FarroSalad_Large

 

This can be served warm as a side dish or cooler as a salad. This makes a large family or party sized dish. With the nutty grain and addition of fruit (raisins) this dish brings forth Sicilian style, making a Sicilian olive oil the perfect choice. As always, our salad recipes are guides – your tweaks and adjustments may be marvelous improvements.

 Ingredients

Farro Perlato from La Valletta

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

1/2 lb. Baby Carrots

1/2 jar Villa Cappelli Sun Dried Tomatoes (10 oz jar), slivered

1/3 C Raisins

1/3 C Sun dried tomatoes, slivered

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Sicilian preferred)

Cattani Organic White Balsamic Vinegar

Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Salt

Pepper, freshly ground

Note: Our farro package contains 3 cups of dried farro. When cooked, this yields ~8 Cups. You can cook the whole package and freeze the portion not needed immediately. It defrosts well.

Start cooking the farro. Prepare the vegetables. Cool the farro, add the roasted vegetables, sundried tomatoes, raisins, and dressing.

Cook 1.5-2 C Farro by placing the farro in a pot, covering it with 1” of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and proceed.

Roast vegetables:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Trim ends and cut carrots lengthwise.

Trim and halve Brussels sprouts. (Quarter large Brussels sprouts).

Drizzle with 2-3T olive oil and roast at 450F for 20 minutes.

Dressing: Recommended proportions: 1:1:1

– 1/3C full and fruity Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Olio2go Suggests: Primo, Ravida, Planeta

– 1/3C Cattani Organic White Balsamic Dressing

– 1/3C Vincotto Fig Vinegar

Toss together. Let flavors marry for 20 minutes, then serve.

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In this fabulous job at Olio2go, we are immersed in Italian culture and reminded of Italian-American experiences on a daily basis. We have memories of our grandparents who bridged cultures in small towns, our own travels to Italy, and our remembrances of the traditions that we have kept and those that we have let go.

My grandmother, Lucille, could take two pork chops and serve all who came to dinner, with a little of this and a little of that. The table filled quickly with antipasto selections, pasta, and vegetables. Miraculously a bounty could be found at her house. My grandfather had a garden in the back yard with grape vines, tomatoes, zucchini, and chard. My writing here doesn’t do justice to the abundance of love expressed through food in that house.

As emigration from Italy to the U.S. has tailed off, we have fewer who can carry forth the traditions from the old country. It is now up to the U.S.-born to carry on the traditions for the future generations. If this is an interest of yours, be sure to join the National Italian American Foundation (NAIF).

Recently, I came across an alumni magazine with stories of the influences of grandparents and returning to one’s roots. Land Recognized is the story of a young woman’s journey back to Italy. On page 30 of the PDF, Land Recognized reveals the thoughts of her journey to Italy in search of a connection to her grandmother and her family’s history.

Popular novelist Adriana Trigiani weaves tales of her Italian American upbringing through her novels and her family memoir. From Big Stone Gap, through the mills of Pennsylvania, she crafts wonderful weavings of her experiences and those common to so many of us who had the joys and experience of Italian-American small town life. Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers brought back my own memories of Lucille and Josephine. In the last pages, I began to think of all of those friends and cousins who would enjoy this book!

Adriana Trigiani has also published a cookbook, Cooking with My Sisters: One Hundred Years of Family Recipes from Bari to Big Stone Gap, sharing more of her family’s Italian-American heritage.

We’d love to know your favorite traditions and we’d also like to know your favorite books to share with other Olio2go readers!

We are kicking off the new year with another taste of Olio Verde, the fabulous extra virgin olive oil from Castelvetrano, Sicily. By now, you’ve certainly heard of Olio Verde, and we hope that you’ve had the great opportunity to try Olio Verde Novello. Through the years, this early harvest olive oil has been a very strong seller, as it always heralds the beginning of the new olive oil season. Certainly many olive oil fans experienced their first lively taste in a holiday gift from Olio2go.

 

The team at the Gianfranco Becchina’s estate Tenuta Pignatellli in Sicily has spent the last few months adding to their web site with a terrific blog with articles on their olive oil production, and it includes appealing recipes, like this one for Pasta with Boiled Cauliflower (and Olio Verde Novello). This simple and easy recipe highlights the pure fresh flavors of cauliflower, olive oil, and pasta in a very appealing week-day recipe.

If you’re planning a trip to Sicily in the new year, we recommend that you make a visit to the Becchina estate. We hope you enjoy their blog and are fans of their stunning Nocellara del Belice monocultivar unfiltered olive oil.

Mascio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mascio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Our friend, Mrs. Gioia Pinna at Principe di Mascio, has sent us three authentic recipes to share with our customers. These are best with Principe di Mascio DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The recipes were just added today at Olio2go.

solo-bottle-bagEach year, around this time, brides and moms contact Olio2go to purchase olive oil wedding favors. They can be very specific about the label name, producer, or region of origin. Their word choice indicates they know their way in the olive oil world, appreciate great flavor and authenticity, and respect the craftsmanship of the small producer.

But then we reach a math problem. If a 500 ml bottle sells for $40, what should a 100 ml bottle cost? Unfortunately, it is not 20% of $40. Proportionately, the glass bottle is more expensive, and it costs more proportionally, to bottle and ship a large quantity of those little glass bottles across the sea. To be authentically produced and bottled in Italy, that cute little bottle may well cost more than the bride and mom would like to spend.

This cost per ounce (or cost per milliliter) issue is not limited to olive oil. It is dominant in mass market grocery stores, where the cost per ounce is noted on the shelf label for consumer comparisons.  The small jar of peanut butter costs more per ounce than the large jar. Those cute travel size bottles of shampoo cost more per ounce than the contents of a 16 oz.  bottle.

We will continue to provide pricing, striving to make a match, and will even provide a bottle-your-own kit, as we wish them well ….

Award winning olive oil from Azienda del Carmine in Marche

Award winning olive oil from Azienda del Carmine in Marche

As we approach the holiday season amidst an “unusual” economic time, I can’t think of better gifts than food gifts. Food is a necessity, and nice food makes dining a pleasure. Is that too simple? Fine extra virgin Italian olive oil makes a superb gift for several reasons:

It’s different from wine!
Anyone can give wine. OK, anyone over 21 can give wine as a gift, but wine can also be complicated. Do you know your varietals and vintages? Does the recipient? Does the recipient have a medical or religous reason that prevents them from enjoying a nice Pinot Grigio?

It’s good for you!
It doesn’t feature the sodium or cholesterol burdens of other foods, and can add delightfully to many portions of a meal. It’s the best fat — good enough to have a qualified health claim from the FDA. The simplest appetizer — a loaf of bread and a flavorful bottle of olive oil. Add it to soups or vegetables, add a swirl over a steak, begin or finish a risotto….

Your Recipients will appreciate it!
They may think of olive oil as a splurge rather than a necessity, but they’ll try and enjoy your gourmet gift!

You can order it online and have it shipped! At Olio2go, we’re preparing holiday gift selections to make the Winter Holidays easier for you. It’s perfect for Christmas and Hanukkah, and it’s a terrific hostess gift throughout the year.