Harvest Begins

We are up and milling and expecting over 46,000 pounds just in the first two weeks. Harvest is very early and we are harvesting our own olives almost 5 weeks earlier than last year.

Here is what our growers and colleagues are saying about this year’s crop: As usual with olives, some trees are heavy with fruit and others have none. Some trees have ripe olives on one side and green on the other. This is pretty normal for olives. This sturdy tree is always teaching us new lessons.

Crop size varies depending on the location and variety of the olives. Some crops are very light, while others are moderate to heavy.

1

The olive fly is very fickle. Some growers have lost entire crops and other growers who were not rigorous in spraying have a greater than 20% loss. At IL Fiorello we have been very diligent in spraying every week to prevent crop loss and have less than a 10% infestation. It is clear to us at IL Fiorello that there is a change in the fly, whether it be resistance, increased number of olives, and/or growers who are not taking care of their trees. Landscape trees are of particular concern as no one monitors, treats, or harvests these trees.

We have handpicked all the olives and they are in the mill this week! We are milling almost every day and reservations for mill tours are still available. At our Visitor Center, tastings are every day from 1 to 5, including fresh oil called Olio Nuovo.  We have some fabulous Olio Nuovo available now for purchase. It is the best new Frantoio oil I have tasted in a long time.

Call us and come out and watch the process!

 

 

 

The California Olive Oil Commission

The California Olive Oil Commission was formed under the stewardship of Senator Lois Wolk. Similar to the Almond Commission, the Olive Oil Commission was created to standardize nomenclature as well as the processing of oils from California.

Is this a good thing, at the right time or not? Fortunately everyone has their opinion and gets to express it. On July 16, 2014, the California Senate held a meeting for open public comment on the California Olive Oil Commission.  Over 100 people attended to provide testimony and input on the document. Growers and producers of olive oil from California, European Union, including representatives from Italy all gathered to give their opinions about the process and the document.

The Olive Oil Commission became law on January 1, 2014 and became operational effective March 24, 2014. The Commission proposes grading and labeling standards for California.  It is important to have accurate statements and definitions to help California define our unique product.

In our opinion the use of certain terms, specifically, “best by dates” and “first cold press”, are detrimental to the language in the Commission’s document. These terms confuse our consumers. Some people who sell olive oil make claims that it cures diabetes, lowers blood pressure and other medical claims, which are misleading; stuff and nonsense. We in the industry have let such ridiculous claims go unchecked too long. It is time to change.  It is time to base your definitions in fact and science.

The real emphasis is that we in California want to promote a clean product: Extra virgin olive oil, certified by specific guidelines.

Just this week in Taiwan, a court settlement was levied against suppliers of adulterated oil.  The IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company was interviewed by Taiwan news media last fall about this very serious problem. This is an example of both the economic and consumer fraud issue that California is trying to address with the California Olive Oil Commission.

Come in to IL Fiorello and ask us about the Commission and how it affects us as producers and how it can benefit consumers.

Refer to:

  1. Senate Bill 250.
  2. Lois Wolk Senator California (D)

Testimony July 15, 2014

  1. Divergent Views on Proposed California Olive Oil Standards

Olive Oil Times

By Nancy Flagg on July 22, 2014

Traveling In Europe 2014

 

Oils, Wine, and Cultural Preferences

Travel. Travel a lot. It is great fun. When you get to travel for your business and get to eat your way through France and Italy, go for it.

Mark and I just returned from Europe where we tasted our way down the Rhone River in Provence, France then into the Northern and Central part of Italy.  Not to worry, everyone walks a lot in Europe so putting on the pounds is not part of the deal. Enjoy the pleasure of long leisurely lunches and dinners so well perfected in Europe. Enjoy the cultural differences. That is why you travel.

French oils and French food

France has been making olive oil for a very long time. It is steeped in history, culture, lore, and food. As in many countries the olive producers take their growing very seriously. They rely on their grandfathers to tell them how to prune, when to feed their trees, and when to pick the olives at just the right time to produce their lovely oils. The French varieties are unique. We grow only three here at IL Fiorello: Aglandau, Boutellian, and Tanche. Other French varietals are Collumella, Grossane, Lucques, Picholine, Languedoc, and Salonenque. But history aside, French olive oil producers are transitioning from stone wheels and augers to press their oils to a more sophisticated method using a centrifuge. The stone wheels, according to a French grower, produce a more mild oil. But that may also be because they tend to harvest late, when the olives are riper. So there are many variables in the equation of producing fine olive oils. The French seem to prefer a milder, elegant oil with a slight fusty taste. Culturally, this is important since “Grandfather” determined when to pick and when to take the harvest to the mill. If olives are picked over a few days’ time some of the first picked olives will begin to ferment leading to the attribute/defect of “fusty”. This type of flavor has been paired with French cooking for a very long time. Culturally, this is how they love their oils and food.

