The Spicy Olive Slow Cooker Beef, Barley & Squash Stew

The Spicy Olive’s Slow Cooker Beef, Barley and Squash Stew

3 tablespoons The Spicy Olive’s Organic Garlic olive oil, divided

1 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 3 pieces

sea salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

4 thyme sprigs

4 cups beef broth, divided

1/2 pound small potatoes, halved

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup pearl barley 

If your slow cooker has a stove top safe insert then heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, otherwise do in a medium skillet and transfer to slow cooker later. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown pieces in olive oil until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add remaining olive oil and garlic and saute until fragrant. Place insert into slow cooker or transfer to slow cooker and add thyme and 2 cups beef broth and scrap down sides and bottom of pan to release browned bits. Transfer this broth to slow cooker.  Add potatoes, squash and barley to slow cooker with 2 cups water and remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Cover and cook on high until meat is very tender and liquid mostly absorbed (about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.) Using 2 forks shred beef. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

 ** Would also be delicious with carrots or celery or other vegetables you might like to add.


Pecorino Pear and Arugula Salad

1 1/2 tbsp. The Spicy Olive Sherry Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. The Spicy Olive Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small french shallot, finely chopped
4 c. arugula leaves
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 ripe but firm pear, cored and sliced thin
1 c. parsley, chopped coarse
1 c. shaved Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese

Combine the vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk until salt has dissolved. Add the oil slowly to thicken the dressing, whisking constantly. Stir in the shallot.

Combine arugula, fennel, pear and parsley in a salad bowl and toss. Add dressing and toss again. Top with the shaved cheese and serve.

We chose our mild Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil to balance out the bite in our Sherry Balsamic Vinegar. If you would like to add more flavor to the dressing, perhaps try one of our more robust single-varietal EVOOs.

Asparagi Gratinati

2 bunches asparagus
1/4 lb. provolone cheese, sliced thin
3 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
Any of The Spicy Olive’s single varietal EVOOs

Preheat the broiler and bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, cook the asparagus for about 5 minutes, until they’ve just become bright green and are crisp-tender.

Drain and put in a baking dish. Arrange with the provolone over the stalks, below the heads. Scatter with parmesan and liberally drizzle with EVOO. Season with fresh ground black pepper.

Broil the dish until the cheese starts to melt.

Here, we’ve recommended any of our single varietal EVOOs…use your favorite! Many of our flavored EVOOs could be used as well: Garlic, Wild Mushroom & Sage, Cilantro & Roasted Onion… wonderful possibilities!

Garlic Chicory

1 large bunch chicory
3 tbsp. The Spicy Olive Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chili flakes

Bring 12-16 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add the greens with a thorough pinch of salt and boil for 4 minutes. Drain and squeeze to remove any excess water. Chop coarsely. The result should be 4 cups.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and chili and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicory and sauté for 3-4 minutes more.

To really bring out the fragrance and flavor, we have recommended our Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. However, if you’d like to spice this up, our Harissa or Chipotle EVOOs should do the trick!

Gratin Potatoes with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

4 large ripe tomatoes (peeled, halved and seeded)
2 lbs. waxy potatoes
2 tbsp. The Spicy Olive Cilantro & Roasted Onion Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 red onions, sliced thin
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 c The Spicy Olive Kalamata Olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 small lemon, sliced super thin
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Chop one of the tomatoes and slice the rest. Drop the potatoes into a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine 1.5 tbsp. of The Spicy Olive Cilantro & Roasted Onion Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the onions and thyme in a frying pan. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté over moderately high heat until the onions start to gain color. Arrange these ingredients in an oiled gratin dish. Then toss in the tomato, olives, garlic, half of the lemon and extra sprigs of thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with a drizzle of EVOO.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.

Bavette con asparagi e mollica

1 c. fluffy breadcrumbs
2 bunches asparagus
.75 lb. bavette (or any long pasta)
.33 c. The Spicy Olive Milanese Gremolata EVOO
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
.25 c flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed

To crisp the breadcrumbs, toss into a a dry frying pan on medium heat and stir until crisp and golden. Set aside.

Snap the bottoms off the asparagus and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook asparagus for about 3 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender.

Bring the water back to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, combine the oil, garlic and parley in a pan. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir frequently and add in the asparagus. Continue stirring until the asparagus pieces are well coated.

When the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan with the asparagus, garlic and parsley. Add the lemon juice and just enough water to moisten. Turn the heat up to high and toss the ingredients for another minute. Serve with breadcrumbs scattered on top.

Cheesy Tortelloni with Sauteed Vegetables

1 garlic clove chopped
3/4 lb.  cremini mushrooms, sliced thick
1 lb. mixed summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash), quartered
1/4 cup Wild Mushroom and Sage Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortelloni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp snipped chives

Bring a large pot of water to boil (drizzle a few drops of olive oil into it to keep pasta from sticking). Heat the Wild Mushroom and Sage Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a deep skillet. Sauté the vegetables and mushrooms over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Toss the pasta in with the mushrooms and vegetables, then sprinkle with chives and Parmesan.