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)

Carciofi alla Romana

Olive oil and artichokes are pretty much a match made in heaven. Perhaps it is the green flavour profile often found in both, or perhaps it is the bitterness, either way, they work brilliantly together. Through slow, stove top cooking, they become tender and deeply comforting, cuttable with a spoon.

 

To begin with, cut off the tough tops and then with a paring knife, trim away, working around the globe until all of the harder parts are gone.

 

Using a deep casserole pot, place the artichokes inside with stems up.

 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 large globe artichokes, with stems still attached
1 lemon, halved
1 large garlic clove, grated or crushed
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
Seasoning to taste
100ml white wine
100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling. We use an all purpose olive oil for the cooking, such as Tradizione from Marco Viola in Umbria and then his monocultivar Moraiolo, Il Sincero to finish the dish.

METHOD

Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of cold water. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, parsley, and mint. Add some generous seasoning.

 

Clean the artichokes as above and then open up the flower to remove the choke inside. Press some of the merby mix in to each cavity and between the leaves. Then arrange the artichokes stem upwards in the casserole pot.  If it’s not deep enough, chop off the stems and place them alongside.

 

Add the wine, olive oil, and enough water to come one-third of the way up the artichokes. Cover the pot with the lid and set over a medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for about 40 minutes, reducing the heat to low if necessary. The artichokes are ready when a fork easily pierces the thickest part of the stem near the heart.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a serving plate, stems upward and let them cool to room temperature. Reserve the cooking juices and pour these over the artichokes just before serving along with a generous final swirl of monocultivar olive oil.