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Mellowing Out EVOO

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2011

How can you mellow out extra-virgin olive oil so it can be used in place of "pure"?

Fruity, peppery extra-virgin olive oil is our go-to for dressing salads, dipping bread, or drizzling over grilled vegetables. But sometimes recipes call for regular olive oil (usually labeled “pure” on the bottle) because its milder taste allows the other flavors of the dish to come to the fore. To avoid having to keep bottles of both on hand, we wondered if we could make our own by mixing EVOO with a neutral-flavored oil like canola. We concocted blends of the two oils in various ratios, tasting them plain and emulsified into aïoli and mayonnaise. We found that 1 part EVOO and 3 parts canola oil produced a flavor virtually identical to regular olive oil.