fridge to develop even more flavor. If you’ve been storing the cheese in the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before serving so that the flavors will be more pronounced. Keep any leftovers in the oil in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Our Favorite Flavor Combinations

And don’t toss the extra oil—there’s rich flavor in there. Toss it with pasta, use it to sauté vegetables, or whisk it into a salad dressing.

 

As if any of us need a reason to eat more carbs, Bread Dipping Oil is here to give you one. When done correctly, a good dipping oil turns a bite of crusty bread into a moment of pure bliss. Crusty, soft and chewy meets rich, silky olive oil dotted with bursts of garlicky herbs and tiny pockets of tangy balsamic. Sign. Us. Up. You don’t have to wait until you’re at an Italian restaurant to enjoy this little indulgence. Learn how to make bread dipping oil at home and then also learn how not to eat an entire baguette in one sitting. The two really go hand in hand.

1. Choose your olive oil.

A classic extra virgin olive oil can be seasoned in a multitude of ways, but we also lean heavily on our Fresh Garlic Olive Oil as a dipper because GARLIC. Experiment with delicate, medium and robust EVOO and don’t shy away from flavored olive oils like Jalapeno or Meyer Lemon when you’re feeling adventurous.

2. Choose your seasonings.

Our favorite classic bread dipping oil recipe is seasoned simply with garlic and herbs, but you can certainly experiment with flavor combinations. Try both dried and fresh herbs, fresh minced garlic or garlic powder, chile flakes or fresh chiles and even grated cheese like parmesan works nicely.

3. To balsamic or not to balsamic…

We love balsamic vinegar. Especially our Aged Balsamic Vinegar. We pretty much think it makes everything objectively better. But, there are times where we want the pure olive oil flavor. And there are times where we crave those sweet, tangy bursts that balsamic brings. You decide what kind of mood you’re in. Our top choice for dipping oil is Aged Balsamic Vinegar, but we’ve also been known to experiment with Blackberry Balsamic paired with Fresh Basil Olive Oil and Mission Fig Balsamic drizzled into Blood Orange Olive Oil. You do you.

4. Season, season, season.

Once you’ve added all of your herbs, spices and extras to your oil, check for seasoning. Finish it off with freshly ground pepper and a good sea salt to taste.

5. Enjoy with a baguette or a rustic Italian loaf.

Try not to eat the entire thing by yourself. Or do. We won’t tell.

Get our favorite recipe for Bread Dipping Oil here.

How do you know that what’s on your olive oil label is true? Don’t be fooled by fake olive oil. Read our guide and learn how to find an olive oil you can trust and freshness you can taste.

Is your olive oil label telling the truth?

Standing in the cooking oil section of the store where you often shop, you scan the shelf for a good extra virgin
olive oil. You’re well aware of the health benefits, proven in tests and touted in medical journals, as well as lifestyle
magazines. You want to experience the superior taste of oil from freshly pressed olives. You start to reach for a bottle
with an authentic-sounding name and a lovely Tuscan landscape on the label. But you pause, remembering what
you’ve heard in the media about fraud in the olive oil industry today.

Olive Oil Fraud & Olive Oil Fakes

Misrepresenting or adulterating olive oil has been a lucrative — and illegal — business for thousands of years. In fact, cuneiform tablets in the twenty-fourth century B.C. — the earliest written reference to olive oil — record that teams of inspectors, looking for fraudulent practices, visited olive mills on behalf of the king. Today it’s organized crime that keeps investigators on their trail. And the Agro-Mafia, as it’s called, seems to be winning.

According to a recent 60 Minutes story and an investigative report in the New Yorker magazine, in the United States today “70% of extra virgin olive oil is probably a fraud.” Extra virgin olive oil is time-consuming and costly to produce. Odds are, the olive oil labeled “extra virgin” currently in your kitchen might very well have been mixed with other oils. Or worse, it’s not olive oil at all, but a vegetable oil disguised with coloring and synthetic aroma.

“Profits are comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks.” – Tom Mueller, in the New Yorker magazine, writing about the practice of trafficking in fake olive oil

So how do you know that your olive oil is authentic?

As a consumer, how can you be sure that the olive oil you use in your salads and sauté pan, in your pesto and pasta primavera is the real deal — 100% extra virgin olive oil with all the benefits that are naturally part of it? How do you know that bottle hasn’t been sitting stale on the grocer’s shelf for months?

This guide will delve into those questions, starting with what makes extra virgin olive oil so special.

The Wonders of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The olive is actually a stone fruit, like a cherry. And real extra virgin olive oil is a lot like fresh-squeezed fruit juice — made from olives ideally picked by hand, milled within hours, and crushed by a simple hydraulic press or centrifuge. True extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing and is free of any defects. Unlike other cooking oils, it’s the only one made without the use of chemicals, heat, or industrial refining.

“When you walk into the mill, you are just hit with this extraordinary aroma of olive oil that is just so pleasing, it
makes the hair on the back of your neck kind of stand up. It’s almost primeval how wonderful it is.” Guy Campanile, olive-oil aficionado

The Extra Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In part because of the special way it’s produced, extra virgin olive oil, unlike seed oils and non-extra virgin oils,
contains natural antioxidants, including polyphenols — a type of antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
It’s also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids — a healthier dietary fat, compared to saturated and trans fats. Extensive studies over the last 50 years have concluded that all sorts of health benefits come from extra virgin olive oil. Researchers have found that by consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in EVOO, you can:

• Significantly lower the risk of having a heart attack, suffering from a stroke, or dying of heart disease
• Better regulate insulin levels
• Strengthen your immune system
• Reduce the risk of certain cancers
• Improve digestive and brain health

Why Getting the Real Thing Matters

“When companies taint the oil, consumers lose that wonderful cocktail of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants,” says journalist and industry expert, Tom Mueller.