We served our French oil at our French Provencal cooking class on June 29 and again at our release Bastille Day celebration of our wines and French oil on July 13. IL Fiorello turned French on that weekend. Come and try the French oils and compare them to our Mission and Italian varieties.

Italian oils and Italian foods

Italy has been producing beautiful olive oil for a millennium. The Greeks and Romans used oil for food, as well as for anointment during competitive sports and religious events.  Each area of Italy has its own food preferences and makes its own oil to pair with the foods.  Climate and historical preferences dictate what is grown in each area.  Great Grandfather gives the direction, Great Grandmother right behind him. Do not go against their preferences or experience.  Mid (Tuscany) to Southern (Sicily) Italy grow olives because of the climate. Each area has developed its own food specialties and preferences. Parma has ham. Modena has Balsamic vinegar. Cherasco  has snails. Bra has its own particular cheese, named after the river Tenero; Bra Tenero (fresh) and Bra Duro (hard).  Liguria, on the Italian Riviera, grows Taggiasca olives. They are harvested late and the oil is buttery and mild. We grow Taggiasca here at IL Fiorello but we plan to harvest earlier than in Italy, because we like the beautiful fruit aromas of the earlier harvest.

The most commonly known Italian varieties are Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo, Maurino, and Pendolino.  Each also has synonyms, Frantoio is also known as Razzo, or Correggiolo. Each area may name its trees by the great, great grandfather that settled in the area. Cultural preferences are indicative of the preferences and history of the area. Italy has been growing olives and fruit and vegetables for thousands of years and each area is very proud of their produce. I love going to the farmers markets where each vendor can give you a dissertation about their growing practices.  No snack food at these markets!  Eating is serious business eating in Italy.  Many conversations are about what everyone is preparing for dinner, what they had for dinner and what they are planning for tomorrow. It is spectacular to hear the devotion and respect for food.

Festivals abound around food, wine, and religion. Wine is also specific to the growing area, the soil, the wind, rain, and growing practices. Both Italy and France serve wine as a condiment with meals. It is just part of everyday life. We often choose the house wine wherever we eat. Often this is the family’s own wine, or a particular preference by the Chef. Listen to their recommendations, they really know how to pair food and wine. Each region celebrates their hard work and their food. Wonderful, wonderful eating and experiences.

We should respect Farmers markets here in California with the fervor and anticipation the way Europeans respect theirs. It is all about food, food preparation, and eating seasonally. Eat fresh, eat well, and eat good food, with respect to the growers.

Respect cultural differences, enjoy traveling and continue to taste everything. A whole new world will be open to you.

Ciao

Ann and Mark

Gelato

Gelato picture

JULY is national ice cream month, but we have something much better. Italian Gelato!!! Celebrate!

IL Fiorello has gelato, made by Leo Leo in Paso Robles. The family is from Florence, hence the name Leo, or Lion, the symbol of Florence. Fantastic, delightful, perfect, amazing, colors and flavors. 99 to be exact. Each week we will offer different flavors. Current favorites are Passion Fruit Sorbet, Chile Chocolate and, of course, Olive Oil Gelato made with our own olive oil and drizzled with lemon olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Heavenly.

We served gelato in the colors of the French flag at our Bastille Day celebration, Blueberry blue, Honey Lavender white, and Strawberry Basil red. We do have fun. The next offerings will include Pistachio.  Everyone who has gone to Italy will testify that this is the test of how good the gelato really is. We will have my very favorite in the Fall, Chestnut. Beautiful creamy vanilla with chunks of chestnuts. Drizzled with a wee bit of balsamic it is my perfect gelato. Or maybe creamy gelato with a shot of espresso on top, called affogato. Or maybe stracciatella, chocolate bits interwoven into super creamy gelato. Or maybe just espresso, dark and rich. So many to choose from. We purchased peanut butter and jelly for the kids, and all the adults ate it because of the clarity of the flavors. Great!

