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The Gift of Flavor

(ARA) - We all know that person. The one who has everything; the one for whom itís impossible to buy a gift. Every year we wrack our brains trying to think of something they might want.

How about some oil?

Weíre not talking about WD40. We mean flavored olive oil. Delightfully evocative, redolent with heady aromas and low in saturated fats, flavored olive oils lend a gourmet touch to almost any dish. And wrapped up in a basket with a loaf of bread, some dry Italian pasta and a recipe for a delicious sauce, a beautiful bottle of flavored olive oil is a gift that almost anyone would love to receive.

Why flavored olive oil? Adding herbs to olive oil captures the aroma and flavor of the herb at the peak of its season. The complexity of an herbís flavor is preserved in a way that is lost in drying. A single flavored oil can replace several ingredients or steps and simplify recipes (for example, use roasted garlic olive oil instead of having to roast fresh garlic, peel it, and then sautť it in plain oil). And itís a healthy way to add flavor: olive oil reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol, and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol.

Cooks can find a myriad of ways to use flavored olive oils. Stir roasted garlic olive oil into mashed potatoes, drizzle basil or cilantro oil over soups and stews, grill vegetables or fish with rosemary oil, add roasted pepper oil to fajitas for some extra zing, or mix any flavor with sour cream or yogurt to make a quick and tasty dip. Flavored olive oil is also a healthy alternative to butter: use as a dip for crusty Italian bread or toss with plain pasta for an easy meal.

Consorzio, a producer of all natural flavored olive oils and marinades, crafts their flavored oils through an infusion process. A blend of a pure olive oil and fresh herbs is created and then the mixture is filtered to remove any sediment. The result is flavor of amazing clarity. This process is superior to the traditional method of simply adding sprigs of an herb to olive oil because the flavors and aromas produced are stronger.

The following is an update of a traditional pesto recipe using flavored oil.

Pesto Pronto

Pesto is a useful ingredient -- as a sauce for pasta and pizza, a final touch of flavor for soup, mixed in mayonnaise for use as a sandwich spread, and as an accompaniment to grilled chicken. Substituting Consorzio Basil Flavored Olive Oil makes pesto preparation that much easier.


2 large bunches flat leaf parsley
1 cup Consorzio Basil Flavored Olive Oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (or 1/2 tablespoon Consorzio Roasted Garlic Olive Oil)
2 tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted
5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Remove tough stems from parsley and discard. 

Blanch the parsley very quickly in rapidly boiling, salted water to brighten and stabilize the color. Plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water, drain well and squeeze out excess water.

Spread parsley on cutting board and chop roughly. Place in blender with Consorzio Basil Olive Oil, garlic (or Consorzio Roasted Garlic Olive Oil) and pine nuts, and blend until smooth.

Pulse in Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Mixture may be refrigerated up to two days in a tightly sealed container. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Courtesy of ARA Content

For more information about Consorzio flavored oils, marinades and dressings visit www.consorzio.com.

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