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Olive Oil or Butter? You Decide

Olive Oil or Butter? You Decide


“Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”- The Food and Drug Administration

Replacement Chart for Olive Oil

  Butter/Margarine  Olive Oil
  1 teaspoon ¾ teaspoon
  1 tablespoon 2¼ teaspoons
  2 tablespoons 1½ tablespoons
  ¼ cup 3 tablespoons
  1/3 cup ¼ cup
  ½ cup ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  2/3 cup ½ cup
  ¾ cup ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
  1 cup ¾ cup


The olive oil bottle purchased at your local market often comes with a plastic disk underneath the cap, which may have an opening cut into it. It is meant to control the flow of olive oil out of the bottle and prevent drips. Often, the stream of oil it releases is sometimes too thick to allow you to drizzle the oil onto food without saturating part of the dish while leaving other areas bereft of the lusciousness of the oil. So we need to drizzle! Drizzling involves adding a thin line of oil in a relatively random pattern. Special containers called cruets, or drizzle bottles, which have thin spouts, allow you to add olive oil to food in the amount you desire.

How much is a drizzle?

Let’s see what the chef has to say:

It’s the finishing touch that dresses up a dish at the last minute. It usually consists of a teaspoon or two and goes together with a sprinkling of some fresh chopped herbs, and possible a squeeze of lemon or lime juice (or a wedge of one or the other placed on the plate).” – Steve Johnson, chef-owner of the Rendezvous in Central Square in Cambridge, MA.

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