Those who regularly cook with it swear by the benefits of olive oil. Chef Luca Edoardo Napoleone, from Italian restaurant Vespa at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, says of the superfood: "I love working with all the ingredients that you can find in the Mediterranean diet, but the key one is olive oil. It's my favourite because it gives me a fresh, light and healthy feeling, and tastes delicious, too."
A cornerstone of Mediterranean cuisine, the natural oil is extracted from the fatty fruit of the olive tree, and is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as omega-6 and omega-3. Loaded with antioxidants, olive oil is resistant to high heat, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Pan-fried Mediterranean sea bass with pine nuts (Serves 4)
4 sea bass fillets, with skin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 shallots, chopped
100g red cherry tomatoes,
cut in 4
3 cloves of garlic, minced
30g rinsed capers, minced
25g toasted fresh pine nuts
30g taggiasca olives
60g olive oil
Focaccia bread, cut in four individually portioned chunks
Season the sea bass fillets with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
Sear the fillets skin side down for approximately three minutes, then turn them meat side down, until cooked.
For the sauce, cut and mix all the remaining ingredients and add everything together in the olive oil.
Put each fillet on a plate, skin side up on top of the focaccia, and pour over the Mediterranean sauce.