Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Carapelli Olive Oil

One day during the week before Christmas, I was sitting at my computer thinking that I probably should do my research on recipes for Christmas. I had my green bean casserole recipe ready, but wanted some other side dishes as well.  And in a bit of wonderful timing, I got an email from a PR rep asking if I wanted to review some Carapelli olive oil. And along with her offer, she sent recipes that could be made with the olive oil! Win!  I wasn't familiar with the Carapelli brand- here's some information about Carapelli, in case you aren't familiar with it either:

Uncompromising commitment to innovation and stringent standards
Throughout its history, Carapelli has been unwavering in its commitment to innovative ideas and outstanding quality. In the 1970s, Carapelli was the first to promote bottled extra virgin olive oil. Carapelli's state-of-the-art headquarters in southern Florence combines old world craftsmanship and new world standards. And in 2001, Carapelli instituted an internal quality certification program-a voluntary observance of 22 quality parameters that are stricter than those required by law. The reason for this is simple: to provide customers with the clearest information and every reassurance about the quality of Carapelli olive oils.

The leader in extra virgin olive oil and Italy's best known brand
Given all this, it's hardly surprising that Carapelli Olive Oil is Italy's market leader in extra virgin olive oil and the best known brand of olive oil in general. One taste and you'll understand why generations of Italians have made Carapelli Olive Oil a part of their lives, and how deliciously easy it is to make it part of yours.

I decided to make the herbed mashed potato recipe that I received (to see the other recipes, visit this link), because I really love mashed potatoes.  And the mashed potatoes were a big hit! I really liked the idea of using olive oil in them in place of butter or margarine, and the herbs were another great touch.  The mashed potatoes were the first thing to disappear from our Christmas dinner table, so apparently the entire family agreed with me that they were really yummy! Overall, I really like the Carapelli olive oil that I received to review and I will definitely continue cooking with it in the future.

Here's the recipe that I made for Christmas dinner (although I did not use the heavy cream, since we don't eat much dairy).  The herbs and olive oil really are a nice touch to a classic side dish!

Olive Oil & Herb Mashed Potatoes
Serving Size: 12
Categories: Side Dish

1/2 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup Tuscan herb paste (see recipe below)
8 fluid ounces heavy cream, warmed
3/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water. When cooked tender, mash potatoes.
  2. Mix salt and pepper with Tuscan herb paste, Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and warm heavy cream. Fold into potatoes.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 69 Calories; 7g Fat (94.2% calories from fat); trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 27mg Cholesterol; 712mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat.
Tuscan Herb Paste
¾ cup Carapelli Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil
1 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh basil
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh rosemary
½ packed cup fresh Italian parsley
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh thyme
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh sage
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  1. Blend herbs and crushed red pepper with Carapelli Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil using a blender or food processor.
  2. Stir in Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Disclosure: I received some samples of Carapelli Olive Oil to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.