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)

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Elizabeth Minchilli’s Green Minestrone

Food writer and market lover Elizabeth Minchilli, shares her Green Minestrone recipe to make sure the readers of The Cold Press stay warm this autumn.

This minestrone is all about green. Yes, you can add other veggies, but then it won’t taste like this version.

Serves 4

Ingredients
• 1 large fennel bulb
• 1 medium head of broccoli
• 1 medium head of cavolo romano (if you can’t find you can substitute regular cauliflower)
• A handful of parsley
• 1 stalk celery
• 1 medium onion
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced finely
• Salt
• 1 parmigiano rind
• 3 cups spinach leaves, trimmed of thick stems
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• Grated parmigiano for serving
• Extra virgin olive oil for serving (we used Tradizione from Marco Viola)
• Stale bread, torn up in pieces

Instructions

Roughly chop all the vegetables into bite sized pieces (about half inch). Add to large pot and cover with water by about 1 inch. Add about 2 tsp of salt and parmigiano rind. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes.

Right before serving, remove the cheese rind and add the spinach. Adding the spinach at the very last minute increases the green hue of the soup. Let simmer about 4 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.

Turn off heat, and add the lemon juice. Using an immersible blender, puree about half of the soup. You want to thicken the broth, but still have chunks. Taste and adjust for seasoning. But keep in mind you’ll add grated cheese in the plate, so that will add salt. Add more lemon juice if you’d like.

Ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of your best olive oil, and grated parmigiano. If you’d like, you can also add torn stale bread. (I like!)