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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Olive oil gelato is special. That, we have established. But sometimes you don't have access to it. Sometimes all you have in the freezer is a carton of vanilla and it's sounding a little, well, vanilla.

This is when you break out the good-quality olive oil and coarse salt and treat them as toppings just like chocolate syrup or rainbow sprinkles. It really hits the spot when you're craving a dessert that's more salty than sweet.

We scooped out some of the excellent vanilla ice cream from Straus Creamery, drizzled on the olive oil (from California Olive Ranch) and pinched on a few flakes of finishing salt (from The Meadow). Of course you can use any nice ice cream, oil, and salt combo you prefer. We liked the Straus because the rich, creamy, vanilla-beany scoops were a nice background to the grassy, peppery swirls of olive oil.

Add ice cream to your olive-drizzling routine.

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