Olive oil is central to the miracle celebrated on Hanukkah, so fried fare like latkes and sufganiot are traditionally served during the holiday. Ironically, they are rarely cooked in olive oil. If you want to spare yourself the work of short-order cooking, or just want to reclaim that olive oil connection, here are some great ways to enjoy that liquid gold -- no frying required!
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Infused Olive Oil
Infusing olive oil with herbs, spices, or citrus is a wonderful way to add new layers of flavor to the kitchen staple. Use infused oils for dipping bread, drizzling over grilled fish or vegetables, in vinaigrettes, or even in baking. Decanted into decorative bottles, infused oils also make great DIY gifts. Just note that it is NOT safe to make garlic oil at home, due to the risk of botulism. Stick to reliable recipes, such as these:
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Zaatar Challah Croutons
There's little simpler than fixing a quick batch of Zaatar Challah Croutons -- just toss cubes of leftover challah in extra virgin olive oil and zaatar, spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 Fahrenheit until toasty. Float them on a bowl of tomato soup (finished with an extra drizzle of olive oil, of course!) or add them to salad. They're also pretty delicious for snacking out of hand, warm from the oven, so they tend to disappear while cooling. (If you've got recipe plans for them and a highly trafficked kitchen, it a good idea to make extra!)
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An Andalucian classic, Tortas de Aceite, or Spanish Oil Cakes, are simple yeasted cracker-like flatbreads that can be served with sweet or savory toppings.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Inspired by the Greek spinach and feta pie known as Spanakopita, this savory Spinach, Feta, & Mushroom Pie features an easy-to-make olive oil crust instead of phyllo layers. Sheeps' milk feta adds a pleasant tang to the creamy quiche-like filling, but you can use cow's milk feta if you can't find it.
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Olive Oil and Ice Cream
It may sound odd, but olive oil adds intriguing flavor to frozen desserts, like this Lemon Sorbet With Olive Oil. You can also try drizzling a fruity extra virgin olive oil over high quality vanilla gelato or premium chocolate ice cream. Top with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
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Roasting is one of the easiest ways to bring out big flavor in all sorts of vegetables. The only limit is your imagination, and you don't need anything more than veggies, olive oil, and maybe a little salt and pepper.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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If you don't fancy frying sufganiot, but you do like the idea serving doughnuts for Hanukkah, these baked doughnuts are a great option. They're quicker and simpler to make, and thanks to the addition of olive oil in both the batter and the topping, they still resonate as a dessert worthy of the Festival of Lights.
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Tart and silky, this dairy-free lemon curd works with everything from scones and berries to cakes or crepes. (It would also be delicious piped into sufganiot, if you're inclined to do some frying after all!) The recipe plays up the natural affinity between citrus and extra virgin olive oil -- there's just enough oil to smooth the sharp tang of the lemon, but it's definitely the bright, sweet citrus flavor that predominates.