Delicious holiday recipes that will be the center of any party

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Be the favorite guest or best host this season with these easy and delicious holiday recipes using olive oil.

Chef Josh, co-owner of We Olive, shows us just how versatile olive oil really is and how it can add the perfect amount of pizzazz to every dish.

Check out the recipes below for how to make a Pear and Candied Walnut Salad and Pomegranate Lemon Muffins with Blackberry Balsamic Glaze.

Pear and Candied Walnut Salad 

Walnuts

  • 1 heaping cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tsp lemon olive oil
  • 2 tsp aged balsamic
  • Pinch sea salt

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup pear white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (Olio Nuovo, or other grassy olive oil)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Pinch each sea salt and black pepper

Salad

  • 1 6-ounce bag mixed greens
  • 1 ripe Bosc or Bartlett Pear, thinly sliced lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and add raw walnuts to a bare or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Once the oven is preheated, toast walnuts for 7 minutes. Then remove from oven and add remaining ingredients directly to the walnuts (oil, balsamic, sea salt). Use a spatula to thoroughly toss/combine.
  • Place back in oven and roast for another 4-6 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar (or mixing bowl) and shaking vigorously (or whisking) to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more balsamic for acidity, salt or pepper for flavor balance, or olive oil for creaminess. Set aside.
  • To serve, add greens, half of the sliced pear, dried cherries, and half of the roasted walnuts to a large mixing/serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Plate and garnish with remaining pears and walnuts, and serve with remaining dressing. Best when fresh, though leftovers store separately in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Store walnuts well sealed at room temperature.

Pomegranate Lemon Muffins with Blackberry Balsamic Glaze

  • Beat the Greek yogurt, 1 cup of sugar, lemon olive oil, applesauce, vanilla, and together until creamy. Slowly add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture until well combined. Don`t over mix. Gently fold all but 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate seeds. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with a few more of the remaining pomegranate seeds then sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar evenly over each muffin.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the muffins sit in the pan for a few minutes before carefully remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack
  • For the glaze take a cup of blackberry balsamic and reduce on low heat by half or until it coats the backs of the spoon. Once the muffins are cool, drizzle over the top of the muffins.