Daily Archives: December 6, 2014

  • Recipe: Greek Appetizer with Olives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    This simple Greek appetizer array is part takeout and part homemade.

    It makes a colorful starter for holiday entertaining. Set out small plates and let people serve themselves.

    Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry made with spinach, eggs and cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. It is time-consuming to make, but easy to find in the frozen food section of most grocery stores and all specialty stores. You can also find party-size trays at Costco. Allow three pieces per person.

    Tzatziki, a yogurt-based dipping sauce, can be found in specialty stores.
    Serve the tomatoes with sliced French bread.
    Anne Greer McCann is a Dallas restaurant consultant.

    GREEK ANTIPASTO

    INGREDIENTS:
    – 6 Campari or Roma tomatoes
    – 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
    – 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    – 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less)
    – Sea salt and cracked pepper
    – 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    – 8 to 12 pitted Kalamata olives
    – Fresh basil (optional)
    – 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
    – 12 to 16 slices French bread
    – 18 to 20 pieces spanakopita (see Note)

    DIRECTIONS:

    Remove a thin slice from both ends of the tomatoes. Cut tomato into slices and set aside.

    Soak onion slices in a mixture of equal amounts cold water and vinegar for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse again under cold water to remove bitterness.

    Put olive oil in a serving platter with a deep well. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and arrange tomatoes on top. Add red onion and season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese and garnish with olives and fresh basil if desired.

    Set out tomatoes with tzatziki, French bread and warm spanakopita. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Note: If using frozen spanakopita, heat according to package directions. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick olive oil spray and dust lightly with cornmeal. Arrange the frozen spanakopita on top and brush each with melted butter. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

    Recipe source

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    This simple Greek appetizer array is part takeout and part homemade. It makes a colorful starter for holiday entertaining. Set out small plates and let people serve themselves. Spanakopita is a savory Greek pastry made with spinach, eggs and cheese wrapped in phyllo dough. It... 
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  • International Olive Council backs a reasonable one-year extension

    The 102nd IOC Congress, held in Madrid, engaged in a process of self-reclection focusing on the existence and operationality of the intergovernmental organisation itself. The current Agreement is about to lapse in a few weeks (31st December 2014), so new decisions had to be taken soon.

    The final decision to back a one-year extension demonstrates that rationality prevailed.

    Of course counterproductive disagreements arised, especially from country- members like Turkey- which happens to serve as president-country for this year- Tunisia and Israel. The aforementioned countries opted for a two-year extension, a proposal, which if implemented, would severely affect the IΟC.

    All is well that ends well (?)

    Given the difficulty in negotiating with so many stakeholders, the IOC’s successful “passing” of the one-year extension, was finally welcomed and applauded, even from technocrats who attend these Congresses.

    Along with the extension of the current Agreement, Jean-Louis Barjol and Assabah’s roles (executive director and deputy respectively), although questioned by some, have been renewed for an extra year.

    IOC needs to work hard in the next 12 months with the ultimate aim to create a new Agreement. At this point, it is important to mention that the current Agreement was signed in 2005 while the previous one in 1986, with an interim review in 1993.

    At the forefront is a series of topics related to the global olive oil industry:

    – A new Trade Standard will include names/ designations, limitations, methods and analyses. Apart from the IOC, there are various Trade Standards (California, Australia). It is for this reason that the IOC is open to discussions in Codex Alimentarious for the formation of a general Agreement to govern the global industry.

    – The reformulation of the IOC’s goals and principles

    – A basic priority has been to attract and incite active participation from consuming countries. Today, only oli producing countries are on our list, with shares analogous to their annual output. For instance, The European Union holds 68%, Tunisia an estimated 7,5%, Turkey reaches a lower share (6%) and then follows Syria (5%), Morocco (4%) and others.

    – If The United States of America were only an oil producing country, then its share would hardly reach the 0,5%. Yet, if a consuming country with 300 Thousand tons, its share would be many times higher. It is therefore in the interest of all the oil-producing and oil- consuming countries to come together and engage in a fruitful and useful dialogue.

    – Organizational, administrative and financial issues have also arisen, e.g. the person to undertake the demanding role of the executive director.

    Article by Vassilis Zampounis, source

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    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    The 102nd IOC Congress, held in Madrid, engaged in a process of self-reclection focusing on the existence and operationality of the intergovernmental organisation itself. The current Agreement is about to lapse in a few weeks (31st December 2014), so new decisions had to be taken... 
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  • Opera Olei - an innovative project that unites six Italian monovarietal EVOOs

    Designed by producers Franci Giorgio and Marco Viola, Opera Olei is an innovative project that unites six Italian territories and exalts six monovarietal EVOOs of the highest quality with a great personality and a modern design.

    From the north to the south of Italy, this alliance between producers meets passion for excellence in extra virgin olive oil, embodied in the extraction of oil from green olives and respecting the traditional systems, as have highlighted its promoters.

    A balanced synthesis that enhances the territory, its culture and its producer. Companies involver are Casaliva dell’Agraria Riva del Garda (Trentino); Frantoio di Franci (Tuscany); Moraiolo di Viola (Umbria); Itrana di Quattrociocchi (Lazio); Ottobratica dell’Olearia San Giorgio (Calabria); y Tonda Iblea de Frantoi Cutrera (Sicily). All of them winners in major international competitions.

    This limited edition “special reserve” named Opera Olei consists comes from a careful selection of each producer, certified by the six of them in bottles of 100 ml.

    Six containers are presented in a box made from a single material made out of 18 perforated layers of cardboard. Designed by Mirko Tattarini, it is 100% recyclable and protects both the aesthetics and the quality of the EVOO.

    Opera Olei, which is already available in gourmet stores in different countries, also includes a booklet on the history of olive oil, trying to promote quality culture of this key food of the Mediterranean Diet.

    “At a time when there is an important lack of consumer confidence in extra virgin olive oil Made in Italy, Opera Olei sends a message of authenticity,” stressed the president of the Consorzio Opera Olei, Riccardo Scarpellini, who believes that this iniciative is “an elixir of life, fragrance, elegance, taste and health.”

    For more information: info@operaolei.it

    Article source

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    Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
    Designed by producers Franci Giorgio and Marco Viola, Opera Olei is an innovative project that unites six Italian territories and exalts six monovarietal EVOOs of the highest quality with a great personality and a modern design. From the north to the south of Italy, this alliance... 
    Read More →