What do you put into an EVOO lover’s Christmas stocking to make them go “Ooh, yum”? These beautiful little pearls of extra virgin olive oil from Montalbo of course!
This is probably the gift that caused the most interest as the family all gathered round to open their goodies. And of course, everyone wanted to have a taste!
Although I’ve heard of, and seen these on sale before, I confess I’ve never actually tried them and was rather unsure as to why you’d bother with pearls rather than just pouring some lovely liquid gold straight from the bottle. So, it was with some curiosity that I opened the lid and took a big sniff. Mmm, it smells of, well EVOO!
Being loathe to share the little beauties when I knew they wouldn’t necessarily be given the attention they deserved, I screwed the lid firmly back on to await a more suitable occasion. And that came soon enough when we decided on a simple January supper of penne with pesto. Made using a Picual extra virgin (because I noticed that the Montalbo pearls are made with oil from picual olives), fresh parmesan and some chopped and lightly sautéed organic tomatoes, the pearls formed a lovely garnish which at first just sat looking pretty. As I stirred mine in though, they started to soften and melt into the pasta.
Taking a mouthful which included some whole pearls was delicious – they explode in your mouth with a lovely light, peppery sensation that brings a smile to your face and an almost childlike pleasure.
They’ll be fabulous as a garnish on grilled fish, maybe fried halloumi or if you really want to get your friends talking, on top of a warmed chocolate sponge pudding?! Look out for the pearls in your local deli or they can be purchased via Amazon. And remember to send me a photo if you use them – especially with chocolate sponge!