Cooking Olive Oil  | Food  | Vegetables

photo: jupiterimages.comOlive oil is the unique and necessary item of the Mediterranean cuisine, and also of course for Turkish cuisine, especially in the western coasts of Turkey.

The olive oil world is of a big veriety of kinds; but there are three main types of it. Virgin olive oil, refined olive oil, and pure olive oil. (Pure olive oil is also called as 'riviera'.

These three types also have some sub-types, like extra virgin, or ordinary virgin etc.

Virgin olive oil contains oleic acid of maximum 2%. (Extra virgin with max.1% of acid.) Refined olive oil is mostly for people who are not used to the strong aroma of olive oil and it's acid level is less than 0.3%. And pure olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined oils with acidity of 1.5%

If you're as addicted as me to the scent of virgin olive oil, you probably would want to use the extra virgin olive oil all the time. But what type is best for which meal?

Heavenly parfumed virgin olive oil is best for salads, and sauces to use raw. Riviera/Pure olive oil is mostly used with cooked dishes or cold mezes. And refined olive oil is best to use with frying.

Many people believe that you mustn't use olive oil for frying or you can't get perfect cakes with olive oil, however these are just wrong myths. As I mentioned the point is to choose the right type. Of course if you use a good quality extra virgin olive oil to fry your chips, this is just a waste! But you can have healthier fries with refined olive oil.

I use pure olive oil in any kind of dish I cook. Soups, pastas, most of the cakes and cookies and even pilafs. Some people don't like the strong taste, and aroma of virgin olive oil with cold mezes, but I love it. So with mezes, it's just up to your taste. And it's inevitable to use extra virgin olive oil with green salads!

Today I would like to share a recipe of summer traditions of Turkish cuisine:

Zeytinyagli Fasulye

'Zeytinyagi' means olive oil, and 'fasulye' means green beans. So we can name it 'Green beans with olive oil'. Dishes which are cooked with olive oil are basic items of meals for Istanbulin and west of Turkey families in summer.

This recipe is adopted from the book of a popular Turkish chef, Umit Usta.

zeytinyagli fasulye

Zeytinyagli Fasulye
serves 4-6


1 kg (2 lbs) green beans
2 onions
2 tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
2/3 or 1 cup pure olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup boiling water
a piece of parchment paper that can cover top of your sauce pan


1. Wash the beans, and peel off the strings of them. If they are too long, you can also cut them into two pieces.
2. Chop onions into thin crescents. Add olive oil and onions into a big sauce pan, and saute them for 5-8 minutes till they get transparent.
3. Add beans, and saute for 5 minutes, uncovered. Then cover the saucepan, and let the beans cook for 15 minutes more.
4. Dice tomatoes, chop garlic cloves coarsly, and add into the sauce pan. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Add sugar,salt and boiling water.
5. Place a piece of parchment paper in size of your saucepan between the pan and the lid. This will help it cook in a shorter time, and more keep the color freshly greener. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or till you feel it's done. Serve warm or cold.

Hint: Green beans with olive oil pairs well with rice pilaf.

Another Hint! : I've been trying to cook healthier dishes. Due to this I've started using just two or three tablespoons of olive oil for my dishes. And I tell you my friends, the taste doesn't change much. So you can cook this dish with just two-three tbs of oil instead of one cup!

note: the olive oil bottle photograph is from

  Etiketler:  olive oil |  Turkish cuisine
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Your comments

Simply Life   27.November.2010   01:20
oh this dish looks delicious!
Banu Bingor   28.November.2010   18:45
Hello SL :)

We finally published your comment lol

Thank you for your visit dear :)

Cheers from Istanbul!
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Banu Bingor
So Cocoa!
Fatma ~ Welcome and thank you :) You can never be sure about the taste till you give a try yourself :) »»
So Cocoa!
a very beautiful image I was very curious about the taste of »»
Banu Bingör
Hello World!
Jenn ~ Thank you my dear! I'll soon be posting about all those details :) »»
Hello World!
This is great! Everything looks so wonderful! »»
Banu Bingor
So Cocoa!
Hello Kelly! Wow it's so exciting to recieve a commen after months! Even I haven't written smth new yet! :)) Thank you so much. This comment of yours gonna be a great courage to me! Please stay  »»
So Cocoa!
Wow what a great recipe, this looks fantastic! Such a cute blog you have, so glad to be your newest follower! xoxo »»


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