Extra Versitile Olive Oil

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I love finding new uses for my glass jars and bottles! This bright green bottle used to contain extra virgin olive old from California Olive Ranch. As you know, I use olive oil pretty frequently when I cook, so I didn’t have to wait long to decorate my home with the bottle!

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One way to use this bottle was as a dish soap container. After thoroughly cleaning the bottle, pour in regular dish soap with a splash of water to make it less dense. Top the bottle with a pour spout that you can purchase for under $5.

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Another more obvious way to re-purpose this bottle is as a vase. I filled it with some fresh lavender from my yard and it really made my room look and smell like spring.

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Braised Fennel and Arugula

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Fennel is the most underrated vegetable. It tastes amazing raw and cooked, and does wonders for the digestion – or so every Italian will tell you.

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INGREDIENTS:

3 Fennel Bulbs

1 1/2 Cups of White Wine

2 Ounces of Olive Oil

2 Ounces of Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup of Sliced Cerignola Olives

3 Cups of Baby Arugula

Braising is a method of cooking that uses both wet and dry heat. Meaning that for this recipe, I pan sear the fennel to get a nice brown crust, and then simmer it in the white wine until it is soft and tender.

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To prepare the fennel, first cut off the top stalks. Slice the bulbs into about half-inch thick disks and discard the hard center parts. Break the disks apart into its natural segments.

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Over high heat, sautee fennel with a little bit of olive oil for about four minutes or until the edges are browned.

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While the fennel browns, prepare the liquids. Combine lemon juice, olive oil and white wine.

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I’m a firm believer in cooking with wine that you like to drink, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. I found this bottle of Pinot Grigio at my local market – it’s dry and crisp and was under $7.

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Also slice the olives in quarters and remove the pits.

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Add the liquid and olives to the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the fennel is tender.

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Immediately toss with 3 cups of baby arugula and serve – no need for dressing!

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I paired this wonderful salad with a panko-crusted halibut fillet. Please enjoy!

Also check out this Roasted Fennel and Citrus Salad- I can’t wait to try it out! : http://loveandcupcakesblog.com/2013/03/22/happy-friday-from-the-kitchen-roasted-fennel-citrus-salad/