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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Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Frantoio De Carlo, Tenuta Torre di Mossa

We love this dish served with crusty bread and a green salad and accompanied by a chilled glass of Vermentino.  It seems perfect for those evenings when you begin eating outdoors as spring fades to summer.

Ingredients

2 medium aubergines

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped

5 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped or 400g passata

300g mozzarella, sliced

oregano

50g grated parmesan

Which EVOO to use?

Aubergines adore Puglian olive oil with its luscious texture and buttery character and for this reason we chose Tenuta Torre di Mossa from Frantoio De Carlo for this dish.  From a single parcel of land this monocultivar Coratina is extremely rich in antioxidants and features a broad selection of aromatic herbs plus ample peppery spice on the finish.

Method

1.   Slice the aubergines and lay out on a board covered with kitchen paper.  Sprinkle with salt and then lay further paper on top and weigh down with a heavy chopping board.  Leave for 30 minutes to allow the bitter juices to be drawn out.  Preheat the over to 180C.

2.  For the tomato sauce, you can use a tin or jar of passata if you’re stretched for time, otherwise you can just make a quick sauce by heating the oil and adding the garlic, once you begin to smell it, add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and oregano.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

3. We prefer to roast rather than deep fry the aubergines; it uses less oil and seems to give better results for our palate.  Once you have patted dry the slices of aubergine, lay them on baking sheets and brush with oil on both sides.  Roast for around 20 minutes until they have taken a light colour.

4. Layer your ingredients in an oven dish: tomato sauce – aubergine – mozzarella.  You will probably manage 2 or 3 layers.  Sprinkle the top with parmesan.

5. Cover with tin foil for the first 15 minutes of cooking time then remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until the top is golden.