Olive oil for salad dressings

alicia7bJanuary 21, 2008

What brand of olive oil do you use for salad dressings? Is it possible to get a suitable brand in the grocery store?

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I currently have a bottle of Bertolli's Extra virgin....cheap but pretty good.
Buy extra virgin....and stay away from Progresso.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Quite a few years ago, we got hooked on Morea Olive Oil, which was sold in W-S at the time (I think back then, we used it for some things, and a lighter, California EVOO for others). Then W-S stopped selling it, but another store did for a time, and then we couldn't get it locally at all. I then started ordering it online, and found the tins to be so much more economical. Now the tins aren't being made/sold anymore. W-S had started selling it again in bottles a few years ago so this year it was back to W-S again.

It tastes yummy, but be warned--it's $22 a bottle.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Lucini is delicious...it comes in a slim five-sided bottle. I buy mine from either Safeway or Whole Foods. It's about $11-14 for about 20 ounces. I'm not sure if my local Giant carries it. The cheapest, best tasting olive oil is Whole Foods Italian extra virgin -it's about $6.50 for 32 oz - a deal.

Some "supermarket" olive oils are so nasty they can turn people off olive oil. Shame as it's a healthy oil (along with canola) that people should eat.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:29AM
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I'm with Lindac and use Bertolli's Extra virgin for cooking and salad dressing.

But it is fun to use some of the flavored oils in salad dressings. When I was in MI at Annies we had a road trip and visited the Olive Mill and I will link below. Since then I've found 2 similar stores in my area. You can taste the oil and then buy what you like and they bottle it up and cork it too. They also had a wonderful selection of balsamic vinegars.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Olive Mill

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Whole Food's 365 extra virgin olive oil is my choice when I can get there to get it. Also reviewed as a good buy for the money by The Splendid Table on NPR.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:31AM
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Bertolli's Extra virgin olive oil (in the glass bottle) for me too. I like to cook with it, use it as salad dressng and I like to add spices to it and dip my bread in it.

I've always heard, the greener the better. Is that right?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:10AM
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I always used Colavita, however, it is quite expensive. I just tried Shop Rite's brand as it was on sale and I am quite impressed (even suprised myself).

Bertolli's is also very good.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Thank you everybody. Hubby ordered an expensive extra virgin olive oil from a speciality store once -- it was delicious, but expensive. I know I can get Bertolli's Extra Virgin.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:22PM
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I use Bertolli and add a big splash of something fancy to perk up the taste. Right now, it's Frantoia -- suggested by Mustangs. I will also do the same thing with walnut oil, cutting it with something milder and using walnut vinegar.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:29PM
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I use Ybarra, Carbonell or whatever virgin extra is on special in a local supermarket.

Shaun the greenish colour of some oils is due either to the type of olive.....some which produce a greener tone than others or due to the olives being picked earlier in the year. Those tend to produce a greener, tangy oil since they're not as mature as olives picked later, which give a more golden oil with a sweeter flavour.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Sharon, so which is best for us? Greener or golden color olive oil?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 4:58PM
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I agree with what has been said already. I just saw Tyler do a repeat show in Italy and the oil was very green - first pressing for that specific olive. It looked very good (he was in Italy). I can attest to that oil as my husband brought me back some from Italy and nothing like what I get in my stores.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 5:46PM
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Shaun it's a matter of taste I guess....generally speaking the green has more of a tang and the gold is more mellow. If you see the type of olive mentioned on the bottle you could find on the web info about the flavour it produces.

There's lots of info on Spanish olive oil websites. Here are some links below.

In the PDF file below from the Borges oil website, it does state that some of the best olive oils come from the green, not fully mature olives. But it has a sharper flavour, whereas mature olives produce a mellow, gold oil.

I often buy oil made from Hojiblanca olives which is mellow and fragrant, as well that made from Piqual (sharper) and Arbequina. But I don't have any preference, as here it seems nearly all the extra virgin oils taste good to me LOL.

