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)

Zuppa di Ceci

Super simple to make, this vegan soup is delicious and satisfying. If you don’t have time to pre-soak the chickpeas (which requires you to think ahead the day before), then it works with chickpeas from a jar.  An amazing source of vegetable protein, chickpeas are full of fibre and iron. Combined with a really great extra virgin olive oil, this is brimming with goodness.

INGREDIENTS

300g dried chickpeas

1 celery stick

2 carrots

1 small white onion

2 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1 sprig of rosemary

500ml vegetable stock

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – we use monocultivar Rosciola for this soup from the Gregori brothers in Le Marche. It’s a brilliant pair for chickpeas

Salt and Pepper to taste

Some rye bread to accompany

METHOD

If you are soaking dried chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and cover with water by about 5-6cm and soak for around 12 hours. Make sure to check the water level because they absorb a lot.

Finely chop the celery, carrots, onions and gently sauté the mixture in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, two cloves of crushed garlic, a sprig of rosemary and two bay leaves.

Add the rehydrated and drained chickpeas, a handful of coarse salt and cover with the vegetable broth. Continue cooking for 50 minutes, being careful not to overcook the chickpeas otherwise they will fall apart, you are looking for them to remain slightly firm.

 

Once cooking is finished, remove the pan from the heat and with the help of a hand blender, blend the soup lightly, in order to make the broth thicker and taking care to leave most of the chickpeas intact. It just needs a very quick whizz.

 

Plate and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper and some rye bread croutons.