Author Archives: PineTopOlive

Olive, Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Olive, Tomato & Basil Focaccia


Makes 2 Focaccias

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (about 90°F)
1 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons Pinetop/Gilbert olive oil
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup chopped tomatoes
coarse salt
coarse ground black pepper
sprigs of basil leaves


Whisk 1/2 cup water and the yeast together in the bowl of a mixer. Set aside for 5 minutes until yeast dissolves and turns creamy.
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into a large measuring cup, add olive oil, and whisk to blend; set aside.
Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Pour water-oil mixture over the yeast and whisk to blend.
Add half the flour, and stir with a rubber spatula to mix. Attach dough hook, add remaining flour, and mix on low for 3 minutes or until dough starts to come together. Increase mixer to medium-high and continue to mix for 10 minutes, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as needed, until extremely elastic dough cleans sides of bowl. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a ball.
Place in an oiled bowl, turn it to cover with oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Fold dough over on itself to deflate and turn it out onto a work surface. Using a metal dough scraper or a knife, cut dough into 2 equal pieces.
Position oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and dust with cornmeal; set baking sheets aside.

Press down gently on each piece of dough, causing bubbles to appear on the sides, then slit the bubbles with a single-edge razor to release the gases. Gently pull and stretch each piece of dough into a 10 inch square. Let the dough relax, covered, for 10 minutes.

Transfer focaccias onto the baking sheets. Brush focaccias with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and top with chopped olives and tomatoes. Put them into heated oven. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden with a heavy speckling of small surface bubbles, spraying the oven with water three times during the first 8 minutes of baking.

Once you remove the focaccias from the oven, brush them with a little additional olive oil, top with basil leaves and transfer them to a rack to cool before serving.

Mini Strawberry Mascarpone Tarts with Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberry We're in love

1 – 13.8 oz. Refrigerated Pizza Crust
1/2 C. sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
1-8 oz. container “tiramisu” flavored mascarpone cheese (you can use plain if tiramisu flavor is unavailable)
Pinetop/Gilbert’s Traditional Balsamic Vinegar “Mamma” Balsamic Vinegar or Strawberry Balsamic
To Purchase the Balsamics -CLICK HERE!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Adding 1/4 cup of the sugar to the dough and roll out onto surface into a flat disk about 1/2″ thick. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar evenly over the top of the dough and press it a few times to adhere.
Roll the dough to a 1/8″ thickness, turning and flipping to incorporate sugar and to keep it from sticking to surface.

With a 3″ round cutter, cut out 12 dough rounds and arrange them on the lined baking sheet.
Bake until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan.

Put diced strawberries in a small bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and let stand until juicy, about 15 minutes.

To assemble the tarts, spread about 2 teaspoons mascarpone on each crisp dough round.
Using a spoon to drain liquid, put approximately 1 tablespoon of diced strawberries on top of each “frosted” crisp.
Drizzle a little Balsamic over the strawberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Any leftover strawberries and balsamic are great to put over ice cream!

Adapted from a Food Network Recipe by Claire Robinson, 2009

Crispy Kale Chips

Crispy Kale Chips


  • 1 large bunch of kale (we like the curly kind)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Wash kale, remove the inner rib or stem, and tear into chip-size pieces. Make the pieces a little larger than you want the chips because they will shrink.
    The kale must be thoroughly dried. I ran it through a salad spinner, lay it out on paper towels for 5 minutes, and then run it through the spinner once more.
  • Put the kale pieces in a gallon plastic baggie and add the olive oil. “Massage” the kale to ensure that each piece has a coating of oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or you can place them right on the sheet). You may need to use more than one sheet or bake in batches.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt. Use a bit less than you think you need because the kale shrinks and the salt intensifies.
    Bake for about 20 minutes, until the kale is crisp and slightly browned.

Easy Crock Pot 3-Ingredient Balsamic Chicken


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
1/2 cup Pinetop/Gilbert Traditional Balsamic Vinegar “Mamma”


Add chicken breasts to the slow cooker, pour salsa and balsamic on top.
Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 6 hours.

We like ours shredded with a little bbq sauce and some coleslaw.
You can also serve over a bed of pasta, rice, or shred and eat on buns or make as tacos/burritos.

Cherry Balsamic Fruitcake Cookies Recipe


-3 cups chopped pecans
-1 (8-ounce) package chopped dates
-1 (8-ounce) package candied pineapple, chopped
-1 (4-ounce) package candied red cherries, chopped
-1 (4-ounce) package candied green cherries, chopped
-2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
-1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
-1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons buttermilk
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-2 tablespoons Pinetop/Gilbert Cherry Balsamic


Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add 1 cup flour, stirring to coat well. Set aside.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, beating until well blended.

Dissolve soda in buttermilk. Combine remaining flour, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture and cherry balsamic, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in fruit mixture.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets, and cool on wire racks.

Recipe Adapted from Sonoma Farm

Chocolate Olive Oil Crinkle Cookies

Just in time for Christmas..

