THE SALTY Chef with Chef Stephen Hunter

Olive a little more, please…

Olive oil is a simple product. At its best: perfectly ripe olives, minimally processed, bottled, and on your table as fresh as possible.

Olive oil is at its core, just fruit juice, but unlike most fruit juices this one is full of good fats and surprising flavours. For almost 10,000 years this product has been at the heart of the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern diet. There is evidence that wild olives were eaten by Neolithic people around 8,000 BCE and domesticated shortly thereafter. By 6,000 BCE olive oil was being processed and used as food, lamp oil, and in religious ceremonies.

It is a versatile and varied product. Olive oils are as diverse as wines in terms of flavours, aromas, and textures, all of which often depend on terroir as much as time of harvest or production methods.

The highest quality oils are called virgin or extra-virgin which means the olives were ground and pressed and the oil extracted by purely mechanical means. Olive oils are best consumed within a year of processing as flavours begin to mute and change after that time.

The flavour that sets olive oils apart from other fruit or vegetable oils is that bite at the back of your throat. It can be subtle or hot depending on the olive used, its ripeness at pressing, and where it’s grown. That bite is due to the phenolic content of the fruit. If your olive oil doesn’t have this burning effect you aren’t buying the right kind. It’s either stale or not actually olive oil (something that happens a lot).

We’ll use this flexible oil to brighten up these recipes.


Asparagus Wrapped in Crisp Prosciutto


1-2 Tbsp Liquid Gold
single-source olive oil
16 spears fresh asparagus,
16 thin slices of prosciutto
Liquid Gold Sicilian
Lemon Balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and coat with olive oil.
  • Wrap one slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over.
  • Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp.
  • Drizzle spears with balsamic vinegar before serving.


Blood Orange Aioli


1 large egg yolk
1 small garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp kosher salt plus more
½ cup Blood Orange Liquid Gold olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper


  • Fill a a small saucepan with water. Simmer.
  • Whisk egg yolk, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 tsp water in metal bowl to blend well.
  • Fold a kitchen towel and place it on the saucepan, taking care not to expose the fabric to direct heat; set metal bowl over pan (the cloth will hold bowl in place).
  • Whisking egg mixture constantly, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, carefully watching the bowl to make sure it doesn’t heat up too much.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cayenne and season aioli to taste with lemon juice, pepper, and salt.

Halibut with Scallop Mousseline


14 oz scallops (small or broken pieces)
2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 cup 35% cream
8 skinless fillets of halibut
4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup dry white wine
Butcher twine


  • In a food processor, process the scallops and seasoning to a fine purée, add the egg and egg white, and blend some more.
  • Finally, add the cream into the mixture. If necessary, use a spatula to clean the mixture from the sides of the processor bowl from time to time, to ensure the ingredients in the mixture are all entirely mixed together.
  • Lay out skinless halibut fillets with what would have been the skin side up.
  • With a small spatula apply a thin layer of scallop mousseline along the entire length of the fillet.
  • Roll fillet pinwheel-fashion enclosing the scallop mousseline.
  • Wrap the rolled fillet with butcher twine and tie.
  • Bring vegetable stock, 1 slice of lemon, and wine to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low.
  • Lower halibut rolls in vegetable stock mixture, being careful not to bring liquid to a full simmer. Poach for 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from pan with slotted spoon and tent with foil while preparing plates.

To complete your meal add boiled baby red potatoes tossed with Liquid Gold herb-infused olive oil. New potatoes should be hitting the markets by early June.

To assemble plates:
Plate boiled baby red potatoes and asparagus spears.
Place two halibut rolls on each plate. Spoon blood orange aioli over halibut, garnish as desired and serve.

A very big thank you to our June sponsors:  We couldn’t do this without you!










About Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter teaches the à la carte practical program at The Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He's also the Chef Instructor for evening dining at the Lucy Maud Dining Room.

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