How to make good olive oil taste like great olive oil

oliveoil.jpgYou can buy a good extra virgin olive oil in a glass bottle at the grocery store. You can buy a great bottle of olive oil at a specialty market — but it will be expensive. Here’s a trick to make your grocery store olive oil taste like an expensive bottle from a market.

  • Fill a clean wide-mouth jar with 8-10 unpitted olives. You can use any kind, Kalamata, Nicoise or Gaeta. Try to use olives in a sealed jar, (no herbs). Do not use the olives from the grocery store’s olive bar.
  • Pour your grocery store extra virgin olive oil (the darkest you can find) on top.
  • The olives will give the oil a deeper flavor. Store in refrigerator for at least 2-3 weeks before using. (Always store olive oil in the refrigerator to prevent it from turning rancid.)
  • Olive oil solidifies when it is cold — this is fine. Just use a spoon to scoop out what you need, and soon it will melt and become liquid again. (Much easier to measure.)
  • Always make two batches — so that you have one that is gathering flavors from the olives while you have another one to use.
  • When you get to the bottom of the jar — eat the olives. If they are mushy, you can always warm them, and mix with garlic, salt and fresh herbs to make a pesto.

I should add here. Do not use this oil, or any extra virgin olive oil for cooking. Use extra light (the light-colored oil) for cooking. Extra light is made for heat. Extra virgin is made for dipping, and dressing food after it has been cooked. Worried about the calories? Fear not. Read more here: All fats are not created equal.

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13 comments to “How to make good olive oil taste like great olive oil”
  1. Mmmm. . .makes me think of olive tapenade. Love it!

    I’m going to give this a try!

    I do have a question, though. Do you keep all your olive oil in the fridge? I have never done that (I figured I used it up so fast that it never had time to go rancid, but maybe I am losing some of the flavor by not refrigerating. . .)

  2. Yes, Kim, just like Tapenade — yum. It does take awhile before olive oil goes rancid. You should be fine if you are using it up within six months. But any longer than that — I’d store it in the fridge. Solidified oil is much easier to work with, and it melts fast.
    Shelly — check out the book, Total Breast Health. Everything you wanted to know about oil and cooking, and preventing breast cancer too. It also says that the plastic from the bottle can leach into the oil — so always buy glass.

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  4. One small correction,

    It is mentioned that Extra Light oil is made for heat. This is true. Refined Olive Oil is filtered so that all flavor and color are removed.

    It is appropriate to deep fry since it has similar attributes as corn oil.

    However, frying is not the healthiest way to prepare foods.

    Extra Virgin Olive oil is NOT just for dipping or salads. You can lightly saute with Extra Virgin; when you wantto add more flavor to what you are cooking.

    Be careful not to heat the Extra Virgin too high for too long or you will begin to burn the oil, create a LOT of smoke in your kitchen, and ruin the flavor of your meal.

    For more information on olive oil, great recipes, and coupons, visit

  5. Cool SusieJ, I didn’t know this awesome stuff about soaking olives. Dante’s absolutely right about EV.

    There is an intermediate oil called Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil or 100% Pure Olive Oil. This is Refined Oil blended with EV and has more EV than Extra Light. Its not better than EV despite the name and is suitable for pan and deep-frying, stir-fries, sautés and stews. In cakes and pastries, it is used both as an ingredient in dough as also for frying. Olive Oil is the oil most suitable for all types of body massage.

    In Europe and Asia, Olive Pomace Oil is the one most commonly used for cooking. Extra Light is uncommon. Pomace is similar to Extra Light in composition. For more information, visit

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  7. Uh, I am virtually certain most of the industry and ag science community will dispute this approach as witchcraft…there are typically substantive chemical composition differences between IOOC certified grades and non IOOC grades that supposed “enhancement” in more olives can do nothing to cure. GIGO.

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