Liquid gold: olive oil is soaring in price – here’s what to use instead in 10 classic dishes

Not every roast spud or side salad needs a liberal dash of extra virgin to enhance its flavour. There are better and cheaper alternatives, say our experts

If you’re someone who uses olive oil, you’ll have noticed how the price of this “liquid gold” has shot up in the past 12 months. Thanks to extreme heat and drought across the Mediterranean, the average price of a litre bottle increased by 39% in the year to March 2024. One litre of leading mass-market brand Filippo Berio, for example, will now set you back £13.85. Liquid gold, indeed – and a kind of gold that’s become an abundantly administered staple in many of our kitchens. With demand outstripping supply to this extent, the simplest and thriftiest of meals will really start to cost you. Here, cooks explain how to use less olive oil in 10 classic dishes.

Salad dressings

“Sometimes it’s embarrassing when people ask what is in my delicious dressings and usually it’s an own-brand sunflower or rapeseed oil,” says Simon Spence, chef patron of Worton Kitchen Garden in Oxfordshire. At under £3 and under £5 per litre-bottle respectively, that’s saving between 25% and 50% on oil. For vinaigrettes, Spence always opts for these neutral, cheaper oils because the flavours he seeks come from the mustard and vinegar, “and the oil is just a medium for suspending those flavours”.

Read the full article in The Guardian