Makes 1 dozen cookies.

What you’ll need:
6 Tbsps of cocoa powder
4 Tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar for decoration

The procedure:
Whisk together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Whisk together the olive oil, sugar and instant espresso powder until well combined. Beat the egg with the vanilla extract lightly and add it to the olive oil mixture.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Place dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up; this makes rolling the cookie dough into balls easier.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place confectioner’s sugar in a shallow bowl.

Roll dough into balls (about a tablespoon amount per ball); then roll each ball in the confectioner’s sugar, making sure all parts of the ball are covered. Place dough on the cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Use hands to lightly press down on the balls to flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. Cookies will crack open while baking and when done will still look a bit shiny in the cracks. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for 5 minutes to firm up slightly before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep at room temperature in a airtight container for a few days; after that, feel free to place in the fridge (if they last that long).

Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Homemade Hot Pork Tenderloin


1 cup Apricot Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1.25 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat & silverskin


1. Take the pork out of the fridge. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice & herbes de provence in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and keep it at a hearty simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. You can pour some of the glaze into a small bowl for serving.

3. Place the pork on a parchment lined baking sheet and season all over with salt and pepper. Brush generously on all sides with the glaze and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the pork registers 140-145 on a meat thermometer. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional glaze.

This recipe makes extra glaze, enough to use on two tenderloins.

Adapted from

Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread

Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread

3½ cups all purpose flour
1 packet dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
1¼ cups warm water
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped, divided
3 tablespoons Pinetop/Gilbert Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling *
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided

You will also need:
Parchment paper
Paper towels
Crock Pot

* For extra Rosemary flavoring, use Pinetop/Gilbert Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil instead of Pinetop/Gilbert Olive Oil

1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes. The mixture should become bubbly.

2. Stir in half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon), half of the rosemary (2 tablespoons), the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and all of the flour. Mix until fully combined. Work it together with your hands, if necessary.

3. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in. Cover it with a towel and leave the dough in a warm, draft-free area. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently roll it into a ball on a floured surface. Let it sit for another 20 minutes.

5. Set the crock pot to high. Line the crock pot with two pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches hanging out of each side of the crock pot. Place the dough in the crock pot and sprinkle it with the remaining salt and rosemary.

6. Drape paper towels over the top of the crock pot and then place the lid on. This should capture any moisture that would sit on the lid and prevent it from dripping back onto your bread.

7. Cook the bread for 2 hours, and remove from the crock pot. It will most likely still be a bit pale on the outside. It tastes great this way, but you can put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put it under the broiler for a quick 3 – 5 minutes to get a crunchier, darker crust.

Let cool before slicing. Serve with extra olive oil drizzled on top.

To line the crock pot with parchment paper, tear off a long piece and place it in the crock pot in a U-shape, and then take another piece and do the same perpendicular to the first piece, so four sides come to the top of the crock pot in different directions and the majority of the inside of the pot is covered with parchment paper.

Summertime Sparkling Peach Punch

3 cans Pineapple Juice (6 oz each)
2 cans of Ginger Ale
1 cup Lime Juice
1 can of Lemon-Lime Seltzer
1/2 cup of Our Wonderful White Peach Balsamic Vinegar
Mint Leaves
Peach slices, Blueberries, or your favorite fruit!

Mix all ingredients and chill in refrigerator. Serve with ice.

Garnish with fresh peach slices, blueberries, and mint leaves. Add in Prosecco or Vodka for a fancy, summer cocktail!

Grilled Asparagus & Red Onions with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar


40 min


4 servings


2 purple onion (medium, peeled)
11/2 lbs asparagus (about 24 medium stalks, ends trimmed)
4 tbsps Pinetop/Gilbert’s House Blend Olive Oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper (Fresh Preferred)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Pinetop/Gilbert’s Traditional Balsamic Vinegar “Mamma”


Preheat the grill to high.
Prepare the red onions: Cut onions in half from root to tip, then cut the halves into ½-inch slices. Pull the slices apart and place them into a disposable grill pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Prepare the asparagus: Place the spears in a baking dish and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Place the pan of onions on the grill, along with the asparagus spears (be sure to place spears perpendicular to grates so they don’t fall through). Set the asparagus dish next to the grill (do not clean). Cover and cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Open the cover and, using tongs, turn the asparagus. Cover and cook 1 -2 minutes more, until the asparagus spears are nicely browned and tender-crisp. Remove the asparagus from the grill and place back in the baking dish. Stir the onions, cover, and continue cooking for about 15 – 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until tender and caramelized. In the meantime, transfer the asparagus spears to a cutting board and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place back in the baking dish and toss with finished grilled onions. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary (I usually add a good ¼ teaspoon more salt). Transfer to serving platter and serve hot or room temperature.

Note: Make your own disposable grill pan. Shape two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil over a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Remove foil from pan.

Recipe adapted from