We had such a hard time trying to decide what flavors to have at IL Fiorello. It was a very hard job tasting each and every flavor. You should have seen us by the end of the day. Wanting to taste more and more but groaning with pleasure at the wonderful flavors and colors.  Maybe we should hold a contest as to which one is the best, that would be a lot of tasting, but we could rise to the occasion.

We have had many requests to sell the gelato by the pint and gallon so we are making plans to do just that. How fun is that idea?

Look up Leo Leo.  Their web site is too good to be real.  Then come to IL Fiorello for a taste. See the gorgeous photo below from their beautiful web site.

www.leoleogelato.com

When my girls were young we used to read all the Shel Silverstein books for children and adults. This one poem makes me laugh and sigh, as Mr. Silverstein died all too early. He has entertained many a person with his wit and art. Buy all of his books and read to the children with a scoop of ice cream to top it off. This poem is just delightful for national ice cream, really gelato, month.

EIGHTEEN FLAVORS

By Shel Silverstein

Eighteen luscious, scrumptious flavors

Chocolate, lime and cherry,

Coffee, pumpkin, fudge banana

Caramel cream and boysenberry.

Rocky road and toasted almond,

Butterscotch, vanilla dip,

Butter brickle, apple ripple,

Coconut and mocha chip,

Brandy peach and lemon custard,

Each scoop lovely, smooth and round,

Tallest ice cream cone in town,

Lying there (sniff) on the ground.

Come in and have a double scoop cup- no spills.

 

Sustainable, Intelligent Farming

IFOOC Solar PanelsIl Fiorello goes solar! We have installed solar panels on our Visitors Center and on our Mill Barn to capture the brilliant sunshine energy of Suisun Valley. We decided to make the commitment and do what we really believe in, using a better way to produce energy. As we expand the Visitors Center we will be adding more panels and it is our hope to expand the solar array to fully support our energy requirements. As the saying goes this is a good thing, and about time too.

To further our commitment to use resources more efficiently, we are mulching and composting to improve soil quality, conserve water, and to add nutrients to our soil. Much of the trimmings from our pruning, as well as the remaining olive material after making oil are used in our compost. It just makes sense to use what we have and be as self-sufficient and productive as possible. Olive trees are drought tolerant but we want ours to thrive so we are monitoring water usage by weekly calculations of both temperature and humidity. We want to produce good food for you.

National Geographic Magazine recently published an article titled “EAT, The New Food Revolution” (May 2014). A team of scientists were confronted with one simple question: How can the world double the availability of food while simultaneously cutting the environmental harm caused by agriculture? After analyzing reams of data on agriculture and the environment, they proposed five steps that could solve the world’s food dilemma.

 

Step One: Freeze agriculture’s footprint internationally

Step Two: Grow more on farms we have

Step Three: Use resources more efficiently

Step Four: Shift diets

Step Five: Reduce Waste

 

Read the entire article at National Geographic Magazine, May 2014, pp 26-59.

We love to have conversations about what we are doing to help a demanding world, come visit and we can discuss our plan.

Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Dolcetto

Olive Oil TrufflesHere at Il Fiorello, we like to play with unique pairings of olive oil, food, and selected wines.

One of our favorite pairings is chocolate olive oil truffles and Galvan Family Cellars’ Dolcetto dessert wine.  This pairing in particular is mouth-wateringly delicious.  The truffles are made with dark chocolate and our Leccino olive oil, a winning combination if ever there was one.  The silky, yet pungent, Leccino blends with the chocolate such that the truffles positively melt in your mouth.  Adding the dessert wine, 99% Dolcetto grapes blended with 1% brandy, only heightens the flavors with its notes of dark plum and cherry.  The complex flavors of the chocolate, oil, and wine make this the perfect afternoon indulgence.

So many people have tried wine and chocolate but have you ever considered throwing olive oil into the mix?  Keep in touch for more fun food and oil pairings from Il Fiorello and Executive Chef Marvin Martin.

Solano County’s Stand Against Olive Fly


THE SOLANO COUNTY OLIVE GROWERS MEETING
REGARDING THE OLIVE FLY INFESTATION
FEB 28, 2014

This is a synopsis of the olive fly meeting held on Feb 28, 2014 in Solano County. This represents information given to participants by experts in the field. As with any synopsis this does not constitute a complete coverage of the subject of olive fly and growing olives. It is always best to consult professionals about how to manage pests and chemicals, whether organic or not. We at IL Fiorello use professional support for assistance and information, as you should also. At the end of this article please see a partial list of resources for your support.

