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)

Chickpeas and Peach Salad Recipe

Ceci and White Peach Salad

When white peaches, especially the flat ones called Saturnine come in to season, our family goes crazy for them.  The season lasts no longer than 8 weeks so we try to use them as much as possible, also in salads.

Chickpeas (ceci in Italian) make a great partner because their earthiness meets the highly floral perfume of the white peaches perfectly – here opposites really do attract.

This salad makes a great lunchtime dish to accompany a board of cured meats or cheeses and because the chickpeas are fairly filling, it means you tend to eat less bread. Serves 4 people as a side dish or part of a lunch.

INGREDIENTS

350-500g chickpeas, depending on your appetite.  Soak dried chickpeas over night or if you’re in a hurry use pre-cooked ones, ideally the plump ones from a jar for best results

2 white fleshed peaches

10 cherry tomatoes

1/2 small red onion

Flat leaf parsley

Salt, pepper and olive oil

 

Which EVOO to use?

Typically I dress this with a squeeze of lemon and a central Italian extra virgin olive oil that has a good level of bitterness such as Il Sincero from Frantoio Viola or Le Trebbiane from Frantoio Franci.

METHOD

Drain and rinse your chickpeas and place in a serving bowl.  Chop the white fleshed peaches, retaining the skin and quarter the cherry tomatoes.

Finely slice the red onion and flat leaf parsley.

Combine well and season to taste.