Another link: Spanish Olive Oils

About the flavour of different olives....and the uses of each type of olive oil. This page has a lot of useful info and tells which ones are best for preparing vinaigrettes, cooking etc.


Here is a link that might be useful: About Olive Oil (in English)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 6:17PM
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What's W-S?

I use the Whole Food's 365 oil, too. A fun thing they have now, at the WF's I shop at, is a sample bar where you can taste their various oils, including the olive oil. One of these days I'll re-visit that bar and report back.

I'll have to try Bertolli again. I'm getting low on olive oil, so maybe that's what I'll pick up next time. I should get some before I run out of the 365, and do a comparison.

Once I was looking for organic olive oil at Central Market, a gourmet supermarket we have here, owned by HEB. Anyway, an employed told us that all olive oil is organic, that they don't spray olive trees. I don't know if that's true, but it's worth finding out. I wish I could remember what he ended up selling us. I don't go there often because the layout of the store gives me claustrophobia. Too bad, cause it has an incredible selection.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:27PM
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Thanks Sharon!!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:32PM
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W-S = Williams-Sonoma.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:57PM
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We're partial toward Berio evoo for salad dressings and to sprinkle on soups, etc. at the table for an extra flavor. But we prefer to cook (saute) with Berio olive oil that is not ev. I once had some pretty good Greek evoo that was marketed at Whole Foods by the importer. Somebody told me a few years ago that Lebanese olive oil is very special, but it's very hard to get because of hostilities in the area. I've never had the chance to try it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Right after I hit the submit button, it dawned on me what W-S meant. Duh!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:38AM
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I use Tazah Brand, which is slightly more amber colored than green, and it has a very good taste. My brother bought a huge bottle (94 oz.) at the Lebanese market he passes on his way home from work. I asked him to pick some up on his way home, and I guess he bought such a huge bottle so that he would not have to buy another one any time soon. So now I have to use that for all my olive oil needs. It was $27 for 2.88 liters.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 2:31PM
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When I decided to junk all my oils (even my beloved Crisco) and switch to strictly olive oil because of it's health benefits I tried so many that I can't even remember half of them now. Some were expensive as you know what, others were cheap. A few were ordered from over seas because they weren't available in this country.
It was a very memorable event testing all those olive oils. I wouldn't just try one and then another the next day. I used the smallest bottle you can get in the grocery store and as I emptied it I would fill up with another brand and kept records. I did this for over a year so I know a little about the tastes from them.
First off I was very surprised at how many different tastes can come out of a simple "OLIVE"!!
Second, running a test like this with just one guy doing the tasting doesn't prove a whole lot except for the "1" person!
Anyway, out of all this I came to the conclusion as follows, please excuse the spelling on some:
There is a brand called "Bereio" that was to me so bad it was he only one that I just plain didn't want to finish the small bottle. If you were frying like chicken it just left an aftertaste, as oil for a salad just plain sucked!
A couple of the foreign brands that friends picked up overseas were pretty good for frying and great on salads, but prices ran from high to just plain forget it!!

Out of everything I found that Bertolli EV was the best for salads/frying/ everything, especially light things like seafood fish/scallops/shrimp it is also great for frying things like chicken or pan frying a steak/stir fry/anything.
Since you usually use a fair amount for chicken, etc, I stepped down to regular Bertolli and found it fried the heavier stuff like chicken/steak/chops better than the EV, for some reason, but "not" for the light stuff like seafood, I have absolutely no idea why.

The best prices (Bertolli) I've been able to get have been at SAM's. Don't buy more than you can use in a year and keep it in a "DARK" cool place, not in a fancy holder or on a counter where the sun will hit it, you'll be sorry!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 4:19PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I prefer Pompeian over Bertolli as it's a bit more flavorful to me. I buy it by the 1/2 gallon and go through it quickly.
But if I only used small amounts of olive oil, I might buy a boutique brand.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:19PM
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