 

Albert Katz, Grower and Miller, Katz Farm
Introduction

 

Patty Darragh, COOC
General Comments on Olive Oil Quality and Impact of OLFF to Markets.

Fly first reported in LA county 1997.  Generally the regional parks and landscape olives are not treated.  For the COOC almost 4% (2% previous years) of submitted oils are not meeting certification criteria this year for a variety of reasons, maybe olive fly, maybe early frost. The counties hardest hit with fly are Sonoma, Napa, Solano Co and San Diego Co.

 

Mike Madison, PhD, Grower and Miller, Yolo Bulb, Yolo, CA
Mark Sievers, Grower and Miller, IL Fiorello Olive Oil Co, Fairfield, CA
Impact and Information on Olive Fly and Milling Olives

Use irrigation control as the hot weather dehydrates olive fly so limit/control your irrigation. In 100°F weather don’t irrigate the trees.  Heat makes female flies inactive and you should carefully monitor temperature and humidity in grove. It is mandatory to do annual heavy pruning as the olive fly likes a dark damp quiet eg. no wind, environment.  Black scale likes that environment also. Black scale is a food source for olive fly. Very important to get the fruit off the tree each year so the fly does not overwinter in the “mummy fruit”.

Damaged or frozen fruit falls first so you may have a crop after the bad fruit falls off. But do not let the damaged infested fruit stay on the ground to over winter. It is reported that the fly has a 6 mile flying radius. Discuss your olives with your miller if you have questions or concerns. Transport of olive fly is not a generally accepted practice. Milling olive fly infested fruit is not good practice, and some mills will not accept olive fly infested fruit at all.

 

Louise Ferguson, PhD UC Davis
Life Cycle of Olive Fruit Fly and Implications for Control

Reviewed the biology of the fly, the Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) single host pest that only destroys olives and not the tree. She is recommending that yearly traps are set by March first. Dr. Ferguson referred to a 2009 study by Dr. Frank Zalom, UC Agricultural and Natural Resources, UC IPM online, http://ipm.ucdavis.edu and are peer reviewed articles.

There may be genetic differences and California may have a unique genetic variety but this has not been scientifically proven yet.

 

Dr. Ferguson showed a Dendogram cluster describing the fly cycle.

1. Adult olive fly
2. Egg in fruit
3. First instar (instar being the process of growth of the pupae)
4. Second and third instar
5. Third instar
6. Pupa in fruit

Females can live 11 months and may pupate in the ground. They have 3-5 generations per year and can pupate in the soil. So sanitation in the orchard is important. Disking and tilling the soil around the trees is valuable in controlling olive fly.

Mc phial trap:  Torula yeast is used in the Mc phial trap and is effective in capturing females because of the liquid especially with the addition of GF-120 to the container. Read the directions carefully and keep up with the trap maintenance.

The olive fly population is bimodal: spring and July August.

Control essential with:

1. Early season control NO host able olives.
2. Winter sanitation program
3. Preseason and throughout the season control with Spinosid GF-120 is critical.
4.  High heat over 100° F will kill first instars
5.  Mass trapping should never be done alone use Spinosid GF-120
6. Harvest as early as possible to miss fall generation.
7. Consider the use of Kaolin clay, which does not prevent photosynthesis but seems to be effective as a fly deterrent.

 

Danitol

Danitol pyrethroid registered for use in 2012, is not organic. Valent technologies states that “Danitol is a synthetic pyrethroid that provides a powerful knockout punch for more than 100 of the most troublesome pests, including the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). It is labeled for more than 120 crops—such as peach and other stone fruit, citrus, pome fruit (apples and pears), grapes, cotton, tomatoes, strawberries, peanuts, bushberries and blueberries. Unlike other synthetic pyrethroids, Danitol is proven not to flare mites and combines the effectiveness of both an insecticide and miticide.”

Dr. Ferguson states that “it is to be used only late in the season and only once, then return to GF-120.”  See the manufactures handout on their instructions for application of the product.

Spinosid resistance was an ongoing question, but the investigated ration is a resistance ratio of about 10.93. Which is described as quite low.