So can you get the real thing and the peace of mind that comes with it?

We Olive – Freshness You Can Taste

Concerned about rampant EVOO fraud, olive oil lovers have been looking for ways to make sure they’re not getting ripped off. They’ve tried the “taste test,” the “fridge test,” and the “oil lamp test” but these do-it-yourself measures have been proven completely unreliable.

Truthfully, there is only one way to be absolutely sure your olive oil is exta virgin . . .

At We Olive we’re as passionate about quality olive oil as you are. And we specialize in providing locally sourced, artisan extra virgin olive oils. Our products come directly from a trusted network of local growers — many of them family-run businesses. Real people, not faceless buyers for multi-national corporations or “middle-men” with
underworld ties.

A recent study done by the University of California Davis found that domestic olive oil from single producers or co-ops was always real.

The California Difference

Olive trees do best in a Mediterranean climate like California’s — with its long dry summers and mild winters. And all of our extra virgin olive oils come from California. Here over 100 growers — spread over the myriad soil types and microclimates that characterize this state — produce more than 350 different kinds of olives. Together they create the almost limitless variety of flavor possibilities for the extra virgin olive oils We Olive offers. Depending on the type of olive, its degree of ripeness, and the milling technique, the flavors of the olive oils we feature vary from buttery
to bright to bold, and can range from subtle to intense.

Olive oil is best used within a year, but imported olive oils can take almost that long to reach your table. Even certified extra virgin can sit in storage drum for two years before it reaches the shelves in the grocery store. With the California growers we partner with, the time from harvest to your home can be as short as a couple of weeks,
sometimes even days!

Certified Extra Virgin by the California Olive Oil Council

Each extra-virgin olive oil We Olive offers has been certified as “extra virgin” by the California Olive Oil Council. With the COOC seal, you know it’s real.

Even though the extra virgin olive oil market in America is a billion-and-a-half dollar business — and growing — the
Food and Drug Administration doesn’t routinely test oils for adulteration. So the California Olive Oil Council has stepped up to give consumers peace of mind through its extra virgin certification, a rigorous two-step process that
follows every harvest.

• Each oil undergoes a chemical analysis that tests criteria for EVOO, including acidity levels.
• After the chemical requirements have been verified, a highly-trained panel of olive oil experts tastes the oil in a blind test to make extra sure it’s everything “extra virgin” is meant to be. The COOC Seal means the oil in the bottle is 100% California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, no filler oils, no defects, no corners cut. It also indicates that it’s
been cold-pressed and has an acidity level less than .5%.

“There are not enough resources to control the over 350,000 tons of olive oil entering the country. That’s why, even after scandals, adulterated olive oil bottles are still on supermarket shelves.” – David Neuman, CEO of the Greek food company, Gaea North America

A 2010 study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that 69 percent of imported olive oil labeled “extra virgin” did not meet, in an expert taste and smell test, the standard for that label.

Better than just genuine. Extraordinary.

Even among certifiably genuine extra virgin olive oils there are gradations in freshness, quality and taste. At We
Olive we’ve gone – and regularly go — in search of only the finest olive oils the Golden State has to offer. We’ve chatted with California growers in the shade of their olive trees. Wiped the dust of the groves from the soles our shoes. And standing in the middle of many an artisan mill, breathed in the oh-so-wonderful aroma of the first pressing.

We know our growers. They know us. And the relationship we share benefits everyone who’s ever opened a bottle of
EVOO from We Olive. Any foodie will tell you that tasting freshly pressed EVOO for the first time is transformational.

It’s All About Taste

The extra virgin olive oils you’ll find at We Olive you won’t typically find in supermarkets or discount warehouses or even in smaller upscale markets. The variety and quality of our EVOOs is rivaled only by how good they taste and how much they add to all kinds of recipes – from marinades to salad dressings, pastas to delicious dipping sauces.
Whether you cook every day or lavishly when you entertain, let our EVOOs – some of them infused with flavors like basil or garlic or blood orange – take your favorite recipes to a whole new place.

“You gotta have good olive oil.” – Chef Emeril Lagasse

SHOP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Fresh, extra virgin olive oils from the 2018 harvest are beginning to arrive in stores and this year’s olive oils are spectacular! At We Olive, we work directly with growers and producers to bring the best certified extra virgin olive oil to you year after year.

This growing season brought some challenges for our producers, as is the nature of farming. Unusually hot weather in February triggered many trees to begin budding.  Some trees even began to flower! Then, in March, a freeze put a stop to the budding activity of many of the trees, resulting in no flowers that would normally turn into olives. Climate change is certainly a factor here and our food supplies are the first to reflect those changes. Add to the fact that olive trees are alternate bearing and that the 2017 harvest was considered a bumper crop, and you can see how the industry was now poised for a low yield year, leaving many farmers at a loss and California olive oil production down nearly 50%.

As with every year, we are in constant contact with our growers during all phases of the growing season.  We are also always looking out for new growers to add to our network of outstanding producers. This year was, perhaps, a bit more intense, as we worked diligently to divert any impact the harvest conditions would have and ensure a supply of great tasting olive oil for our stores and our customers.

It is in the years that Mother Nature challenges us, that we are acutely aware of the uncertainty of farming and the obstacles our growers face. It’s also when we are most proud to be a part of an industry that works tirelessly to produce the best quality product even in the face of these challenges. We can’t wait for you to taste what 2018 has to offer. Learn more about our EVOO in our online shop or visit a location near you.