Health & Gastronomy 02/05/2011

Oil and good food

At ”Olio Capitale” in Trieste, Italy, the first event of the project “Olio Officina”. Oil used to cook cannot be randomly chosen. The first class, with recipe, by cooking master Giuseppe Capano

Giuseppe Capano

At the end of March I took part in the debate “Olio Officina, laboratory of ideas. Focus on oil-food matches”, on of the several meetings that Teatro Naturale organized at “Olio Capitale” (, the even which has been hosted in Trieste for five years. Other guests of the meeting were the creator of “Olio Officina” (, Luigi Caricato (, and chef Emilio Cuk, coordinator of Olio Capitale cooking school.

My opinion is that this is an extremely interesting fair for all lovers of extra virgin olive oil who had the chance, thanks to this exhibition, to meet producers and taste their specialties, enjoy their high quality standards, and produce and receive culture of good food, in the cooking school which was arranged for the occasion.

I found surprising oils in the stands of the exposition, for their huge and positive aromatic quality, and my friend Luigi Caricato taught me about their geographic characteristics, variety and olive quality. He literally demolished my wrong beliefs on the territorial imprinting, by explaining me that olive oils possess a precise physiognomy independently of weather conditions where olives grow: a nice lesson, that I would like to tell in successive episodes, and which is pure energy for my creativeness.

Back to the theme of the debate, which outlined that there is still a long way to go, I would begin with a recipe from the book Friggere bene, written with oleologist Luigi Caricato and published by Tecniche Nuove. This recipe takes into account the synergies between diverse souls of extra virgin olive oils. It might seem a bit rash, but I verified it in practice, and I believe this to be a good way to undertake the task of combining oil and food, as this recipe uses three extra virgin oils, a light fruity, a medium fruity, and an intense fruity oil. Although three different oils are used, the common denominator is the olive.

Several objections may arise, beginning with the ability to afford three different types of extra virgin oils. It all depends on how much you love yourself, in my opinion. For once, renounce to three rare wines, and use that money for oil: it will last for much longer than three nights, and your health will definitely benefit from it.


Ingredients per 4 persons

½ spoon of chopped parsley
100 g of yogurt
1 spoon of pickled capers
½ lemon
4 large slices of homemade bread
1 small garlic clove
1 small shallot nosegay
200 g of cherry tomatoes or ripe pachino tomatoes
4 small zucchinis
corn flour to frie

Preparation instructions
Prepare parsley, wash and dry capers with great care, chop them and blend them with yogurt, one spoon of an intense fruity extra virgin olive oil, few drops of lemon juice and parsley, until a fine and fluid sauce is obtained. Keep the sauce refrigerated.
Toast bread slices on a heated grill until golden brown on both sides, and rub garlic on them.
Wash and dry shallot, and cut it finely, wash tomatoes, dice them, and season them with salt, shallot, and a medium fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Wash and dry zucchinis, cut them in rounds, flour and fry them quickly in a well heated light fruity extra virgin olive oil, dry them with kitchen paper and salt them.
Put bread slices on a plate and cover them with shallot seasoned tomatoes and zucchini chips, dress them with yogurt sauce and serve.

by Giuseppe Capano