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Ice Cream, Olive Oil & Salt


Katie Meadow
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So I'm spending my five minutes per month whipping through Via Magazine and see a small snippet about a restaurant in Marin County favored by Mario Batali for its pizza and its ice cream dessert: vanilla ice cream--served soft, looking for all the world like carvel--drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. So I had to try it at once. I used a very nice local organic vanilla ice cream and made no attempt to soft-serve it, dribbled on some good olive oil and then a pinch of gray salt...and...it...was really good! It took about six bites to adjust after a lifetime of ice cream on my home planet, but suddenly I needed another bowl to make sure how good it was.

Has anyone else had this, I mean besides this restaurant's fan club? Has it been all over the place and I just never noticed?

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Never tried it with vanilla but I do it all the time with chocolate ice cream. I also do it with strawberry ice cream. olive oil and pink peppercorns instead of the salt. I'll have to give the vanilla a shot.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Try2cook...a fantasy in pink! I totally forgot about this, but my mother used to always insist on having saltines with chocolate ice cream, so clearly she was ahead of the curve. I'm sure that when I was young and stupid I made it clear to her what a bad idea I thought that was. Not to break any important traditions, my daughter, home from college, looked at us like we were total idiots when our jaws dropped over our ice cream the other night.

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Salt is delicious on ice cream... I like to drag home made croutons through my ice cream. Since I make my croutons in olive oil, I suppose that must be a part of the deliciousness, too.

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I totally forgot about this, but my mother used to always insist on having saltines with chocolate ice cream, so clearly she was ahead of the curve.

That must explain why I loved to eat potato chips and Oreos together when I was a kid. My family thought I was crazy......hmmmm....guess there's a fine line between crazy and genius! :laugh:

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i don't know if it is still on the menu but when pizzaria mozza opened up (one of batalis restaurants) he had olive oil ice cream, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. It was different but very good. There is also a recipe for olive oil ice cream in his babbo cook book and if i'm not mistaken the book says he had the ice cream for the first time in italy somewhere.

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I had the olive oil gelato at Otto ... thought it was very good. I don't know if I love it. The flavor was great, but the texture was oily. it left a coating on my mouth that I wasn't crazy about. The idea definitely seems worth exploring.

It's funny for me to think about salt on ice cream being a delicacy. It makes perfect sense. But when we salted the ice cream at the homemade shop where I worked, it was always a mistake (salt water dripping from the big rock salt and ice churns we used), and it led to customers screaming for their money back. Kind of like when a big black blob of machine grease ended up in their vanilla and white chocolate mousse sundae.

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Try2cook...a fantasy in pink! I totally forgot about this, but my mother used to always insist on having saltines with chocolate ice cream, so clearly she was ahead of the curve. I'm sure that when I was young and stupid I made it clear to her what a bad idea I thought that was. Not to break any important traditions, my daughter, home from college, looked at us like we were total idiots when our jaws dropped over our ice cream the other night.

This reminds me of how my dh insists upon dipping his french fries in his milkshake. The oil + salt + ice cream combo appeals to me - particularly without the potato component.

Robin Tyler McWaters

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I haven't had vanilla ice cream with olive oil and salt but it does sound good. I have had the olive oil gelato at Otto's several times and I love it. The best combination was the gelato in a coupe with strawberries, passion fruit granita, a drizzle of olive oil and Maldon sea salt. I can taste it now.

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When I was a kid I used to eat pretzel rods (sticks) dipped in my teaberry icecream! I loved that! So I just had to try this...

I did. Tonight! Vanilla ice cream drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt! Amazing, the flavor was caramel-like, and I especially liked the hint of salt. Instead of always reaching for the chocalate syrup, I will now have an alternative!

Very good!

Bob R in OKC

Bob R in OKC

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  • 2 weeks later...

I gave this a shot last night, and it was pretty good, though I think careful attention to ingredient balance is key. I made it with Haagen Daz vanilla bean ice cream, which was perhaps a little too vanilla-ey for the olive oil I was using, which was a standard supermarket EVOO (don't remember the brand, but it's national, and nothing to write home about). I tried it with both red Hawaiian and a Guérande. The Hawaiian looked great, but was too large and resulted in over-salted bits when you crunched into it. The Guérande was excellent, but you couldn't really see it on there, so it was visually disappointing. I think a slightly fruitier, and more assertive olive oil would have been better as well.

I should add that I convinced my wife to try it as well, and she found the color of the olive oil on the ice cream off-putting, and she was unimpressed by the flavor. Not disgusted, mind you, just unimpressed.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I should add that I convinced my wife to try it as well, and she found the color of the olive oil on the ice cream off-putting, and she was unimpressed by the flavor. Not disgusted, mind you, just unimpressed.

Yeah, I think some things require a particular mindset. Not a better or worse, right or wrong, more or less sophisticated issue, just a different approach in thinking about, looking at and tasting certain things. It takes a bit of effort at first to push aside everything you think, know and have learned about food. Sam Mason, Dominique and Cindy Duby and the brilliant Ideas in Food team (Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot ) have inspired me to do an embarrassingly large number of things that invoked the "I'm not eating that shit!" response based on description and, occasionally, appearance... but things usually work out ok if I can get it in their mouths. Keep putting the "weird" stuff in front of her, it gets easier unless the person you're trying to convert is intentionally resistant.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I gave this a shot last night, and it was pretty good, though I think careful attention to ingredient balance is key. I made it with Haagen Daz vanilla bean ice cream, which was perhaps a little too vanilla-ey for the olive oil I was using, which was a standard supermarket EVOO (don't remember the brand, but it's national, and nothing to write home about). I tried it with both red Hawaiian and a Guérande. The Hawaiian looked great, but was too large and resulted in over-salted bits when you crunched into it. The Guérande was excellent, but you couldn't really see it on there, so it was visually disappointing. I think a slightly fruitier, and more assertive olive oil would have been better as well.

I should add that I convinced my wife to try it as well, and she found the color of the olive oil on the ice cream off-putting, and she was unimpressed by the flavor. Not disgusted, mind you, just unimpressed.

I agree that proportion is all with this. I used a good quality olive oil in very moderate amounts--like really what amounted to about 1 little drop per bite. It never occured to me that colored salt would be nice, but that's probably because I never have any. The gray sea salt that we use is also very chunky, so we routinely give it a few grinds in the mortar/pestle to make it more friendly before using for anything.

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It never occured to me that colored salt would be nice, but that's probably because I never have any. The gray sea salt that we use is also very chunky, so we routinely give it a few grinds in the mortar/pestle to make it more friendly before using for anything.

Here is what it looked like:

gallery_56799_5710_49889.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I totally forgot about this, but my mother used to always insist on having saltines with chocolate ice cream, so clearly she was ahead of the curve.

Potato chips with root beer floats.....my favorite teenage years thing. Guess I was ahead of the curve too!

J

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a heavy pinch of good New Mexican red chile and tiny pinch of salt on vanilla or chocolate ice cream is to die for in my opinion..and a standard dessert for me when I eat ice cream I go get the chile and salt! ...I tried and did not care for the olive oil ..as mentioned above it left an oily feel in my mouth and the flavor work for me .I used very good olive oil ..even tried the Meyer lemon olive oil ..and the ice cream was amazing but the olive oil I will leave that combo to others! ..so it is just me reporting..I did not care for it..but the salt and chile ..for years has pleased my mouth!

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A while back I had Avocado ice cream with olive oil and Hawaiian red sea salt at Millennium in San Francisco. The oil and salt were the perfect balance to the creamy avocado and definitely helped to make the sweetness more apparent.

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