10 No-Fry Ways to Use Olive Oil

Delicious Ways to Add Olive Oil to the Menu for Hanukkah and Beyond

Feta with Olive Oil, Herbs, and Olives
Feta with Olive Oil, Herbs, and Olives. Credit: Andrew Rowat / Getty Images

Olive oil is central to the miracle celebrated on Hanukkah, so fried fare like latkes and sufganiot are traditionally served during the holiday. Ironically, they are rarely cooked in olive oil. If you want to spare yourself the work of short-order cooking, or just want to reclaim that olive oil connection, here are some great ways to enjoy that liquid gold -- no frying required!

  • 01 of 10

    Infused Olive Oil

    Infused Olive Oils
    Infused Olive Oils. Credit: William Reavell /Getty Images

    Infusing olive oil with herbs, spices, or citrus is a wonderful way to add new layers of flavor to the kitchen staple. Use infused oils for dipping bread, drizzling over grilled fish or vegetables, in vinaigrettes, or even in baking. Decanted into decorative bottles, infused oils also make great DIY gifts. Just note that it is NOT safe to make garlic oil at home, due to the risk of botulism. Stick to reliable recipes, such as these:

  • 02 of 10

    Zaatar Challah Croutons

    Zaatar Challah Croutons. © Miri Rotkovitz

    There's little simpler than fixing a quick batch of Zaatar Challah Croutons -- just toss cubes of leftover challah in extra virgin olive oil and zaatar, spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 Fahrenheit until toasty. Float them on a bowl of tomato soup (finished with an extra drizzle of olive oil, of course!) or add them to salad. They're also pretty delicious for snacking out of hand, warm from the oven, so they tend to disappear while cooling. (If you've got recipe plans for...MORE them and a highly trafficked kitchen, it a good idea to make extra!)

  • 03 of 10

    Cheese and Olive Oil

    Feta with Olive Oil, Herbs, and Olives
    Feta with Olive Oil, Herbs, and Olives. Credit: Andrew Rowat / Getty Images

    Lots of cheeses have an affinity for olive oil; feta and goat cheese are particularly good, and need little more than a generous drizzle of oil, some fresh herbs, and maybe a handful of olives.

  • 04 of 10
    Tortas Acietes
    Spanish Olive Oil Cakes. By Dodo (Own work) [ GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    An Andalucian classic, Tortas de Aceite, or Spanish Oil Cakes, are simple yeasted cracker-like flatbreads that can be served with sweet or savory toppings. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Spinach, Feta, and Mushroom Pie
    Spinach, Feta, and Mushroom Pie. © Miri Rotkovitz

    Inspired by the Greek spinach and feta pie known as Spanakopita, this savory Spinach, Feta, & Mushroom Pie features an easy-to-make olive oil crust instead of phyllo layers. Sheeps' milk feta adds a pleasant tang to the creamy quiche-like filling, but you can use cow's milk feta if you can't find it. 

  • 06 of 10

    Olive Oil and Ice Cream

    Vanilla Bean Gelato with Sea Salt and Olive Oil
    Vanilla Bean Gelato with Sea Salt and Olive Oil. Credit: Ryan Benyi Photography / Getty Images

    It may sound odd, but olive oil adds intriguing flavor to frozen desserts, like this Lemon Sorbet With Olive Oil. You can also try drizzling a fruity extra virgin olive oil over high quality vanilla gelato or premium chocolate ice cream. Top with a pinch of flaky sea salt. 

  • 07 of 10

    Olive Oil Cake

    Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries.
    Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries. Joe Vaughn - Getty Images

    Olive oil can work beautifully in baking, and it's especially nice in recipe that capitalize on its inherent flavor profile, as in the citrus-enhanced cakes below.

  • 08 of 10
    Roasted Vegetables on a platter
    A variety of roasted vegetables on a serving platter. Credit: Kevin Summers / Getty Images

    Roasting is one of the easiest ways to bring out big flavor in all sorts of vegetables. The only limit is your imagination, and you don't need anything more than veggies, olive oil, and maybe a little salt and pepper.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Baked Olive Oil Doughnuts
    Baked Olive Oil Doughnuts. Miri Rotkovitz

     If you don't fancy frying sufganiot, but you do like the idea serving doughnuts for Hanukkah, these baked doughnuts are a great option. They're quicker and simpler to make, and thanks to the addition of olive oil in both the batter and the topping, they still resonate as a dessert worthy of the Festival of Lights. 

  • 10 of 10
    Olive Oil Lemon Curd
    Olive Oil Lemon Curd. Miri Rotkovitz

    Tart and silky, this dairy-free lemon curd works with everything from scones and berries to cakes or crepes. (It would also be delicious piped into sufganiot, if you're inclined to do some frying after all!) The  recipe plays up the natural affinity between citrus and extra virgin olive oil -- there's just enough oil to smooth the sharp tang of the lemon, but it's definitely the bright, sweet citrus flavor that predominates.