CategoriesAppetizers Sides

Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The cinnamon pear balsamic roasted sweet potatoes have a unique depth of flavor. You may make these with the potato skins peeled or unpeeled. If you decide to go the unpeeled route, we recommend using new sweet potatoes. Enjoy as part of the meal or as a snack!

What you’ll need:

4 Medium Sweet Potatoes, cut into wedges, peeled or unpeeled

1/3 Cup Cinnamon Pear Balsamic

2 Tablespoons Butter Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Here’s how:

Heat oven to 400° F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a large sheet pan. Whisk together the Cinnamon Pear Balsamic and Butter Olive Oil until emulsified. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the olive oil and balsamic mixture until the potatoes are well coated. Arrange the potatoes on the parchment paper-lined pan in a single layer. If the sweet potato wedges are unpeeled, lay the potatoes with the unpeeled side down. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 45 – 50 minutes until tender and the balsamic glaze has caramelized.


CategoriesSides Vegetables

Roasted Spring Vegetable Medley

A seasonal vegetable medley that uses all fresh vegetables. Fresh sugar snap peas and peas are easier to find during the spring time. Feel free to make this medley with other kinds of spring vegetables that are in season.

What you’lll need:

16 oz Fresh Sugar Snap Peas

12 oz Fresh Peas

Small Head of Cauliflower

Medium Red Onion

Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Medium or Robust Intensity

Traditional Dark Balsamic (Optional)

Garlic Powder

Sea Salt


Red Chili Flakes (Optional)

Parchment Paper (This is to keep the vegetables from sticking to the baking sheet.)

Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut and core the cauliflower into florets and thinly slice the florets. Cut the red onion in half and cut the halves into thin slices. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Spread the snap peas, fresh peas, sliced cauliflower and onions on the baking sheet with the parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and mix it. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili flakes according to your taste. Then mix the vegetables again, making sure to spread it evenly. Add more seasoning if needed. Get a sheet of aluminum foil and just lay it lightly over the vegetables (no need to tuck it). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When serving the vegetables drizzle with the Traditional Balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

CategoriesSides Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary Olive Oil

This is an easy peasy recipe. Not much to it. I chose a variety of root vegetables mainly for the beautiful color combination and taste. I’ve included sweet and purple potatoes, celeriac, rutabaga, and turnips.  You may choose any type of root vegetables. Yukon gold or red potatoes could be another option as well as carrots or parsnips. We tried those too and it’s equally delicious. Drizzle on the rosemary olive oil and you got yourself a yummy side dish.

What you’ll need:

1 Celeriac

1 Rutabaga

2 Medium Turnips

2 Purple Potatoes

3 Sweet Potatoes

1 small onion

4 Tablespoons Rosemary Olive Oil + more for drizzling

Sea salt


Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 400°. Peel and chop root vegetables into small cubes. Dice the onion and place everything on a large baking sheet. Drizzle on the rosemary olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Mix so that olive oil covers all the vegetables, and spread  evenly on baking sheet. Place aluminum foil over the vegetables. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, half way through turn over vegetables and continue to bake without the aluminum foil. Root vegetables are done when slightly golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and drizzle with more rosemary olive oil before serving.

CategoriesMain Dish Sides Vegetables

Harvest Bowl

We’re calling this the Harvest Bowl. It includes the wonderful abundance available in the fall such as winter squash, brussel sprouts, dried cranberries, and pumpkins seeds. We used acorn squash in this recipe but any winter squash may be used. We roasted the squash and brussel sprouts in butternut squash seed oil and finished the dish with it, along with the Neapolitan herb dark balsamic vinegar. It makes a great side dish or a main meal.

What you’ll need:

2 cups Brown Rice, cooked

2 cups Quinoa, cooked

2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, cut in half

1 Acorn Squash, cut and cleaned with skin

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries + 2 tablespoons for sprinkling

2 tablespoons Butternut Squash Seed Oil + more for drizzling

Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling

Sea salt

Here’s how: 

Preheat oven to 400°. On a large baking sheet, add brussels sprouts on one side of the sheet and the squash on the other side. Add butternut squash seed oil and sea salt and then mix until well coated. Roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together brown rice, quinoa, brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries. Add salt to taste. Lay the roasted squash around and on top of the mixture. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Drizzle with butternut squash seed oil or roasted pumpkin seed oil and Neaopolitan herb balsamic.


Pineapple Coconut Couscous

We tried something completely new with couscous by giving it a taste of the tropics. Coconut white balsamic is added to the water so that the coconut flavor is absorbed into the couscous, and mixed in sweet tangy pineapple bits. This side dish pairs well with spicy grilled kebabs or any other dish with heat.

What you’ll need:

1 cup couscous

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup Coconut balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Here’s how:

Pour water and coconut balsamic vinegar into small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat. Add the couscous and stir so that couscous is moistened. Cover the pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that the water can absorb the couscous. Gently fluff the couscous with a fork. Squeeze out the juice of the pineapple bits and mix it into the coucous. Garnish with cilantro.


Wild Mushroom Sage Stuffing

If I had to choose a Thanksgiving dinner side dish that I cannot do without, it would have to be the stuffing. Thanksgiving just would not be the same without it. Our Wild Mushroom Sage extra virgin olive oil is the star of this stuffing. No sage is needed because the sage flavor from the olive oil really shines through.

What you’ll need:

1 loaf of herb bread, a day old

1 pound mushrooms (Shitake, Cremini, Button)

3 celery stalks

1 small onion

1/3 cup So Olive Wild Mushroom Sage Olive Oil

1/2 cup pecan pieces

3 cups vegetable stock + more to add

Sea salt

Parsley for garnish

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut loaf of bread into small medium cubes and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for about 10 minutes.

