News From The Ranch
EVOO with Fresh Herbs
Be among the first notified about the availability of our Limited Reserve extra virgin olive oil. Limited Reserve is our freshest oil, and is available only during the fall harvest.
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Visit our YouTube page and and see what keeps our ranchers and millers busy.

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Charlie Garcia

Meet Charlie

Rancher Charlie Garcia is our field research assistant. Here Charlie demonstrates how a  trellis system works with baby Arbequina trees.
Lane Colvin Jalapeno Poppers

Send Us Your Photos!

Congratulations to Lane Colvin! Lane sent us a photo of these jalapeno poppers. Lane used our oil to "add extra flavor" to the poppers. The photo was enormously popular on our Facebook page. As a result, Lane has  won some olive oil. You can win this month's contest by sending us a photo showing how you use our oil. Put "Fan Photo" in the subject line and send it to the email address below, or post it on our Facebook page
Corning Sunset
We're passionate about the high quality of our extra virgin olive oil. Nobody cares more about quality than we do. And we approach it from all angles. There's an art and a science to this.

Our Master Miller, Bob Singletary, is a craftsman with more than a quarter century of experience making olive oil. Bob is passionate about his work. "When you make as many gallons of olive oil as I do, it's in your blood," he says.

We also have a "science guru," Mary Bolton, who heads our quality team. And we turn to science when it comes to growing olives and making olive oil. For example, we operate a "fruit sampling" program to monitor the quality of our own olives as well as those of the family farmers we work with. Our trained field scouts regularly gather olives from each ranch, and deliver them to our on-site lab for testing. We use the data to guide our growing practices, and to ensure the best olives are delivered to our mill when our harvest begins next month.

We're proud of our commitment to quality. And, in a world where sometimes quality is compromised by price, California Olive Ranch is going in the opposite direction.  And our efforts are paying off.

In their September issue, Consumer Reports magazine recommended our Everyday Fresh extra virgin olive oil, saying it was among "the top nine of the 23 products our experts tried (which) were free of flaws." And it's important to note California olive oils dominated the list of oils rated Excellent or Very Good; our fellow California olive oil producers also share a firm commitment to quality.

"Our Ratings show that you don't need to buy oil with an Italian heritage to experience the best," the magazine noted.

To give you a better idea of how we ensure our oil is excellent, we spoke with Mary Bolton, the head of our quality team. In an interview below, Mary walks us through the tests we perform in our lab, and how she and her colleagues regularly taste our oil to ensure its delicious, consistent taste.

Speaking of quality, this month we're featuring our "Best of the Best" recipes from past and present.  We've combed through our extensive recipe collection to feature the recipes that have been most popular among you, our fans - in addition to a few of our own favorites. You'll find them below.  

It's all part of our commitment to making great olive oil available to everyone.
Our Most Popular Recipes (Plus Our Own Favorites)
Rotisseried Baby Back Ribs
Mom's Summer Tomato Salad These ribs, from grilling master Steven Raichlen, are among the most popular dish in our recipe collection. Baby back ribs, which have a generous sprinkling of Herbs de Provence, are cooked slowly on a BBQ rotisserie. They're basted with extra virgin olive oil - such as our Miller's Blend - and fresh lemon juice. The result: succulent ribs, with the pork's natural flavor shining through. The dish comes from Raichlen's How to Grill (Workman Publishing, 2001).   

  Click here to see the recipe
Grilled Cheese with Garlic Confit and Arugula
Cedar Planked New York Steak with Rosemary and Honey Leave it to Viviane Bauquet Farre to transform a beloved comfort food - the grilled cheese sandwich - into an amazing gourmet dish. This cook extraordinaire has done so by using what she dubs a "secret ingredient": peeled garlic cloves cooked slowly in extra virgin olive oil, like our Arbosana. The flavorful poached cloves, or garlic confit, become so soft you can spread them - in this case in a grilled cheese, along with baby argula.

 Click here to see the recipe
Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Fresh Ricotta
Arugula Salad with Watermelon and Feta Following the crowds and not the guidebooks, food writer Janet Fletcher and her hubby found themselves in a crowded lunch spot in Naples. "After a glance around, we decided to have what everyone else was having: rigatoni in tomato sauce topped with a dollop of snow-white ricotta," she writes.  One look at the photo here explains why this dish was a hit. It appears in Fletcher's Four Seasons Pasta (Chronicle Books, 2004).