 

Resistance is a function of the total number of applications.  We don’t have a resistance problem now but we could.  Monitor the fruit as well as the traps. Danitol should be used only once and only late in the season. It is not organic. Use a HOBO data temperature and humidity monitoring station that displays real time data information. This is very useful in irrigation monitoring.  Set two traps per 5 to 10 acres in the orchard. Place them mid canopy in the shade in the north-east side of the tree.  Monitor weekly for catch.

 

 Jill LeVake, DOW Chemical
Considerations for use of GF-120 Spinosid in Controlling OLFF

Spinosid is an organic compound composed of sugars and protein. It has stabilizers to improve shelf life and humectants to prevent drying. The re-entry interval (REI) is 4 hours and the pre-harvest interval (PHI) is 3 days. Once mixed use that amount within one day, as it begins to deteriorate after being mixed. The use amount is 20 oz per acre per tree 2 to 3 ounces of the ratio based per tree.  The 1 to 1.5 dilution ratio results in little bait stations on each tree.  The use is about 20 ounces in 80 ounces of water. The nozzle stream is important, use a D 1 to D 2 size nozzle with no swirl plates or screens.  Almonds near olive orchards should be also treated and provide some synergistic effect for the olives. Put the traps out March first. Get them out early and monitor them. Then begin applications of GF-120 in April. Apply to every other row every 7 days.

Spinosid is pH sensitive 7.0 so mix with neutral water, and test well water if that is what you are using for diluent.

PLEASE ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PRODUCERS FOR GF-120, DANITOL, and McPHAIL TRAPS.

 

Jim Allen, Solano County Ag Commissioner
Regional Approaches to Pest control and Abatement

These are regional issues and proximity is really the issue.  Agricultural commissioner has the authority to supervise re abandoned orchards. This is a civil vs commercial issue.

Another pest is being monitored for progression, the olive psyllid is a relative of aphids and sucking insects.  Don’t bring fruit or fruit trees from Southern California to stop this infestation. If you do not want olives apply Fruit Stop at bloom or purchase Swann Olives that are non-bearing.

 

Dan Flynn, Executive Director of the UC Davis Olive Center
Future for Olive Fruit Fly control, Making New Tools Available

He stated that the goal of the center in multipurpose, including table olives and oil producing olives. He is dedicated to quality in all olives both table and olive oil and to research in both areas. There is funding and ongoing projects in both.

Please refer to the UC Davis IPM pest management site for great information.

He repeated the caution of using Danitol to use it only late in the season and then go back to GF-120. To research the use of Kaolin clay and referred to an article by Paul Vossen from 2006.

There is research being done regarding the olive fly

1. Kent Dane at UC Berkeley has a funded study on parasitoids with initial funding of $250,000.
2. USDA is investigating a male olive fly irradiation methods of sterilization.
3. Research in Spain is investigation a genetically engineered male olive fly study.
4. CDFA olive psyllid research ongoing
5. Frank Zalom researching GF-120 resistance in table olives.

Flynn also reminded everyone that there are years to come to have the research answers.

Olive center can be the distribution of information and he is placing articles on line for reference. Please find best practice information on line at the UCD Olive Center web site, and the IPM web site.

 

SOURCES OF INFORMATION/REFERENCES

1. UC Davis Olive Center

2. UC Davis Integrated Pest Management

3. Olive Fruit Fly F. G. Zalom, Entomology UC Davis

4. L. Ferguson PhD Pomology, UC Davis

5. California Olive Oil Counsel

6. Dow Chemical,  Dow AgroSciences LLC GF-120 Naturalyte Fruit Fly Bait

7. Marvin Martin,  Master taster and olive oil expert at mmoliveoils.com

 

NOTE:

 PLEASE ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PRODUCERS FOR GF-120, DANITOL, and McPHAIL TRAPS.

 

 

Working A Tasting Room

When working in a tasting room, you never know who is going to walk through the door. The guests might be completely new to olive oil or they might be experts. They may want an in depth tasting or they may just be interested in one type. Fortunately, we have something for everyone. However, being mentally prepared for everyone takes a little more work.

The key is knowing your own strengths. Personally, I love food. Eating is one of my favorite things to do. Therefore I’m more likely to talk about food pairings than say the health benefits of olive oil. I have a background in science but I know that not everyone is going to be interested in that aspect of olive oil. So, not only is food a topic I enjoy but it’s something everyone can enjoy. The tastes of the different oils are going to speak for themselves. Everyone is going to have their own reactions to each of the oils. But, by engaging the guests in a topic that everyone loves, the experience is going to be more enjoyable for everyone involved, myself included.

