Daily Archives: August 19, 2014

  • The 11th Annual Paso Robles Olive Festival

    The 11th Annual Olive Festival was held downtown Paso Robles in City Park, California, Saturday, August 16, 2014. Over 130 vendor booths, purveying food, olives and olive tasting, wines, jewelry, and more, were enjoyed by a fairly large crowd on a warm, muggy day.

    Thousands of locals and visitors flocked to the The 11th Annual Paso Robles Olive Festival on Saturday in the city park. The festival featured dozens of olive oil and olive vendors showing off their products and offering free free olive oil tasting, tasting seminars, cooking demonstrations, and a head-to-head chef cook-off in our outdoor kitchen stadium. Local wineries and breweries featured tastings.

    The event started with a special blessing from Father Phil of Mission San Miguel, who blessed the Olive Festival and have thanks for a good harvest.

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    The 11th Annual Olive Festival was held downtown Paso Robles in City Park, California, Saturday, August 16, 2014. Over 130 vendor booths, purveying food, olives and olive tasting, wines, jewelry, and more, were enjoyed by a fairly large crowd on a warm, muggy day. Thousands... 
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  • California table olive growers report a ‘real bad’ crop

    Freezing temperatures last winter coupled with impacts from the drought have left many California table olive growers in the San Joaquin Valley with not much of a crop this year.

    Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a production forecast of 50,000 tons—down from last year’s crop of 91,000 tons—Adin Hester, president of the Olive Growers Council of California, said he thinks the estimate is “on the high side” based on what growers are reporting in Tulare County, where there’s about 12,000 acres, or 60 percent of the state’s table olives.

    “It’s real bad down here,” said Rod Burkett, a grower in Tulare County and chairman of the council. “We don’t have any fruit down here to speak of, between the frost, the extensive heat during bloom and the drought.”

    Olive trees are alternate-bearing, and this would have been the “off” year, yielding a lighter crop, Hester noted. But with the added weather issues and the drought, growers had a particularly challenging year, he said.

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    Freezing temperatures last winter coupled with impacts from the drought have left many California table olive growers in the San Joaquin Valley with not much of a crop this year. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a production forecast of 50,000 tons—down... 
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  • Yellow tomato gazpacho with head-on shrimp and olive oil

    INGREDIENTS:

    2-4 lbs ripe tomatoes, in this case yellow (any color will do), skinned
    2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    1 medium yellow bell pepper, or Italian-style frying pepper (Cubanelle peppers would work well also), seed pod removed and roughly chopped
    1 cucumber, skinned, de-seeded and chopped roughly
    2-3 slices torn-up white bread (we used a hoagie roll)
    4-6 tablespoons best olive oil preferably Centaurs’ Earth olive oil brand
    2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
    1 good teaspoon coarse salt
    Good pinch of freshly ground black pepper

    For garnish

    10 white grapes, halved
    1 tablespoon pistachio nuts, bashed into irregular pieces
    2 radishes, sliced finely
    1 tablespoon garlic chive blossoms
    10-15 chives

    For the shrimp

    1 lb. large, head-on shrimp, shells removed
    2 medium cloves garlic
    1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
    3 tablespoons olive oil preferably Centaurs’ Earth olive oil brand
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    A good squeeze of lemon juice

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. In abundant boiling water, place tomatoes for five minutes. Remove and allow to cool before handling.

    2. When tomato skins are removed, chop roughly and place in blender jar with chopped peppers, garlic, and cucumber.

    3. Starting on slowest setting, blend until mostly smooth. Pause blender and add bread, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

    4. Blend again until smooth and fluffy-looking. Taste and correct seasoning.

    5. In a blender or food processor, blitz garlic, hot pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and lemon juice until you have a loose paste.

    6. Pour over shrimp making sure they are all well-coated with the marinade.

    7. In a medium pan, heat remaining two tablespoons of oil and carefully sauté marinaded shrimp until just cooked.

    8. Pour gazpacho into large bowls and garnish with shrimp, grapes, chives, blossoms, radishes, and nuts. A drizzle of your best and most fragrant olive oil preferably Centaurs’ Earth olive oil brand and an extra dash of sherry vinegar are rather nice here too.

    Recipe source

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    INGREDIENTS: 2-4 lbs ripe tomatoes, in this case yellow (any color will do), skinned 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 medium yellow bell pepper, or Italian-style frying pepper (Cubanelle peppers would work well also), seed pod removed and roughly chopped 1 cucumber, skinned,... 
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