The Ardent Epicure

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9:06 PM

Kumato Cucumber Salad/California Olive Ranch Review

Posted by Truffle Shuffle

Kumato and Persian Cucumber Salad 
Plus California Olive Ranch Review

I recently received a sampling of extra virgin olive oils from the California Olive Ranch for review.  I had tried their basic "everyday" oil before, but they sent me two bottles of very different types of oil, both of which I had not tried. 
The California Olive Ranch is a company that strives to make "great olive oil and healthy food available to everyone."  Their products sell all over North America, and you may be able to find them at your local market or specialty foods store.  If not, they are available online.
For more information, please visit California Olive Ranch.

Arbequina - 3/5
This is a very fruity olive oil.  It has a strong floral scent and taste that may be overwhelming if not used properly.  The oil itself has a mild taste and texture, with a bouquet reminiscent of freshly-cut grass and flowers.
While I personally prefer a heavier extra virgin, I find that this oil goes exceptionally with salads, sautéed vegetables, or anywhere else a floral flavor will not seem out of place.  I tried this in garlic mashed potatoes, and they came out very well.  The floral, grassy taste was definitely present, but not overpowering.

Miller's Blend - 4/5
This oil was definitely my favorite of the two, more meeting my personal taste for oil.  This is a rich, heavier oil, with a spicy nature and a surprising bite in the aftertaste.  Personally, I would use this oil anywhere, for cooking or as an exceptional finishing oil.  This will go great as a dipping sauce for breads, used in pasta dishes, or used on grilled meats.
I also used this oil in my salad recipe, which you can read about below.

Overall, these are very high-quality oils for a fair price.  While the arbequina is good as a finisher for greens, I found the miller's blend to be akin to much more expensive fancy oils.  For the price and availability, it would be hard to beat this oil for just about any application.  I highly recommend you try out one of these oils if you see them in the store.  Otherwise, visit them online!  You won't regret it.

Kumato and Persian Cucumber Salad
This is a very basic salad recipe that combines sweet kumatos (brown tomatoes) and sweet Persian cucumbers.  Great as a side dish on a warm evening, you should make this dish two to four hours before hand and let it marinate, then consume it the same day.

4 Persian cucumbers (if you can't find these, you may use two of the larger, English variety)
5 Kumatos (if you can't find these, you may use any regular tomato of similar size, such as a hothouse tomato)
2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on taste (I used four, which has a very heavy garlic flavor and smell)
8-10 leaves of fresh basil
2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
1/3 cup of California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 lb. fresh buffalo mozzarella (substitute fresh cow's milk if needed)
Freshly-ground black pepper and sea salt to taste (I used fleur de sel)

Slice the cucumbers and tomatoes into small chunks.
Roughly chop the garlic and basil.
Slice the mozzarella into big pieces.
Toss the cucumbers, kumatos , garlic and herbs into a bowl (make sure you take the thyme leaves off of the stems).
Add the oil and vinegar and stir to combine.
Add the cheese and stir lightly, ensuring you don't cause the cheese to fall apart.
Store in a bowl or bag in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or until ready for use.
Serve in a bowl as a delicious side dish for any meal.


By Adam (Truffle Shuffle)

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