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January 2012
Limited Supplies!

 Order Our Limited Reserve Olive Oil While Supplies Last 




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Olive Oil Health  
 A Primer On Baking with Olive Oil and Skipping the Butter

A European Version of the Mediterranean Diet Gets a Face-Lift

Why a Home-Cooked Meal Can Help Your Waistline

Avoiding "Portion Distortion"

Events in Season
Olive Oil Flavor and Quality
St. Helena, Calif.
Jan. 12, 2012 
St. Helena, Calif. 
Jan. 21, 2012
Good Food That's Good For You                 
We wrapped up 2011 with a bang, finishing our harvest before frost damaged the olives. Our harvest and milling crews worked day and night. With the job done, we celebrated the holidays, splurging on some of our favorite foods: roast goose; a chocolate-laden Buche de Noel; and mushroom-ricottaHalibut and corn salad
ravioli drizzled with our Limited Reserve extra virgin olive oil. With the start of the New Year, we're returning to our usual eating regimen - preparing foods that taste good and are good for you.

That means we include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in our daily menu. We seek out whole grains, legumes, seafood, and lean meats like chicken. And we prepare it with good California extra virgin olive oil.

Rather than pile on the portions, we're also mindful of how much we eat at meals. We cook in the comfort of our home, rather than order takeout or pop into a fast-food place. And we share our meals with family and friends.

We aren't the only ones mindful of how we eat. Alice Waters, in particular, and author Michael Pollan have for years preached we should eat good, nutritious food. Lately, more and more celebrity chefs have joined the bandwagon, including: Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, and Rachael Ray. First Lady Michelle Obama also is a vocal crusader for healthy eating.

"My family does meatless Mondays every week," Batali recently told the website Yumsugar. "It's all about moderating portion size, and moving meat from the center to the side of the plate."

Need some inspiration to do the same?
Puglia market

We've compiled recipes and suggestions to serve as a guide to eating good, nutritious foods. The recipes below - ranging from farro salad to fish in a pine nut sauce - provide flavorful dishes using foods that are good for you.

If you need more structure to keep your resolve for eating well this year, here's a checklist from David Eisenberg, an accomplished cook and professor at the Harvard Medical School:
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts in place of processed carbohydrates
  • Choose healthier carbs - whole grains and foods with lower glycemic loads
  • Choose healthier proteins - emphasize fish, poultry, tofu, nuts and legumesLegumes at Puglia market
  • Eliminate trans fat, reduce saturated fats and replace these with healthier, plant-based fats and oils (Yes, that means olive oil!)
  • Imagine your "ideal plate" - ¼ protein; ¼ healthier carb; ½ vegetables
  • Look for ways to reduce salt; season with herbs and spices first
  • Consider the environmental impact of the foods we buy and eat
Here's to a happy and healthy 2012.

 Recipes That Taste Good & Are Good For You  
Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Chickpeas and Pimentón
Orecchiette with wilted spinach, chickpeas and pimentón

Recipe and photo courtesy Viviane Bauquet Farre of food & style

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Black Bean Tapenade
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs

Recipe credit: Girl in the Kitchen (Chronicle Books, 2011) by Stephanie Izard
Reprinted with permission from the publisher

Farro Salad
Farro Salad

Reprinted with permission from the publisher

Fish in Pine Nut Sauce
Fish in Pine Nut Sauce

Reprinted with permission from the publisher

Salad with Caramelized Pumpkinseeds, Pears and Pomegranate
Big Salad with Caramelized Pumpkinseeds, Pears, and Pomegranate

Recipe credit: New Vegetarian (Chronicle Books, 2009) by Robin Asbell
Reprinted with permission from the publisher

Red Quinoa Salad
Red Quinoa Salad

Recipe credit: Easy Green Organic (Chronicle Books, 2010) by Anna Getty
Reprinted with permission from the publisher

 Q&A With Our Own Adam Englehardt About the Harvest       
Our fall olive harvest was filled with sunshine and long working hours, Adam Englehardt tells us. Adam heads our farming operations. He and his harvest team worked two 12-hour shifts every day, seven days a week, during the harvest. It stretched from 
Adam Englehardt 2011
Photo by Terry McCarthy
Oct. 10 to Nov. 18. We asked Adam about the weather during the harvest, the quality of the olives, and the the oil they produced.

How was the weather during the harvest?

We couldn't have gotten any luckier. We had dry, mild weather throughout. It was better than previous years. No frost and no large rains that prevented us from harvesting.

We did start a little late, because the spring was cool. So the crop cycle was behind. But because the crop-load was light, we ended up harvesting it right about on time.   

What was the big difference between the 2011 harvest and the 2010 harvest?

There were less tons of fruit per acre than in 2010. So the olives produced an oil with a more robust flavor profile, because the flavor is concentrated in fewer olives. It's similar to a wine grape crop when you thin the crop to allow the flavors to concentrate.

How would you characterize the differences between the three olive varietals you picked during the harvest?

The Arbequina crop was light so the fruit size was large and the fruit matured early with more intense flavors. Arbosana had a heavy year and so was late in maturing. Koroneiki was an average crop.
Morning Harvest in Artois
Photo by Terry McCarthy
What do you like about this year's Limited Reserve versus previous years?

is much more intense in flavor than the 2010, while still having a good balance.  That's due, I think, to this year's lighter crop. We also try to "stress" the trees going into harvest by not giving them as much water. It intensifies the flavor of the oil and also speeds the ripening process. (Adam, by the way, tells us he and his family have been enjoying Limited Reserve on simple green salads, where the flavor of the oil really stands out.)

How did the new harvesters perform that the company acquired?

We'd been working on some prototypes for a couple of years. So this year we were ready to go. They performed very, very well. The new harvester was kind of the superstar of the year.  It's built specifically for olives, and so it's taller. It's gentler when picking the tree. The older harvesters were retrofitted grape harvesters - the kind that vineyard operators use.

What was the first thing you did when the harvest ended?
Fresh Olive Oil
Photo by Terry McCarthy

We actually got done halfway through the day. We shaved the beards off. And then we sent the guys home for the entire weekend. It was the first day we'd had off in about four weeks. I think everyone went home and slept. People were working 14-hour days. We plan on a 12-hour shift; but we end up working a little bit longer. And then we run a day and a night shift; so it's a 24-hour operation.

 Thank You
Stay Healthy in 2012 with California Olive Ranch!

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