There are basically 3 main types of olive oil you can buy when shopping, and the difference between them lies in the way they are processed after harvesting - Extra Virgin (cold-pressed after harvesting), Extra Light, and Classico (which are both processed further which makes them suitable for heating).
I have been using the 3 different types of Olive Oil in my kitchen for the past few weeks, and these are the uses I have been putting them to:
Classico Olive Oil
This type of olive oil is best for barbequing and roasting. Brush you steak with this one before popping on the BBQ, or as you can see below, throw a roast in the oven along with your veg (a true one pot dinner!), rub all over with Classico, and you have a delicious dinner. To make it even better, serve with Aioli (see below) for a dish that will impress everyone from your children to your guests.
Extra Light Olive Oil
Extra Light is best for baking and frying. I bake a lot of recipes with Olive Oil (its SO much better for you than butter), the main ones being Muesli Slice and Zucchini Slice. For your cooking to turn out perfectly, its a really good idea to use the RIGHT olive oil, so I will always be keeping the Extra Light Oil in my cupboard from now on to bake with.
Extra Virgin Olive
Extra Virgin is best for cold uses, and so is great for salads, pasta sauces and dips. This is the oil you use if you want to put together a delicious anti-pasto plate, to make garlic bread, or to use to dip bread in olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
I personally am addicted at the moment to Garlic Aioli (yes I put it on everything from chicken to vegies to steak, and no, I'm not on a diet at the moment). As with everything, homemade is much better than store bought so I thought I'd share a very easy recipe with you for Aioli.
2 egg yolks
2-4 cloves of garlic, crushed (to taste)
4 t lemon juice
1 cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
In a bowl or mixer, combine egg yolks, garlic and half of the lemon juice. Whisk or blend until creamy. Slowly add the olive oil in a continuous stream. The aioli will thicken as you do this. Finally, add the last of the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. YUM!
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Disclaimer: I was sent a pack of the 3 different Bertolli Olive Oils to try out. No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.