|Why Harvest Time is So Special |
|The most important time of year for us has arrived: the fall harvest.|
|By Terry McCarthy www.tmcphotography.com|
Our harvest crews are working literally 24 hours a day, picking olives and trucking them immediately to our northern California mill. There, our milling team is crushing freshly picked olives into extra virgin olive oil. We expect to crush more than 800 truckloads of olives by the time the harvest is over at the end of November.
Harvest also is a special time for us because it's when we begin bottling our Limited Reserve extra virgin olive oil. It the freshest oil we produce. The oil goes straight from the press into the bottle, without spending any time in a tank where fruit particles are allowed to settle and be removed. We bottle Limited Reserve just once a year.
Like fall, this oil is fleeting. Its eight-month shelf life is less than half that of our other oils, because the leftover fruit particles in these bottles ultimately ferment. When you put a spoonful of Limited Reserve in your mouth, you experience a peppery, fruity, pleasantly bitter burst of fresh olive oil taste.
Chefs we know like to use Limited Reserve as a finishing oil for a variety of dishes. Karl Mace, executive chef at the upscale Union Bluff Hotel in York, Me., told us he cooks Brussels sprouts in Limited Reserve and indulges guests by using it to sear and poach fish such as cod and haddock.
Our Limited Reserve also goes well with any number of hearty autumn vegetables.
"Broccoli planted in mid-summer reaches perfection in fall; the tight florets, cooked and pureed with pine nuts and olive oil, make a verdant pasta sauce," writes Janet Fletcher in Fresh From the Farmers' Market (Chronicle Books, 2008).
The harvest has us looking ahead to Thanksgiving. For us, that means Brussels sprouts roasted in extra virgin olive oil and tossed with crispy bits of sautéed bacon. A butternut squash soup finished with a drizzle of Limited Reserve. Roast turkey. And a vanilla-laced pumpkin pie.
Our harvest and milling teams aren't the only people busy this time of year. Vineyard operators are picking grapes to crush into wine. Farmers are harvesting apples, carrots, cranberries, fennel, radicchio, and winter squash.
It's all about making the best with what Mother Nature has provided.
| Our Favorite Harvest Recipes |
|Dried Fig and Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce |
Recipe Credit: Fig Heaven (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2004), by Marie Simmons
Reprinted with permission from the author
|Fettuccine with Radicchio|
Leaving Home Penne Rigate
Recipe Credit: Delicious Memories (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011), by Anna Boiardi and Stephanie Lyness
Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang
| Q&A With Our Featured Chef |
35 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
|It's been a remarkable year for Dan Kluger and the restaurant where he's the chef: ABC Kitchen. In May, the New York eatery took home the prestigious
James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant 2011. Time Out New York named Kluger Chef of the Year. Kluger and his kitchen also have received glowing coverage in Bon Appétit, New York magazine, The New York Times, Saveur, and Food & Wine, to name a few media outlets. And he uses our oil in his restaurant.
|Photo by Patrick Cline for Lonnymag|
Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened the farm-to-table ABC Kitchen last year in ABC Carpet & Home, the stunning housewares store in New York City. Kluger's kitchen turn out fabulous dishes ranging from crab toast with lemon aioli to whole wheat pizzas topped with mushrooms, Parmesan, oregano, and a soft large-yolked egg. Kluger also is a stickler for using local, seasonal ingredients. He shops regularly at the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.
Kluger is a born and bred New Yorker. He's worked with everyone from Floyd Cardoz at Tabla to Tom Colicchio, not to mention Jean-Georges. He got his start with New York restaurateur Danny Meyer.
Growing up, you wanted to be everything from architect to electrician to gym owner. And in college you wanted to be a physical therapist. What inspired you to have a food career?
It happened through a bit of luck. I ended up being a nutrition major and was planning on going to grad school for physical therapy. I met Danny Meyer, began working front of the house at Union Square Cafe in New York, and they took a chance to have me start working in the kitchen. I began cooking there and it was love at first bite.
You were born and raised in New York City. How important were home-cooked meals at your house while growing up?
Home-cooked meals were always important at my house. Even though our family was always on the go, it always brought us together to the table to catch up.
What do you like most about being a chef?
The hustle and bustle, liveliness, and adrenaline rush is what excites me. Taking care of guests is what I really find joy in. I love seeing that instant smile when they are enjoying their meal. I also enjoy working with food and using my creative side to develop new dishes. Last but not least, the relationships and growth I have with my team is very important as well.
I have been very fortunate to have been taught under great chefs and mentors such as Floyd Cardoz, Jean-Georges and Greg Brainin. To really teach, nurture, and set a learning environment is important; and it's always exciting to see a cook's progression in skill, discipline, and technique as they move thru stations.
What do you look for when you go to the farmers' market and shop for ingredients?
I've fostered relationships with many farmers for the past 11 years. I love being part of our "shopping" process and speaking with the farmers and getting everything from advice to new knowledge about ingredients.
It's important to understand things like how the weather impacts product quality and/or availability and interacting with the farmers to see what they're excited about. When I go to the farmer's market, I look to see the varieties of, for example peaches or tomatoes, and which farmers have the best of these products. I also like seeing which farmers have new products that I haven't seen before.
What advice would you have for home cooks to make their cooking experience more enjoyable?
A great cooking day would possibly start at the farmer's market by shopping and interacting with the farmers to find something great for the meal. I then would suggest searching through cookbooks or the Internet to find uses for the ingredient as either a straight recipe or just inspiration. A great way is to find a cookbook that matches your cooking style. Great cookbooks that I find inspiration from are written by Jean-Georges, Tom Colicchio, and Mario Batali.
How did you develop a passion for using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients?
Starting at Union Square Cafe, I have luckily worked for restaurants that have supported fresh, local, seasonal ingredients on many levels. My eyes were opened to local and seasonal ingredients while working at Union Square Cafe. Tabla is where I really embraced local and sustainable practices. Now it's not just a passion, it's something I truly believe in and live by.
How do you like to use California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil in your cooking?
I use them in many ways, from something as simple as just dipping a warm, freshly baked piece of bread into olive oil with some sea salt to finishing a salad, pasta, or even a nice roasted piece of fish. It was important to me to look for great olive oil in the U.S., especially one that practiced sustainability. We immediately fell in love with the California Olive Ranch oils.
Stay Healthy in 2011 with California Olive Ranch!
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