Recipe Sleuth: Tosca’s Olive-Oil Ice Cream

From hazelnut to fig to stracciatella, Tosca in DC's Penn Quarter rotates a number of gourmet ice cream and gelato flavors. This week, a reader requested the recipe for an unusual one—olive-oil ice cream. The restaurant says it’s second in popularity to—who would have thought?—its gelato al Gorgonzola. Tosca executive chef Massimo Fabbri uses Castello di Ama extra-virgin olive oil ($48 at, a Tuscan brand also known for its Chianti wine. But you can find similar high-quality brands at Dean & Deluca and other high-end food shops. Even Whole Foods’ 365-brand olive oil will do, says Fabbri, though it’s not ideal. The olive-oil ice cream is best paired with something citrusy. “It balances like cheese on tomato pasta,” he says.

Tosca’s Olive-Oil Ice Cream

Serves 8

6 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
4 cups milk
Pinch salt
Pinch lemon zest
¾ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. In a pot, combine the milk, salt, and lemon zest, place over medium heat, and heat to 186 degrees. Slowly trickle the hot milk into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Fold in the extra-virgin olive oil. Let the ice-cream base cool, then spin it in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.