LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Aubergine and Tahini Salad

Roast the aubergines in a marinade of extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses until soft and a little crispy. The green tahini is made of fresh coriander and prezzemolo with a little mint and some lime. Then to serve, some pistachio and crumbled sheep or goat’s cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 large aubergines
100g feta or similar
Handful of chopped pistacchio nuts
A few bitter lettuce leaves

FOR THE DRESSING

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, we used Tenuta Librandi Nocellara del Belice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2tbsp pomegranate molasses
Maldon sea salt

FOR THE GREEN TAHINI SAUCE

100g  tahini
Large handful of coriander
Large handful of flat leaf parsley
A sprig of mint
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of salt

METHOD

Dice the aubergines and leave them for 20 mins or so in a colander with some salt. Meanwhile prepare the dressing ingredients.

 

Pat dry the aubergine with kitchen paper and then toss in the dressing ingredients. Then roast for around half an hour at 180°C.

 

While this is roasting, prepare the green tahini sauce in a small blender.

 

Once the aubergines are ready, combine with a few bitter leaves, the crumbled feta and plate. Then add the green tahini sauce and finish with the chopped pistachios.