Have you ever wondered why Italian cooking is so good? Well, there’s probably lots of reasons, but high up on the list is the abundant use of olive oil as a key ingredient in just about everything. A good olive oil, combined with the very best of seasonal produce, is all that’s needed for a simple and satisfying meal. 

Now that the end of summer is here (although if you blinked you may have missed it entirely!) there’s an abundance of fresh and local produce we’re seeing in the Co-op. Combine some of your favourite seasonal vegetables and create mouth-watering dishes at home using this month’s olive oil products – all priced at 25% off normal prices.

Manly Food Co-op sources olive oil from the award winning Grampians Olive Co. You can choose from the non-organic and organic bulk product, both are found in the vinegar and oil section to the right of the sink. You can buy a little or a lot and it’s much cheaper than equivalent supermarket brands J Try these recipes below to bring out the best flavour of all your ingredients. 

Caprese Salad

Simple tomato and cheese salad with olive oil (aka Caprese)


Burrata, buffalo or bocconcini balls (sourced from a market if you can) 

Fresh tomatoes

Olive oil

Basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Olives (optional)

Capers (optional)

A Caprese Stack


This recipe is just about the easiest starter, side or party dish you can think of. You’ll notice I didn’t include quantities here, but I go for an even ratio of tomatoes to cheese eg 250g tomatoes and 250g of cheese. My method is to slice up the tomatoes in a medium thickness and layer them in any pattern you like on a nice plate. Season with salt and pepper. Follow with a layer of sliced burrata or buffalo balls (I’ll get the bocconcini later), sliced as finely as you can without them breaking up. Season again and then drizzle with olive oil. Top with basil leaves and olives and capers if using. 

You can also play around with this recipe by using bocconcini balls, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves and threading them onto skewers (great for a party!). Season and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Caprese Skewers

Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmigiana de Melanzane)

Olive oil is a key ingredient when cooking with eggplants. The eggplant will absorb a lot of oil so it’s important to use a good quality oil. A favourite comfort food recipe of mine is this eggplant parmigiana. Originally made for me by an Italian friend many years ago, this version by recipetineats is one I use regularly. Eggplant parmigiana is a great vegetarian alternative to lasagne or moussaka and is also perfect food for this dreary weather! Plus, it makes the most of ingredients that are in season – and you’ll find them all at your Co-op. 

Click this link for the full recipe.

If you don’t want to scroll through all the preparation tips you can just click the recipe icon as shown below in green. 

Buon appetito!