Cooking Seasonally with The Olive Scene

One of our favorite things about the wide variety of flavored oils and vinegars that we carry at The Olive Scene is the ability to change a dish simply by swapping one flavor out for another. Some flavors are inherently associated with certain seasons; Basil screams “summer,” maple is a marvelous fall flavor, blood orange begs for wintery comfort food, and blueberry reminds us of spring.  While you certainly can enjoy all of these flavors any time of year, using them in certain seasons can change the feeling of a recipe and transform the same dish into something new that makes everyone say “wow, that really hit the spot!”

Let’s look at a classic: roasted potatoes. We make this dish all year long, but changing the olive oil that we roast the potatoes in completely transforms the dish. In the summer we like to use Chipotle Olive Oil for a smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with grilled meats, or we pull out a bottle of that quintessential summer flavor: Basil Olive Oil. In the fall, we shift to Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil to add an earthier, warmer flavor to our meals. Winter is perfect for big herby flavors, like Wild Rosemary or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil to hold up to the hearty braises and roasts that we tend to eat during cooler weather. And as spring’s tender green vegetables start to appear on our tables we turn to brighter flavors, like Eureka Lemon or Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil.

You can play the same game with balsamic vinegars. Something as simple as changing the balsamic vinegar pairing in a classic vinaigrette (1 part olive oil to 3 parts balsamic vinegar) can turn your salad into something perfectly appropriate for the season. In the summer, use a berry flavor such as Raspberry or Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar. Vermont Maple, Apple, and Black Currant Balsamic Vinegar are perfect fall flavors. Winter salads love Tangerine, Pomegranate, Cranberry Pear, or Fig Balsamic Vinegar. And when spring rolls around, we love to lighten things up with Sicilian Lemon or Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar or Cherry and Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar.

This concept can apply to any of your go-to vinaigrettes, marinades, and recipes. Stop by any of our four Northern Ohio locations to taste our seasonal flavors and get ideas for how to transform your favorite recipes throughout the year simply by changing out the flavors of olive oil or balsamic vinegar that you use. Our sales staff is always excited to introduce you to new ways of making your food dynamic and fresh!

And if you don’t live in the area, you can shop online or call our stores. Feel free to reach out via Facebook, Instagram, email, telephone, or leave us a comment below and we will be happy to help you with flavor pairings and recipe ideas as well!