There’s nothing quite like a delicious summer salad made with a gourmet extra virgin olive oil, like Azeite Esplendido. Just like a fine wine will compliment and elevate your food to new levels, the same is true of using the right extra virgin olive oil.
Arugula (also known as rocket lettuce) has a slight peppery flavor and is a wonderful addition to any summer salad. I love to eat arugula simply with a little olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. It’s simple and delicious.
In this salad, I kick it up a notch with the addition of garlic, red chili peppers, lemon zest and crunchy pistachios. The arugula’s leafy greens are slightly wilted and all the flavors are married together with this lovely gourmet olive oil. It’s a fresh flavor burst!
Azeite Esplendido is an award winning medium blend olive oil from Portugal. This premium 100% single-estate extra virgin olive oil comes from the historic Tras-Os-Montes in Portugal, situated high in the hills overlooking the Douro Valley. This region delivers some of the world’s finest, low-acidic, naturally flavorful olive oils. The golden-green oil of Azeite Esplendido is exceptionally fragrant with grassy notes, a spicy taste and a pleasantly peppery finish. I found it paired perfectly and enhanced the natural peppery flavors of the arugula.
The same way grapes in a fine wine reflect the soil, flavors and scents from which they are grown, olives too pick up and retain such environmental influences. Grown without pesticides, the olives that Azeite Esplendido uses are picked early in the season and immediately cold-pressed to retain their deep fruity flavors and fresh spicy aromas.
Use a gourmet extra virgin olive oil when you wish to enhance the natural bright flavors of fresh summer vegetables or make a fresh vinaigrette salad dressing.
100% natural extra virgin olive oil also has many health benefits. Using a premium blend of olive oil from trees grown without pesticides is even better. This is something very important to look for in a gourmet extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is very high in antioxidants, contains vitamins E, K and beneficial fatty acids.
Azeite Esplendido is available to the U.S. market through Esplendido Douro, headquartered in Seattle, WA. It comes in 500 ml bottles and retails for $24.95 on BestOliveOils.com. It can also be found in select specialty shops and grocery stores throughout the Northwest or online at esplendidodouro.com for $29.00. This is an excellent value for such a splendid product and I highly recommend it.
Essentials for this recipe:
More recipes to use this gourmet extra virgin olive oil:
This post was sponsored by Azeite Esplendido. These recipes are my own creations and design. My comments regarding this product reflect my own personal views. I only review products I have tried and personally like, use and recommend.
- 1 1/2 tbsp Azeite Esplendido Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 medium garlic clove minced
- 2 pinches red chili flakes
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 1/4 cup pistachios roasted and salted
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese finely grated
- 4-6 fresh lemon wedges
Use a large deep skillet. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Keep careful watch and lower the heat as necessary. If the heat is too high, you will scorch the oil and garlic and it will turn bitter.
Add the arugula and pistachios. Using tongs, turn the arugula coating it with the seasoned oil just until it begins to wilt (about 30 seconds). Remove from the heat.
Plate the arugula and squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice on top of each serving. Top each serving with the finely grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with additional lemon wedges for garnish.