So it’s Saturday night, of a long weekend, no less, and what am I doing? Sitting on the couch in a dimly lit living room eating yet another Brussel sprout salad (this one, I promise you, is even better than the last) and bathing in the whitish glow of my laptop screen. (MacTanning, I’m calling it. Great for creating that bloodshot look.)
Is this what I’m putting off kids for? When did this happen? Moreover, why do I like it so much?
Am I the only one that gets just a little high off quiet solo nights at home?
And finally, who is going to get the cot-darn vamp cure on Vampire Diaries? You know they’re just going to use it to kill Silas and they’ll all be back at Square One. Or maybe they’ll give it to Rebekah. (Seriously, that’s how her character’s name is spelled.) Then she can finally make pouty-mouthed babies.
Moving on. A couple of weeks ago, I received a generous and tempting email from Anne at Enfuso Smoked Olive Oils asking if I’d like to try their lineup of smoked olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Um, yes, please! I responded — because a fist pump is hard to communicate via email. I fancy a fling with smoked olive oil from time to time, and I relished the opportunity to try a few new varieties and develop a recipe or two around them.
Thanks to Anne, Chris and I tasted three of their award-winning smoke-infused olive oils and two decadent balsamic reductions:
Capay Valley Early Harvest (Robust Flavor): My favorite of the three. Initially smoky, but with plenty of bright, grassy olive oil flavor and a hint of piquant heat on the back of the tongue. We added just a whisper of this to our favorite spicy garlic noodles and were in seventh heaven. Also great with a crusty bread for dipping.
Capay Valley Late Harvest (Buttery Flavor): Chris’ favorite. Again, a smooth, smoky start but with a milder finish. We added this to salad dressing, and I particularly liked using it to spike a bowl of savory oatmeal made with butter, parmesan, sea salt and thyme. Topped with a smidge of this olive oil and a softly poached egg — super fancy.
Early Harvest Arbequina (TURBO): According to Anne, this version is infused with 2x the smoke, but it tastes more like 10x the smoke. She’s right. It’s rich and intense with a flavor you can almost chew. Like a BBQ on your tongue. I loved this on ice cream and in a tres gourmet version of my chocolate caramels (smoked olive oil variation recipe coming tomorrow!).
Pear White Balsamic Reduction: We’ve used this in a few salads but it was extra bombsamic in a sweet and savory brussel sprout salad, my aforementioned company this evening. It’s not even funny how good this salad is, you guys. I’m going to try to post the recipe in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled. Spoiler alert: coconuts and pecans. Yup.
Pomegranate Dark Balsamic Reduction: I’ve not had the chance to get too creative with this one, but we’ve also used it on salads — and it paired really well with the Robust Smoked Olive Oil and a demi-ciabatta I picked up from TJ’s and warmed ever so slightly in the oven. Also excellent drizzled on fresh fruit or, pause, sweet potato fries. I could go on and on.
Here in CA, we’re pretty damn spoiled to have a bounty of high-quality, artisan products being produced right in our backyard, and the lineup from Enfuso is no exception — but the beautiful thing is that you can get it anywhere. (Ok, well anywhere in the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska or Puero Rico.) Check out Enfuso to see their full selection of Capay Valley-produced olive oils, balsamic reductions and olive-oil baked goods (what?! that Blueberry Oatmeal Pistacio version sounds berry tasty!) and to order online.
Recipes alluded to above are all on their way, so stay tuned.