• Simple Delicious – 3 Keys

    by  • February 1, 2010 • Community Sherpa, Food, Freelance Writing Samples

    Good olive oil makes all the difference!

    Good olive oil makes all the difference!

    The goal of Simple Delicious is, well, simple:  To help you impress your friends and family.  Not everyone cooks, or likes to cook, but I do, and I’ve learned some very simple things over the years that can make cooking not just a pleasure, but a great way to blow people away.

    So today, I’m going to start with one sure fire way to make anything (okay, almost anything) taste great.  This works very well for vegetables and meats.  And it only takes three things:

    1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the good kind)
    2. Kosher Salt
    3. Cracked Black Pepper

    Why olive oil?  Why extra virgin?  Just plain vegetable oil, canola oil, etc. simply won’t do.  If you don’t believe me, stick your finger in some and taste the difference yourself.  Olive oil has a distinctive and wonderful taste.  Extra virgin simply means it comes from the first pressing of the olives.

    Why kosher salt?  Kosher salt has larger grains than normal refined table salt.  It doesn’t melt or wash away as quickly as table salt.

    And cracked black pepper, especially when its fresh, has a strong scent and a bit of a kick.

    Now… here’s how to take advantage of these three key ingredients.

    Take a glass baking dish.  Fill it, one level deep, with your favorite vegetable.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top; don’t be shy!  Sprinkle the kosher salt and cracked black pepper over the top.  Stir it up a bit and then stick it into a 400 degree oven.  Stir it up again every five minutes or so, and start checking it after ten minutes.  Take a piece out of the dish (careful, its hot!) and try it.  You’ll know when its ready.  After taking it out of the oven, try sprinkling it with fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Your dinner guests will love it.

    I use this recipe with broccoli, green beans, onions, carrots, zucchini and squash.  It also works really well on chicken, fish and scallops.

    I hope you can make use of this… please leave a comment if you’ve got other great cooking tips or ideas to share!


    Michael has been writing professionally for print, television and the internet for thirty years. As a Senior Producer at CNN International, he examined the future of technology with dozens of brilliant scientists, philosophers and entrepreneurs on the acclaimed series Future Summit. Before that, in the CNN International newsroom, he helped lead the production of award winning coverage of news like the 9/11 attacks, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the devastating 2004 tsunami in Asia. As a director, he has created a dozen short films in the last seven years. He lives with his wife, dog, four cats and two horses in the suburbs of Atlanta.