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)

Green Risotto with Lemon and Almonds

This risotto is brilliant as the weather gets warmer and you feel like eating less but brighter. It has a lovely southern Italian twist vs a typical pesto thanks to the almonds and spinach. We love it with a linear Sicilian oil such as Nocellara Etnea from the volcanic soils of Mt. Etna. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

1–1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, cut in half
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400g arborio or carnaroli rice
200ml white wine
A swirl of extra virgin olive oil to finish

Crème Fraiche to serve

 

FOR THE PESTO

240g Raw young leaf spinach, carefully washed
30g raw peeled almonds
1 clove of garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
100ml extra virgin olive oil
a large bunch of basil leaves (50g)
a small handful for the top
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g freshly grated Pecorino

METHOD

Start with the pesto, blending all of the ingredients together to form a vivid green paste – you should taste and add more olive oil or lemon as needed.

 

Put your vegetable stock in a pan and place over a low heat to warm.

 

Heat a saucepan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and the onion and fry for about 5 minutes – then remove the onion, which will have flavoured the oil. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the rice and a little more oil if needed and toast the grains stirring regularly for a few minutes or until they turn slightly translucent. Pour in the white wine and allow to evaporate, stirring all the time. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir until it evaporates, then continue this process until all the stock is used. This should take about 17 minutes.

 

The risotto is perfectly cooked when the rice is al dente: break a grain of rice finger and you should be able to see a fleck of white in the middle. Remove from the heat. Add a swirl of olive oil and half the remaining cheese, season with salt and pepper and stir through the pesto. Put a lid on the risotto and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
If the risotto looks a little thick, add a little more stock.

 

To serve, give a swirl of crème fraiche or sour cream and decorate with a few of the basil leaves and a little lemon zest as well as a final few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

 

A dish such as this loves a wild and aromatic oil such as Nocellara Etnea from the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily.