By Richard Burton, founder and director of IINH.

‘Great podcast by Pat Kenny and Anna Burns on the pleasures and health benefits of Olive Oil.  Click on link at the end of this blog post to hear it.

I never tire of cold pressed olive oil‘s subtle, sultry flavours and soft mouth feel.  I’ve used it in my cooking and salad dressings for as long as I can remember, and its still one of my best kitchen buddies. Back in the 1970s, the only nutritional query on most people’s lips was “butter or margarine – which is best”? The controversy over saturated vs polyunsaturated fat still rages today, but olive oil, mainly consisting of monounsaturated oleic acid, has managed to stay out of the firing line. I think it deserves its charmed life, not least because of all the liquid fats, olive oil gets damaged least by the heat of cooking. But that’s not why I love it so much!

One of my favourite spreads is a 50:50 blend of cold-pressed olive oil and organic Irish butter. Gently warm together till the butter melts. As it cools, whisk to blend and then leave to set. All the health goodies of olive oil and butter – and a perfect spread straight from the fridge!’