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.

Molto Gusto by Mario Batali

More great food from Mario Batali

Listed on page 141 of the new just-out-this-week Molto Gusto, Easy Italian Cooking are Mario Batali’s favorite extra virgin olive oils. At Olio2go, we carry seven of his favorites!

From the Italian Riviera/Liguria, described as delicate and light, with a grassy fragrance and less viscosity than Tuscan oils: Rosmarino (Santa Chiara), and Vittorio Cassini Classico.

From Tuscany, described as more intensely green in color and flavor; powerful players in any dish: Tenuta di Capezzana, Frescobaldi Laudemio, Badia a Coltibuono, and Volpaia.

From Sicily, described as similar to Tuscan, but we find Sicilians to be more grassy: Gianfranco Becchina’s Olio Verde.

Visit Olio2go, where you can buy Molto Gusto AND the new oils listed here!

[links updated 12/31/12]

Great ideas wth Santisi

Great ideas with Santisi Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh and unfiltered Santisi from Sicily

Fresh Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Santisi is an Olio2go favorite and we’d like to share their web commercial with you. You can order Santisi here.

Santisi Olive Oil – Sicily’s Golden Gift.

Our Christmas Platter

Our Christmas Eve platter

This staffer was invited to a New Year’s Eve party, where an appetizer contest was held. I considered options involving our various products. Little toasts with a savory meat and Il Mongetto fig jam? Little toasts with a dab of ricotta, topped with Villa Cappelli Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup? Something greener? In the end, my selection was an “Americanized” Antipasto Platter crossed with a chopped salad. To allow guests to eat from small plates, while standing, thin slices of Asiago were postage-stamp size, and the meats (capicola, sopressata) were match-stick cut, and the prosciutto was in tiny rolls.  And, the best news: it WON the appetizer contest! (The prize? A new apron!)

The platter was first layered with romaine chopped to size, topped with the scattered meats, followed by artichoke quarters, and hearts-of-palm cut to “coins”. A few marinated Sicilian olives were tossed on and a scattering of marinated sundried tomatoes, also cut to match-sticks. Topped with thin slices of Asiago cheese, and a few slices of pepperoni were placed around the edges for color. The SECRET INGREDIENT was added in two ways. First, it was drizzled over the composed platter and then it was mixed into a dressing with a white balsamic vinegar, one clove of crushed garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.  The SECRET INGREDIENT? Tenuta di Capezzana Novello 2009 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The flavor is terrific!

The best and easiest loaf you can make at home.

No-Knead Bread

And if you would love a great bread to go with this appetizer, what could be simpler than a crusty, rustic bread, that takes a minimum amount of work and only four ingredients: flour, water, salt, and smidgen of yeast. 

I’ve heard of No-Knead Bread for a couple of years now, but had not yet stopped to make it. But, shortly before Christmas, famed foodie and Olio2go customer, Gary V. from Binghamton, NY, convinced me to give it a try. We have made a loaf almost every day since this first (successful!) attempt.

We follow the recipe originally published in the New York Times, and watched this easy-to-follow video during the first rising of our first loaf. Several batches have been made with my All-Clad Dutch Oven, and more recently, oval loaves have been baked in the crock of the crockpot, topped with an inverted baking sheet. There’s another batch rising right now.

The snowy loading dock at Olio2go's World Headquarters.
The snowy loading dock at Olio2go’s World Headquarters.

After the big weekend snowstorm, we braved the snow and ice to pack holiday gifts at Olio2go. You can bet that the UPS driver was not amused when he could not reach our loading dock. But, somehow, all of the orders that came in through the weekend snowstorm made it out on Monday.  It’s been a great holiday season with Da Vinci Crude (sold out), Azienda del Carmine Sampler Gift Set (just a few remaining), Towers of Tuscany (sold out), the Manicardi Gift Set, and of course, the Novello olive oil selections, including Tenuta di Capezzana and Olio Verde.

Check out the Young & Hungry Blog at the Washington City Paper for a story and video on the new olive oil harvest. The video reveals the path from tree to bottle for another extra virgin olive oil. It is always a treat to see bright milky green freshly pressed olive oil. Olio2go is mentioned as a local internet retailer, and we’re in darn good company! Writer Jim Shahin is a big fan of Olio Verde and Capezzana Novello oils. Enjoy the Novello season!

I tried the new Santisi Novello last night. First, in a shot glass, and also with dinner — salad, sauteed onions and peppers, and hot sausage. It worked well with all.
My impressions: a good novello with the right characteristics–unfiltered, “thick”, very herbaceous, and a full blend of flavors–including the peppery finish. It was perfect for the rustic meal it accompanied.

Another great extra virgin at Olio2go!