Cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil this Winter

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Cooking with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is not only a great tasting alternative to vegetable or refined oil, but it is nutritionally good for you. EVOO is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, contains high levels of antioxidants, and has strong anti-inflammatory properties – all of which helps boost the body’s immune responses during the cold winter months.

To give you some EVOO cooking inspiration, we have rounded up three warming, delicious dishes from three amazing foodies. Go on, join the rEVOOlution, fire up that stove and start cooking.

Pasta Puttanesca – Nthati Jane


  • 340g spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup smoked black olives (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup sliced and roasted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water then drain the water.
  • Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, olives, capers, anchovies, and red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the sliced roasted cherry tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and toss everything together. If the sauce is too thick add a bit of the pasta water to thin it out.
  • Serve immediately, if you prefer you can garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Find delicious avocado recipes here.

Spicy carrot and red lentil soup with walnut Dukkah – Christine Capendale


  • 30 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 2 ml chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 ml grated fresh ginger
  • 1,5 l vegetable or chicken stock
  • 150 ml split red lentils
  • 40 ml honey
  • 100 ml fresh coriander
  • 125 ml cream or coconut cream plus extra for serving
  • sea salt and ground pepper


  • 250 ml walnuts
  • 100 ml pumpkin seeds
  • 10 ml cumin seeds
  • 10 ml coriander seeds
  • 5 ml fennel seeds
  • 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ml chilli flakes
  • 5 ml flaky sea salt
  • 100 ml toasted sesame seeds
  • 60 ml black sesame seeds
  • 10 ml castor sugar

Soup: Method

  • Heat EVOO in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes then add the potatoes, spices, garlic, ginger and the stock.
  • Season with salt and pepper then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the lentils and 2 tablespoons of the honey and simmer for a further 25 minutes.
  • Add the fresh coriander and blitz with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth then stir in the cream or coconut cream. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just add a little more stock or water.
  • To serve: Ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of cream or coconut cream, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with dukkah.

Dukkah: Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Place nuts, pumpkin seeds, on a tray and roast for a few minutes
  • Dry fry the cumin, coriander, fennel and pepper until fragrant
  • Grind the nuts and seeds and spices in a food processor (can still be a bit chunky)
  • Add the sesame seeds and sugar.

Briam (Mixed Vegetables) – Chantal Lascards


  • 1 medium brinjal, sliced into rings
  • 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4 – 5 baby marrows, roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup canned chopped and peeled tomatoes


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Arrange the brinjal, peppers, baby marrow and onion on a baking tray and pour enough olive oil to coat the vegetables.
  • Add the dill, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir through.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 60 – 80 minutes.
  • Garnish with extra parsley.

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