  Click here to see the recipe
Tattooed Potatoes with Rosemary
Tequila Salmon These roasted potatoes not only are delicious - they look beautiful, too. Each potato is "tattooed" with a fresh rosemary sprig or  parsley leaf.  The potatoes are a breeze to make. They appear in Peggy Knickerbocker's  Olive Oil: From Tree to Table (Chronicle Books, 2007). Olive oil, Knickerbocker writes, "makes these potatoes remarkable." Try our Everyday Fresh or Arbequina.

 Click here to see the recipe
Mousse au Chocolat with Olive Oil
Grilled Rib Eye with Crispy Potato and Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette  We've made this chocolate mousse - also called mousse au chocolat - several times. It's a crowd pleaser that combines two heart-healthy ingredients: extra virgin olive oil and dark chocolate. No butter or heavy cream, like some recipes use. Food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins developed this mousse using our fruity Arbequina. You could also try it with our chocolate friendly Arbosana.  

   Click here to see the recipe
Wild Salmon with Champagne Caper Vinaigrette
Grilled Tuna with Red Wine, Caper, and Olive Sauce Wild Alaskan salmon is a favorite around here.
And we make this dish often. Pan-roasted salmon is topped with a vinaigrette combining olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Capers and chopped fresh tarragon provide added zing. The recipe is courtesy of Sunset Magazine and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Try it using our Everyday Fresh oil.

 Click here to see the recipe
Meet Our Quality Chief
Mary Bolton
Mary Bolton and Bob Singletary Cropped
Mary Bolton with Master Miller Bob Singletary

Our "science guru," Mary Bolton, joined California Olive Ranch in July 2011. She heads our team that  evaluates and tests our extra virgin olive oil to ensure its fresh quality. Mary, 26, is a California native who earned her food science degree at the University of California, Davis. She's also a self-described "health nut." At home, Mary is an avid cook who enjoys preparing fresh, healthy dishes - like a salad of feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and artichokes dressed with our Miller's Blend oil and a splash of champagne vinegar

Tell us about what you do for California Olive Ranch (COR)?

I head our Quality Assurance team. Our work covers everything related to oil quality, including: how the oil tastes and smells, governmental regulatory issues, food safety compliance, and research into milling and bottling.

Tell us about the tests you conduct to make sure our oil chemistry is perfect.

There are about 25 different chemical test parameters that are used to certify oil as extra virgin. We test our oil to gauge its quality, the quality of the olives used to make the oil, and how quickly the olives were harvested and milled. We perform numerous  tests on the incoming olives, too.  

We use all this information during our milling process so we can control the utmost accuracy of - and retain the highest quality of - our extra virgin olive oil during production.

Can you tell us about how you taste the oil, and how you train team members in olive oil sensory evaluation so they know whether an oil is "good," "great," or "bad"?

We're constantly improving our in-house olive oil tasting panel through training sessions. We conduct weekly tastings to keep our taste buds active. Our production manager and I are now members of the UC Davis olive oil taste panel.  

The key is to constantly taste oils and other foods that are known to stay in your memory bank. We taste rancid, fusty, and musty oils, for example, to remember what rancid, fusty or musty oils taste like. Think sweaty socks or gym clothes - that's fustiness. Think about what mold smells like - that is mustiness of an oil that had olives that were stored too long. We train everyone to recognize these sensory descriptors, good or bad.

By tasting green apples, almonds, green tea, and even fresh cut grass, it reminds the brain of what that flavor/aroma is so you can easily identify it during a tasting. It's what we call "calibrating our brain" and calibrating our team to each other so that everyone tastes green tea.

What dishes do you enjoy cooking at home?

Because I'm young, single, and try to stay active, most of my meals are easy to cook and require little time. The main dishes I cook are Italian or Latin-based. I have a sister-in-law from Peru and have learned a lot of delicious dishes from her.

I love simple sautéed vegetables - squash, peppers, onions, with tomatoes and artichokes - combined with pasta and a topping of crumbled feta.  A dish my sister-in-law introduced me to is lomo saltado - basically, the Peruvian dish for "meat and potatoes."  I fry potatoes in our Arbosana oil. I also sauté skirt steak, onions, peppers, chilies, garlic and tomatoes in our Everyday Fresh oil.  Pile all of that on some rice, and it is to die for! My favorite snack is the Arbosana drizzled with a Misto olive oil sprayer on homemade popcorn with a little bit of salt. It's a much healthier option than the packaged popcorn.  

What do you do in your spare time?

I love nature, so I try to get out as much as possible.  The Oroville-Chico area is fantastic for hiking, swimming, and camping. I take my dog regularly out to the local park for hikes in the canyon.