Tag Archives: Olives

south Africa’s best olive oils announced

south Africa’s best olive oils announced

A total of 36 extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) of the 2016 harvest were lauded as South Africa’s finest during the annual SA Olive Awards gala dinner held last night (Thursday, 01 September). These premium products walked off with Gold medals in three categories – 6 for Delicate, 20 for Medium and 10 for Intense. The competition, now in its 11th year, attracted a record 110 entries. In addition to the 36 Gold medals, 53 Silver and 11 Bronze medals were awarded.

The gold medallists in the Delicate category are: De Rustica Estate Delicate EVOO, Greenleaf EVOO, Mont Rouge Owner’s Reserve EVOO, River Press EVOO, Spar Authentic EVOO and Tokara Frantoio EVOO.

Tokara Frantoio walked away with a gold medal in the Delicate category

Tokara Frantoio walked away with a gold medal in the Delicate category

In the category for Medium EVOO’s top honours went to: Adamskloof EVOO, Andante EVOO, Cederberg Olives Frantoio EVOO, Chaloner Mountain Oil EVOO, De Rustica Estate Medium EVOO, Gabriëlskloof EVOO, Galenia Estate Director’s Blend EVOO, Galenia Estate Estate Blend EVOO, Kleinbergskloof Estate Blend EVOO, Kloovenburg EVOO, Kredouw Frantoio EVOO, Lettas Kraal Green Olive Blend EVOO, Lettas Kraal EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Medium EVOO, Mont Rouge Karoo Reserve EVOO, Rio Largo EVOO, Rio Largo Gold EVOO, Waterleliefontein EVOO, Wildekrans Field Blend Selection EVOO and Wildekrans Endless EVOO.

The top-performers in the Intense category are: Andante Forte EVOO, Andante Intenso EVOO, Anysbos EVOO, De Rustica Estate Intense EVOO, Kransfontein Coratina EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Intense EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve EVOO, Prince Albert Olives Karoo Blend Intense EVOO, Rio Largo Premium Blend EVOO and Willow Creek Director’s Reserve EVOO.

A team of professional tasters meticulously scrutinized the medal contenders one-by-one according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste during a four-day blind tasting.

The esteemed judging panel comprised internationally accredited olive oil tasting panel leader and consultant, Dr Antonio G Lauro from Italy, and members of the SA Olive tasting panel: Leonard Arangies, Robert Claasens, Gerrie Duvenage, Reni Hildenbrand, Birgitta Hofmeyr, Benedetta Lami, Louise Rabie and Kelly White.

Full results are available on the SA Olive website www.saolive.co.za

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a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

“If you enjoy reading my blog please vote for it in the Eat Out Best Local Food Blog Award by 1) clicking on this link {eat out best local food blog award} 2) and casting your vote at the bottom of the Eat Out web page.”

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Lesson #1 Alain Passard – Elevate vegetables to the main course. Respect them. Love them.

Cabbage Greek Salad … Just recently, I was fortunate enough to meet and eat at a Parisian restaurant owned and run by one of the best chefs on the planet – and one of my great food heroes. The place was L’Arpege + 3-Star Michelin Restaurant and the chef was none other than Alain Passard!

Having lunch at one of the top restaurants in the world turned out to be a very emotional day for me as we made our way through 13 courses of what can only be described as an expedition to some sort of culinary Nirvana. This was not a sampling menu, it was 13 courses of considerable portion of food.

In order to give fair justice to the skill and care that was taken in serving each course, I intend discussing (or is it dissecting?) various elements of this extraordinary experience over the next few weeks. The sum of which continues to jolt my brain and senses in the most wonderful of ways. More of that later but back to Alain…My hubby and I sat down just on midday and only left the restaurant four and half hours later. It turned out to be not just a meal but more a journey enticing discoveries. It was an explosion of the senses on all fronts from tantalizing the palate, to engaging the brain, to touching my heart. It was all of these things.

Then out of nowhere and so very casually, Alain Passard himself appeared in front of us… and so charmingly and non-chalantly introduced himself. He stood humbly before us wanting to know where we were from and then thanked us for making the effort to eat at his restaurant. Could you believe he thanked me!! I was speechless. He said that if I wanted to know anything, I must just ask him. He was most amused by my little black notebook. It is that little notebook that I take everywhere with me jotting down my thoughts and different food experiences. Alain then just said the following “eat slowly and enjoy every bite, try to stay till dessert because I have a surprise for you” and before you could offer a shy stammer of awe and appreciation he whisked himself back into his kitchen. *more about the surprise and what he meant in a later blog*.

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In between the courses that followed he came out to serve us … how amazing was that!! I was in dreamland and I think for the first time in my life, I was beyond speechless. What I took away from this restaurant and this genius of a chef was that you need to live and practice the credo of this talented food maestro….remember to elevate vegetables to the main course – it is not a side dish – respect them and cook them with love.

