Summer’s tomatoes, green beans, squash, cucumbers and other bounty are so dazzlingly delicious at this time of year, they need little else to enjoy.
But one thing that will complement without overwhelming is a fine olive oil. Look no further than Enzo’s Organic Basil Crush and Organic Clemenine Crush.
The limited release olive oils are made by the Ricchiuti family, who have worked the land in California’s San Joaquin Valley for more than a century. Their olive oils, made with olives grown near Madera, have been a favorite of chefs such as Tyler Florence of San Francisco’s Wayfare Tavern, and Chef de Cuisine Ivan Marquez and Pastry Chef Jason Mattick of Los Angeles’ Broken Spanish. The olive oil line takes its name from the family’s great-grandfather.
You might just feel like a queen when you taste the Olive Queen’s extra virgin olive oils.
California produces 3.5 million gallons of extra virgin olive oil annually from more than 400 growers/producers, according to the California Olive Oil Council.
Rob Akins and Mark Berry of Olive Queen Olive Oil in Forestville are among the smaller growers. But they make up for that in quality. The oils they produce are exceptional, as I found out when they sent me some samples to try.
Akins and Berry moved from Southern California to Sonoma County to buy an old, forlorn apple orchard, which they replanted with olive trees.
Mini bottles of the 2014 Round Pond olive oil releases.
We’re spoiled in Northern California and we know it.
We often take for granted the abundance at our finger tips, from glorious produce year-round to stellar wines to luscious olive oils.
Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate in the Napa Valley makes the most of all of that, crafting wines from 357 acres of vineyards, vinegars from Cabernet and Merlot grapes, syrups from its orchards of citrus, and oils from imported Mediterranean olive trees.
Recently, I had a chance to try its 2014 estate olive oils pressed in a state-of-the-art mill, one of only two olive oil mills in the Napa Valley.
The Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from such varieties as Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, Frantoio and Coratina. It’s a quite full-bodied oil that really announces itself with abundant richness. It would be wonderful drizzled over a pasta dish to finish it or to give oomph to any green salad.
The Blood Orange Olive Oil, made with organic citrus, is sweetly fragrant. The orange taste is smooth and delicate. I envision baking with it or pouring it over soft-serve.