Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
It sounds weird. I know. Ice cream was meant to partner with hot fudge, whipped cream and the overtly fake, but delicious extra bright red maraschino cherries. And if you are feeling a little ambitious, maybe some wet nuts to get that protein fix you so desperately need.
I was coerced into trying this dish by a few friends at a restaurant a few years ago. I love dessert so there wasn’t much of an option here. I tried to pick around the olive oil at first but as the spoons overwhelmed the bowl, I was forced to the bottom toward a rich soupy mix of extra virgin olive oil, melted ice cream, and salt. It was delicious. I went back for 2nds and 3rds and broke all social protocol and took the last bite.
The reason this tastes so good is the creaminess of the ice cream and the richness of the olive oil dance all over your tongue like Michael Jackson in Thriller. The salt just adds that extra pop, the same way it does on top of a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie. It has a unique flavor profile that’s more than just sweet on top of sweet. It’s nuanced and sexy and maybe a touch of magic.
To make it at home get some nice vanilla ice cream (if it has more than a few ingredients, throw it to the ground) and some extra virgin olive oil. I would suggest olive oil that is more fruity than grassy because this is dessert. Scoop ice cream, drizzle olive oil (generously) and sprinkle sea salt. Sea salt is like regular salt, just more pretentious, and a touch thicker, you can buy at any fancy grocery store for the low cost of $14.99 for 3 ounces. It will likely cost 2x more than the ice cream. If you don’t have this, regular salt will do, or Trader Joe’s Himalayan Pink Salt ($7.94) adds some great color. If you need more help the recipe is here.
In case it hasn’t been clear, I stole this idea and served it at all of our dinner parties. I am a culinary genius. It is one of the easiest ways to take a simple (and easy to prepare) dish to the next level and impress your friends. Feel free to mix in words like “gastronomy” and “farm to table” and “organic market” to really round out the offering. Oh and play the music from Chef’s Table in the background to make your party just pop.
Eat your heart out Anthony Bourdain. It’s getting fancy in here.