Dairy products make me feel awful, so I often use olive oil in place of butter. I’ve been drizzling it on popcorn for years, and I’m excited to share my recipe for oil-drizzled herbed popcorn with the awesome folks who visit Make It With Missy (that’s right, I’m talking to you!).
We can’t talk about food just yet, though. I need to tell you that I worked with Moms Meet to develop this recipe for the Flavor Your Life campaign. Here’s my standard disclaimer (gotta keep the FTC happy, guys):
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided, and this page may contain affiliate links.
Alright, enough with the business talk. Let’s chat about why I dig the Flavor Your Life campaign.
The European Union partnered with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and UNAPROL to create the Flavor Your Life campaign. This campaign gives U.S. folks the scoop on different types of European olive oil AKA liquid gold so they can choose the right ones for cooking, baking, and serving. In my opinion, this is super important because sometimes when people claim they hate olive oil, it’s actually because they used the wrong variety in a recipe.
Flavor Your Life has an easy-to-understand post about different types of European olive oil – click here to read it. I used Italian olive oil for my herbed popcorn because Italian olive oil has a robust herbal aroma and flavor that complements the rosemary and thyme in my recipe. If you’re making a dessert recipe, I recommend using Spanish olive oil or French olive oil because they have flavors that aren’t as rich as Italian olive oil. I like Greek Olive oil drizzled over spinach salad or flaked tuna.
Notice I said DRIZZLED, not POURED. You can drizzle olive oil with a handy stainless steel dispenser like the one I received for doing this post or use something with a thinner spout. Just remember that you usually don’t need to douse your food in any variety of European olive oil for it to taste good.
Read the labels carefully when you shop for extra virgin olive oil. I like European olive oil because I feel like it usually tastes better than the stuff in America. That’s because many parts of Europe have a climate that’s ideal for olive trees. The climate affects the flavor of olive oil, and so does the soil and time of harvest. Look for olive oil harvested in November or December if you want a mild flavor. Olive oil harvested earlier in the year has a stronger flavor, and sometimes it’s slightly bitter.
Some companies make it difficult to figure out when and where their olives were harvested. I like Zucchi extra virgin olive oil because each bottle has a handy QR code you can scan to learn about where your olive oil came from. I also like Zucchi because it’s been run by the same family for more than 200 years. Seven generations of Zucchi people have carefully crafted artisanal batches of extra virgin olive oil for longer than any of us have been alive. That’s true passion.
If you can’t find Zucchi in your area or prefer to try another brand, look for terms like “European Union PDO certification” or “PGI certified” on your bottle. These certifications aren’t handed out just for fun – companies have to meet rigorous standards and undergo third-party testing before they can slap these labels on their products.
After you choose an olive oil that suits your preferences, make sure you store it properly. Don’t leave it out on the counter or near a windowsill, as heat and light impact the flavor of your oil (and not in a good way). I store mine in a closed cabinet so it stays fresh. It also keeps my cats’ hair from magically attaching to the bottle. The joys of being a pet owner. Argh.
Close the lid tightly after each use because air also affects the flavor of extra virgin olive oil. I know I’m giving you lots of guidelines here and making it sound like olive oil is a high-maintenance product, but it’s really not. I mean, think about other foods you buy. You can’t store ice cream on the counter, and you can’t leave a rotisserie chicken in your pantry. Most foods have specific storage guidelines that protect their flavor and safety.
I cook with olive oil regularly, and you can find it in nearly every recipe on this blog. Examples include my oven-fried zucchini rounds, gluten-free bread in a bread machine, and 3-cheese stuffed portabella mushrooms. You may notice that I listed an oven-fried recipe but not a traditional fried recipe. That’s because olive oil is fine for lightly sauteing fried food in a skillet, but you can’t use it to fry large batches of stuff like french fries or hot wings unless you’re careful not to let the temperature exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.
Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics of extra virgin olive oil, I’m ready to share my recipe for herbed popcorn. After all, you need something to eat while you catch up on Facebook drama or read the comments on political articles.
Start by lightly coating a large pot with avocado oil or a similar oil.
Add a few popcorn kernels and place a lid on the pot. This lets you see how quickly they pop so you can determine whether to adjust the temperature on your stove. If the temp is too high, the kernels will fly open immediately but won’t fully pop. If the temp is too low, you’ll burn your kernels and your popcorn, and the popcorn will taste tough and chewy.
Make sure you follow the instructions on your package of kernels instead of listening to me. I buy my kernels from a local farmers market, so I’m not sure what packages of store-bought kernels say to do.
The pic above shows kernels that didn’t fully pop. You don’t want them to look like the ones in the picture.
Don’t worry, I fixed the problem. Here we go:
Mmmmmm. Look at all the freshly popped popcorn.
Scoop it out of the pot carefully with a soup ladle or measuring cup. You should probably wear a potholder or something similar. I feel like I need to add that as a disclaimer.
Drizzle your popcorn with olive oil, then sprinkle it with sea salt.
My kids prefer their popcorn with sea salt and olive oil, but I like to add a dash of garlic powder, plus fresh thyme and rosemary.
Grab your bowl and chow down!
Need a printable, Pinnable recipe for herbed popcorn with olive oil?
Here you go: