Cooking With: Elevated Olive
January 7, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Follow the palate at Steamboat's Elevated Olive and the results may surprise you.
"It's an interactive store. We find that people will have fun with it and get really creative," said Carol Parish, co-owner of the Elevated Olive, who, with business partner June Lindenmayer, opened the store five years ago.
Taste what works best for you at the emporium, featuring 25 types of olive oil, 26 balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy (10 of those are white balsamic), olives, exotic salts, imported pastas, mustards, marinades, Elkstone Farm products and even wines.
At first glance, the shop (708 Lincoln Ave.) is a little overwhelming — which balsamic to try, the white? What about the barrel-aged balsamic? Can you pair those with the infused olive oils, too?
This week, the shop will receive the latest shipment of what Parish said are the Northern Hemisphere oils — currently they have Southern Hemisphere oils.
"We follow the hemisphere and what's been recently harvested, so we always have the freshest oils available," said Parish. "We like to get a smattering of oils and try to pick those flavors for a mild to robust palate, because everyone's different."
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With new batches of oils arriving at Elevated Olive every six months, the store is the only place in town these varieties can be purchased ($12 for 200 mL and $18 for 375 mL).
The oils arriving this week in particular, Parish said, were harvested at the end of November from areas within Portugal, Spain and Greece. For the balsamic oils, typically used for vinaigrettes or marinades, Parish said those are aged up to 12 years and the traditional barrel-age timeline is up to 18 years.
To find out which oils to try first and what to pair them with, we asked Parish to recommend a few of her favorites.
Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil
One of Parish's favorites and most popular, this infused olive oil comes from Tunisia and is a spicy green chili oil infused with green chilies.
Use it with: Breakfast. Whether you like your eggs scrambled or over easy, or like the morning burrito, this oil is a great base adding a lot of flavor. Can also be used in chicken fajitas, salsa or green chili recipes.
Mix it with: Add the Lemon White Balsamic for a new salad dressing.
Blood Orange Olive Oil
As the blood oranges and Tunisian olives ripen, Parish said this flavor is formed via Agrumato or the combination of whole, fresh citrus fruits crushed with olives due to the blood oranges and olives being harvested and the oils extracted together.
Use it with: Seafood, roasting chicken, veggies, fruit, salads or even a glaze for a braised duck.
Mix it with: Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic Vinegar, for a crisper balsamic vinaigrette.
Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
Layers of flavor in this oil with hints of subtle garlic, lemon zest and parsley to generate an herb and citrus flavor.
Use it with: Whether sautéing or roasting on the grill, you can drizzle this over fish, chicken or pork.
Chipotle Olive Oil
Smokiness with a kick at the end that's not as spicy as green chili. The smoky flavor of this chili-infused oil, Parish said, gives a kick.
Use it with: Shish Kebabs, as it is great for marinating peppers, mushrooms, scallops, chicken, etc.
Serrano Honey Vinegar
This vinegar has a sweet, tart, spicy flavor and is made from 100 percent honey.
"It complements strong greens like arugula or kale really well," said Parish.
Use it with: Salsa, Ceviche, Bloody Mary's and shrimp. You could also drizzle it over sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese or with sliced strawberries and a grinding of black pepper for a delicious dessert.
Jalapeño White Balsamic Vinegar
"This is not as hot as you think," said Parish. "I typically tell people if they don't like spicy foods to try this, because it's a very unique taste that is not hot."
Use it with: Dishes you want to add a little punch to, but not overwhelm. Try it with a slaw or cucumber type of salad.
Dark Chocolate Balsamic
It's rich, thick and resounds with the complexity of three different chocolates to create its depth of flavor.
Use it with: Drizzle over strawberries, gelato, ice cream, mix with fresh berries or add zing to your chicken mole sauce.
"One customer said it was the secret ingredient to her spaghetti sauce," said Parish.