Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I think I'm in L.O.V.E.: Lebherz Olive Oil & Vinegar (And a Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe)

Have you made the trip to Lebherz Olive Oil & Vinegar on North Market St. in Frederick yet?

Well, what are you waiting for??

This new store has a nifty concept new to Maryland: olive oils and vinegars in stainless steel casks, ready to taste and tap on your own.

Pic lifted from the L.O.V.E. website

Before you start thinking that this is the same evoo you're getting at the grocery store, think again. From the L.O.V.E website: "L.O.V.E. has over 40 different flavors of oil and vinegar for you to taste, pour, and purchase. I am sure you already know this, but olive oil is such a healthy option when cooking instead of butter, and it just so happens I have a butter 100% natural oil for you to try! That alone is a good reason to come and taste the butter oil for your future meals, popcorn, and more!".

Not only is the store well designed, but the owner, Maggie Lebherz, is cute as a button too. And let me tell you this...girlfriend knows her stuff! Maggie won't hesitate to take the time to educate you on the finer points of production, flavor, and uses of her products, which are imported from all over the world.

Personally, I've purchased a classic olive oil from California and a traditional balsamic, no infusions or added flavors for me. But I've tasted the infused oils, and they're delicious.

Prices range from around $10 for a small bottle to $30 for a wine-sized bottle, so this isn't the stuff you're going to use for general cooking. No way man! These oils and vinegars are meant to be savored and appreciated for their flavor, so don't waste them in tomato sauce or the like. Use these to finish a dish, or straight for dipping, even in a lovely vinaigrette. Speaking of which, here's my semi-famous Honey Balsamic Dressing recipe for you, to give a try with some of the goodies you'll find at L.O.V.E.:

Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe:

1/2 cup Good Quality Balsamic
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons Honey
1 cup Good Quality Olive Oil (I like the Arbequina from L.O.V.E.)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Whisk together Balsamic, Dijon, and Honey in a medium bowl until combined. Slowly stream in Olive Oil while whisking (this will keep your vinaigrette emulsified instead of separating). Store in fridge for up to two weeks. Note: I like my vinaigrette tart, so I use a lot of vinegar (1:2 vinegar to oil). The traditional ratio is 1:3, so feel free to use a little more oil (or less vinegar) if you don't like it so puckery.

L.O.V.E is located at 214 N. Market St, just a few doors down from VOLT. They're open Tuesday through Thursday, 11-6, Friday & Saturday 11-9, and Sundays from Noon-6. Everyone needs a break sometime, so they're closed on Mondays.


April F. said...

Thanks for the recipe. Bought some basic balsamic at L.O.V.E. this weekend, and a nice basil EVOO - together they make an excellent caprese salad! Agree - this store is worth a trip.

Chef Christine said...

I'll bet that basil oo is terrific with the caprese - never even thought of that! I'll have to head over this weekend to pick some up. I also really like a lemon-infused oil tossed with asparagus and lemon zest, then roasted in a hot oven. Sooo good!

Shelly said...

A friend and I ventured in there after lunch at Moxie one day. The things we tried were delicious but I was under the impression that you could bring your own containers and buy it by the ounce. I think my husband would have seen red had I spent that much on a bottle of olive oil.

Chef Christine said...

I hear you, but the bottle thing is totally a health department issue. This stuff is definitely pricey, but don't freak out. Use it when it really counts and you can taste it. You won't be sorry (a few dollars poorer no doubt, but not sorry!).