A family came in the other day. They had never done an olive oil tasting before. The two little girls were so incredibly excited to hear that our White Peach Balsamic goes great on vanilla ice cream (the younger one’s favorite flavor) while their older brother was more interested in trying our Chili oil on popcorn. After their mother and I swapped tips for mashed potatoes with our Leccino olive oil they headed straight to Safeway for supplies.

You never know what’s going to stick with someone. So talk about what you know and love. Excitement is contagious!

Olive Fly: Time to Start Spraying

olive-fruit-fly

The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera:Tephritidae), is an important pest to be very aware of if you grow olives (Olea europaea). This pest was introduced and invaded California around 1998, and spread rapidly throughout the state and northern Mexico (Rice et al., 2003). It is very prevalent in Europe.

We are spraying our trees every other week. Some growers spray each week. Each time we spray every other row and then alternate each two weeks. I always spray each of the border trees. Not sure if it makes a difference but it makes sense to me to set up a barrier. I spray a target spot on each tree about the size of a dinner paper plate, at mid-level of the tree. I must admit that I have a great time spraying, me in the early morning, with little Casey riding along beside me. With coffee in hand and dog biscuits, we drive around the property and watch the birds and inspect each tree.

Paul Vossen is one of the leading experts in olive growing in California. His chapter in Organic Olive Production in the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication No. 3505 from 2007 is very relevant and worth reading. Along with his co-author Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne, Mr. Vossen states that this is the most economically significant pest of olives. If you spray you can save up to 80% or more of the crop. This is very economically important.

Per Mr. Vossen, “The Olive Fruit fly belongs to the family Tephritidae, a group that includes such economically important flies as the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the walnut husk fly (Rhagoletis complete), the apple maggot (R. pomonella), and the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis). Chapter 6, Pg. 47.

olive fly maggot

An adult can lay 50 to 400 eggs in a lifetime, one in each olive. As the maggot grows it eats the inside of the olive and destroys the fruit.

To prevent this destruction we spray with GF-120 Naturalyte a bait spray using the active ingredient Spinosad. Spinosad is a fermentation byproduct of the actinomycete bacteria Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Hence the name spinosad. This is a certified organic spray. It seems to have little effect on honey bees and ladybugs.

Begin spraying early and continue into the Fall harvest. We inspect each batch of olives and may reject olives that are heavily infested as this will affect the taste of the oil. And we do not want olive flies here at our Farm.

Call us if you have any questions or problems with olive fly. We can help you with some small amounts of GF-120 if you have only a few olive trees.

What’s Cooking at Il Fiorello: Calabrian Beans

At the Green Valley Farmers Market and at IL Fiorello we presented a beautiful dish of Cici Beans, or chick peas, cooked with a soffrito and olive oil. This recipe was presented to a group of Chefs from the Michael Mina Group restaurant RN74 during a comparative oil tasting. We paired the dish with a very robust Mission Olive Oil and it was very well received.

We wanted you to have the recipe. Feel free to change up the ingredients to suit your taste profile.

Begin with soaking dry cici beans in lots of fresh water over night, at least 12 hours.

In the morning rinse the beans thoroughly with fresh water.

Next chop a white onion, a red onion, celery, garlic, and gently sauté in olive oil until the vegetables are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is called a soffrito in Italian and a mirpoix in French. The amounts are about a cup of each of the onions and celery and 2-4 heads of garlic or more to taste.

The next step is to combine the soaked cici beans with the soffrito, add more olive oil to cover and let cook in a crock pot for at least 10 hours or until tender but not soft. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of herbs or cheese or cut fresh tomatoes. This dish gets even better the next day as the herbs have time to soak into the dish.

 

Enjoy!

Custom Milling

Bring us your olives to be crushed in our state of the art Italian mill.

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Tastings

Taste extra virgin and co-milled flavored olive oils.

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Il Fiorello Blog

Keeping you up to date on all things olive and olive oil.

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Custom Milling

Bring us your olives to be crushed in our state of the art Italian mill.

read more...

Tastings

Taste extra virgin and co-milled flavored olive oils.

read more...

Il Fiorello Blog

Keeping you up to date on all things olive and olive oil.

read more...