Finely chop celery stalk and onions. Then roughly chop the mushrooms. Heat olive olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add mushrooms and allow to cook until tender. Add onions and celery and cook until softened. Add pecans and vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil. Add toasted bread cubes and fold gently until stock is evenly distributed throughout. Add more stock if needed. Season with sea salt. Transfer stuffing to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish, greased preferably with the wild mushroom sage olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake until the top is golden brown for about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on parsley as a garnish.

CategoriesSides Vegetables

Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I have Ina Garten to thank for roasted brussel sprouts. Growing up, I could not stand them because they were cooked into mush and very bitter. Sorry, Mom. So years back, while watching Barefoot Contessa, Ina pulled out the brussel sprouts. Oh no, not the brussel sprouts, I thought, but because it was Ina I continued to watch. How she prepared them was so different, it was an epiphany. Wow, I can roast them! Why did I not think of that? So I gave it a try, and it has been a staple side dish ever since. Overtime, I’ve seasoned them in different ways and these brussel sprouts are given a delicious lemon flavor.

What you’ll need:

3 pounds fresh brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons So Olive Lemon Olive Oil + 1 tbsp for drizzling when serving

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh gound pepper

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off brown ends of brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Lay the brussel sprouts on the baking sheet. Drizzle the first two tablepoons of the lemon olive oil over them and sprinkle on the lemon sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix them together and then spread evenly on sheet. Roast in oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Pour in serving bowl and drizzle on the remaing olive oil. Best served while still hot. Feel free to drizzle them with a nice dark balsamic vinegar.


Roasted Squash with Balsamic Reduction

One thing I love about winter squash is how versatile it is; from soups to desserts, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes just keeping it simple is the way to go and this recipe is all about that. Just cut up the squash into even sized wedges. No need to peel. Then place it on the pan with a drizzle of olive oil and pop it in the oven to roast.  Balsamic reduction and toasted pecans give it a more fancy touch, which is especially great for the holiday season.

What you’ll need:

Winter Squash (I used Carnival Acorn, Delicata, and Kabocha)

3 tablespoons Varietal Olive Oil such as Picual or Coratina (high intensity)

2 teaspoons sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup pecan pieces

Balsamic Reduction

1 cup So Olive Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in wedge like pieces. Lay on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pan in oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until squash is tender.

Balsamic Reduction

Pour balsamic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow balsamic to come to a gentle boil until it is reduced by half. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat so it can cool, making sure that it does not become to thick to drizzle.

Lightly toast pecans in a toaster oven or in a pan.

When squash is done roasting, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the squash, and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

CategoriesMain Dish Sides

Tuscan Bean Bake

As the weather cools, one pot meals are the way to go because you can easily just add all the ingredients together at once and just let it cook. This Tuscan Bean Bake recipe is just one of those dishes. It can be made as a side dish or as the main meal with a nice warm loaf of crusty bread. This recipe also calls for a dutch oven, but if you don’t have one, a large baking dish is fine too. You’ll just need to use aluminum foil to cover the beans. I believe that dutch ovens make the food taste better so it’s well worth the investment. The cheese is entirely optional and bread crumbs mixed with olive oil may be substituted as a topping.

What you’ll need: 

1 pound bag of cannellini beans

3 leeks

5 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons So Olive Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons thyme, dried

1 tablespoon oregano, dried

4 cups vegetable broth

Sea salt to taste

1 cup mozzarella, shredded (optional)

1/4 cup parmesan (optional)

Here’s how:

Soak beans for at least 4 hours or overnight in a large bowl of cold water. After beans have soaked, drain the water.

Preheat oven to 225°F. Trim the the dark green tops of the leeks and discard.  Cut leeks in half and rinse out any dirt between the white layers of the leeks. Then thinly slice the leeks. Mince the garlic. I use a garlic press. In a dutch oven, sauté the leeks and garlic until leeks are softened. Then add the soaked beans, thyme, oregano, vegetable broth, and sea salt. Place lid on dutch oven and place on third lower rack of oven. Bake for 3.5 hours. In between check on the beans to see how much water has absorbed. Add a 1/2 cup of water if needed. Once the beans have cooked through and water has absorbed take beans out of the oven.

In the mean time, increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Add the cheese, then place the dutch oven without the lid back into the oven for about 15 minutes until cheese is slightly brown. Then take it out of the oven. It’s ready to eat. Goes great with a slice of crusty bread and a garden salad.


Oven Baked Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries

Growing up as an Airforce brat in Germany, I couldn’t get enough of pommes frites (french fries in German). ‘Til this day I eat my fries with mayonnaise, a popular condiment in Germany. Oh and the curry ketchup! Yum. I’m not exactly sure when sweet potato fries came on the scene but on my first taste, I was hooked. Now the ones I make are much healther since these are oven roasted with olive oil. Rosemary and potatoes are beautiful together, so why not sweet potatoes? Oh boy, the combination is delicious. This recipe calls for both rosemary olive oil and dried rosemary.

What you’ll need:

4-5 medium sweet potatoes, new

2 tablespoons So Olive Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

Sea salt to taste

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 425º. Cut sweet potatoes into even french fry shaped pieces. If you are using new sweet potatoes there is no need to peel the skin, but you’re more than welcome to peel them. It also depends on the sweet potato variety used. Toss the raw sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and pour rosemary olive oil over the potatoes. Season with garlic powder, sea salt, and dried rosemary. Mix so that the seasoning and oil are coated around the potatoes evenly. Arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. Place the sheet on the top rack of the oven for baking. After 20 minutes, pull baking sheet out and flip sweet potatoes on the other side. Bake for another 15 minutes until brown and crispy. You’ll notice that the smaller pieces will turn dark brown, do not worry, it’s just caramelization of the natural sugars found in the sweet potatoes. Enjoy with mayo or ketchup!