Ok, I got a little carried away by my recollections of this exceptional outing, back to dish at hand…..
Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble purple cabbage and added it to make a greek salad the way my dear and wonderful Mediterranean friend Thea Maroela taught me. Thea is +- 79 years old now and lives in Cyprus. Thea always made this particular Greek salad with white cabbage and I used to often eat this salad at Thea’s house with fresh bread and a tumbler of white wine – which Thea always kept in a bottle under the sink for me as she herself did not drink. This dish is a “must make”. It’s fresh, inspiring and delicious.

Note to self: Add to bucketlist – Visit Thea in Cyprus again. Book table and eat again at any restaurant owned by Alain Passard.

Recipe
This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Note
  • This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.
  • Ingredients
  • Red cabbage – finely sliced
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing
  • Good Olive oil
  • White vinegar
  • Salt + black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Pour generously with olive oil and then some vinegar, add the salt and pepper and mix well in a bowl before you dish it up.
  3. Serve with fresh bread.

 

 

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hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

Hot Olives – A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, Guateng. The City of Gold has plenty of interesting foodie places well worth seeking out…Some colleagues and I ended up in a very interesting restaurant that serves both gossip and glitter to the well-heeled of Parkhurst and surrounds. We ordered a few small starters to share and one of them was hot olives with baguette. Never in my life would I have thought of heating olives in olive oil – isn’t that kind of like smuggling sand in the desert? Well, just so you know, this little starter tapas was so delicious. Heating the olives gives this stone fruit an undeniably new dimension. Dipping the fresh baked bread into the fragrant hot oil just seems to forge with the olives… leaving a most tantalizing taste….wash this down with some chilled wine and you could swear that you were sipping wines with the gods of ancient Greece!

It is just one of those really simple dishes you can make on the run or when guests come knocking unannounced…simple yet oh so sophisticatedly #hot-and-happening.

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

 

hot olives + baguette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 150 ml Virgin olive oil
  • 1t Fresh rosemary (not chopped)
  • 1t Parsley - roughly chopped
  • 2 Red chillies chopped (I like it hot but you can leave the chillie out of the recipe if you are not fond of the fiery stuff)
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
  • 200g Kalamata olives
  • 1 Spring onion – chop the stalks and leaves
  • 1 Fresh baguette
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil, rosemary, chillies, parsely and garlic slowly in a pan for a 5 minutes minutes. Just to infuse the flavours with the oil.
  2. Add the olives and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the spring onion at the end, give it a good stir + serve with baguette.

 

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whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes = mediterranean feast

whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes = mediterranean feast

whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes=mediterranean  feast

Fish – I just love fresh fish. But… I am a “no fuss fish” person – I am not one for these complicated fish recipes…the simpler, the better. Just baked or grilled or with the some subtle flavourings of lemon and herbs or just cooked whole over the coals – that’s my preference.

My most memorable meal consisted of fish. I recall so vividly the time I spent in Istanbul, Turkey…I had the most dreadful case of bronchitis and was feeling significantly sorry for myself. I was ambling along the Bosphorus River when I smelt this amazing aroma…. A local fishing boat was tied up alongside the pier and the fishermen were selling freshly grilled fish on ciabatta bread, with just a squeeze of lemon juice. A bite … and at that moment I felt so much better and I knew someone loved me.

whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes=mediterranean  feast

I buy my fish from Julie Carter from Ocean Jewels in Cape Town (http://www.oceanjewels.co.za/ 083 582 0829) – if you don’t know Julie – go to her website and subscribe to her mailer. She is such a wonderful woman with the most beautiful smile and is always there to deliver ONLY the freshest of fresh fish to you! You simply cannot get better than that.

This past Saturday, down at the market, Julie recommended that I sample two little Pangas (Pterogymnus Laniarius its Latin name and it’s also on the sustainable green list). I decided to combine the fish with real Mediterranean flavours of olives, origanum, tomatoes and lemon. This dish reminds me of Turkey – and all the wondrous colours, sights, sounds and smell of the Mediterranean. It makes me feel loved and happy.
Enjoy its delicious!

whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes=mediterranean  feast

whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes = mediterranean feast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Small whole fish - I used Panga +-500g each
  • 2 Cloves garlic sliced
  • Olive oil for drizzling over the fish and at the bottom of the baking tin
  • ¼ t Dried origanum
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 Bunch of spring onions
  • Olive oil
  • 250g Cherry tomatoes
  • 100g Calamata olives
  • White pepper for seasoning (I love white pepper with fish)
  • Salt for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  2. Pat fish dry with kitchen towel.
  3. Make small incisions into fish, placing the sliced garlic in the slits + fill the tummy of the fishes with olives, spring onions and sliced lemon.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and season with origanum, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes with foil on or closed.
  7. Turn the oven onto grill, remove the foil + squeeze the lemon juice over and grill for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Serve with a fresh salad and bread.
  9. Enjoy its delicious.

 

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