Olive oil is the premium standard for top-quality and healthy cooking or salad dressings oils. And with it comes high price tag which forces you to seek other alternatives like blends and other plant oils like Canola oil. Unfortunately, delicacies and healthy salads are more than fresh vegetables drenched in ranch. A great salad, even in parts of the world hard-pressed to find the perfect salad dressing will have some added fats and flavor, splashes of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. And diners who understand good food will go the extra mile to make their little vinaigrettes right at the table because they know it never disappoints.
The long-kept secret – olive oil. And we’re talking about the good stuff with a rich and a complex flavor that humbles you to savor your food. This olive oil is not, unfortunately, the cheap stuff, and buying substandard olive oil only leaves you with fresh summer salads carrying an unappetizingly musty and rancid taste. This does not, however, mean that you get to drop the big bucks and dig holes in your wallet since you can still find some good quality and affordable olive oils if you know where to look.
Fortunately, we know where you need to look and have a list of the best-quality extra-virgin olive oils that will not break the bank. These are some of the best olive oils you will have in your home. They include:
Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Even though this brand of olive oil received some media attention in an oil fraud case, we don’t think that you can easily find an affordable, high-quality extra virgin olive oil at such a great price in any other place beside Costco.
In a report by LA Weekly, Jane Garbee pointed out the fact that this Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the least expensive olive oil on the market to have passed purity standards set by the 2010 report.
This oil is also regarded as the best-tasting extra virgin olive oils, and it’s worth every buck. Imported from Italy, the oil is known for its signature fruity, fresh and super-robust flavor which make the oil ideal for all Mediterranean-style dishes.
Trader Joe’s Premium 100% Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil
First off, this oil has been approved by Tom Mueller, meaning that the oil makes it to the list of the six oils he has sampled. Going by Mueller’s description, this oil embodies a rather complex, spicy, and fresh aroma. It has a nicely matured fruity flavor witan actual zing of pungency, and also comes with a pleasant bitterness, as well as a nutmeg-like spiciness.
The other thing that stands out from this oil is that it’s the first Greek Kalamata oils – these oils are characterized by a deep, a wine-like flavor that pairs quite well with crispy vegetables and the tangy feta cheese.
This might not be the most complex extra virgin olive oil you’ll find, but it’s an excellent base for your homemade vinaigrettes.
McEvoy Ranch, Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a 2012 taste test by Consumer Reports where 23 varieties of olive oils were taste tested, this McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil got some of the highest scores and was deemed one of two excellent products tested.
But the positive ranking isn’t all you should be looking at. This olive oil is one of the best thanks to the olives grown in a unique Petaluma Gap microclimate located north of San Francisco in the West Marin County.
As a blend, this olive oil variety carries a rich herbaceous flavor of sweet green almond and raw artichoke. It also has a slightly bitter and peppery finish thanks to the cinnamon notes borrowed from the Leccino olives also included in the blend.
This olive oil is ideal for anyone looking for complex flavors in their salad dressings
Trader Joe’s Extra Virgin California Estate
This olive oil also received a high ranking on the Consumer Reports tasting test. The olive oil comes from the Arbequina olives which are sourced from several ranches in the foothills of Sierra. And since the oil comes from one blend of olives, the oil has a single flavor richly associated with the Albequinas. The oil is pure and unfiltered, and it boasts a balanced, gentle flavor with spicy and sweet notes.