A few weeks ago, before “social distancing” caused us to wave from afar (or from Zoom), I had dinner with Daniela Gerson, founder of Women in Food, an LA group of any and all women involved in the food world–chefs, food photographers, bloggers, restaurateurs, food producers, etc. and Susanna Evans, sales manager for Enzo Olive Oil Company, located in Clovis, CA. They produce high quality, organic olive oils. As their slogan says, “Italian Heritage, California Soil.” The owners are the Ricchiuti Family. The name says it all!
Susanna had come down for the Natural Products Expo, held in Anaheim. I’ve been going to it for years. If you read this blog, you will have seen my writings about it. Anyway, it was supposed to be March 3-7, but because of fear of the virus, it was cancelled last minute. Needless to say, we were BOTH bummed.
Daniela was well versed about the Enzo company, as their olive oils are one of her favorites. I knew of the brand and had tried a sample of their regular olive oil, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Lucky for me, Susanna brought a sample of their Basil “Crush” olive oil. She brought Daniela a jar of their organic pesto sauce. I was surprised and thrilled she thought to do that! “I had a few bottles with me,” she joked, as she had come prepared for the Expo. More than just a regular basil ‘flavored’ olive oil, this Good Food award winner (2018) is really something special.
I decided to try it with something simple, to really get an idea of it’s flavor. As I opened the bottle, I was struck by the aroma of fresh basil…not olive oil. It made my mouth water right then and there. I can only imagine the gorgeous tastes of the other Crush offerings-Clementine Crush and Fresno Chili Crush.
Here’s what I did: I bought a couple of containers of organic grape tomatoes, poured some of the olive oil over them, added freshly minced garlic and chiffonade basil and let a low temperature roast them. Holy crap! These were the best roasted tomatoes I’ve ever eaten! Normally, I would only use this type of oil to finish a dish, but since I was roasting at 325, I made an exception.
I am SO going to try the other flavors! I think the clementine will be fantastic over roasted asparagus, don’t you? Enzo makes other products, as well, including flavored balsamic vinegars and nut butters. See for yourself! www.enzooliveoil.com
Tell them Rona sent you. (Full disclosure…they won’t have any idea who I am. But it sounded good, didn’t it?)
Roasted Tomatoes with Enzo Basil Crush Olive Oil
A flavorful side dish for meat and poultry...or add chunks of mozzarella for a vegetarian meal.
- 2 lbs of ripe organic grape tomatoes
- 4 tbsps Enzo Basil Crush organic olive oil
- 3 tbsps fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 325.
- Step 2 In a Pyrex dish, lay the tomatoes in one layer.
- Step 3 Pour the olive oil over the top of them.
- Step 4 Add basil and garlic, salt and pepper and mix well so all the tomatoes are coated with the oil.
- Step 5 Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until soft and split.
- Step 6 Optional: add parmesan immediately after taking out of the oven.