With its Mediterranean climate of mild winters and long hot summers Capay Valley is an ideal place to grow the finest olives and nuts. Here you will find Capay Valley Ranches nestled in this beautiful agricultural area just a short drive northwest of downtown Sacramento.
I had the opportunity along with a bus full of other food bloggers during the IFBC to visiting and tour Capay Valley Ranches. We arrived at their Taber Ranch location and were treated to a Farm to Fork lunch all made with their olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Roasted almonds tossed in CVR Rosemary Olive Oil & fresh herb and fresh melons tossed with fresh mint and CVR Honey were waiting for us as we arrived. Inside their rustic barn set among grape vines, olive trees and almond trees we were served the most amazing lunch. If you are looking for the perfect venue for a wedding, meeting or event you need to check this place out Taber Ranch Event Center. Platters of Heirloom Tomatoes and Roasted Beets drizzled with CVR Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil sprinkled with feta cheese and fresh basil looked like an artist palette. Arbequina olives are a Spanish varietal which makes a medium-bodied olive oil that has a freshly cut grassy flavor with floral undertones. The grilled chicken was basted with a BBQ sauce made with CVR Sriracha Mango infused White Balsamic Vinegar giving it a sweet hot flavor. A bowl of Quinoa, Kale & Fig Salad tossed with CVR Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil & balsamic dressing made the plate complete. Just when we thought we could not enjoy any more a tray of Cake Parfaits made with CVR Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil served with roasted strawberries & mascarpone cream was served finishing this amazing meal.
With our guides, owner Chris Steel and farm manager Joe Armstrong we toured the olive trees and almonds trees learning all about how they grow and are harvested. We were able to get off the bus and walk among the olive trees which were filled with hundreds of tiny olives that will be harvested in the fall. The almond trees, pronounced Amonds with out the “l” were starting to crack through their outer shell and within a few weeks they should be ready to harvest.
Capay Valley Ranch produces three varieties of olives Arbequina, Arbosana and Koroneiki. Once harvested the olives are quickly rushed to the mill to be crushed within hours to produce the freshest flavorful extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. To read more and how to buy their olive oils, balsamic vinegars, nuts and honey check out their website at www.cvranches.com
We were each able to chose an olive oil to take home with us to try. I picked a bottle of their Rosemary Olive Oil and plan to make a Rosemary Focaccia with fresh cherry tomatoes. My husband, my official photographer, picked the Blood Orange infused Olive oil which is excellent for baking, adding a hint of orange flavor to sugar cookies, pound cake and delicious in brownies. It will also make a great vinaigrette to drizzle over a salad or tossed with pasta.
Remember Olive Oil is its freshest when used within 18 months after it is harvested and milled so buy local USA made olive oil. Explore and cook with some of these flavored olive oils from Capay Valley Ranches.
Toasted Almonds with Olive Oil
2 cups California Almonds (about 12 oz)
1 1/2 tablespoon CVR Rosemary Olive Oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the California almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven until golden, about 15 minutes, shake pan every 5 minutes to keep the almonds evenly toasted. Let the almonds cool completely, then transfer to a small bowl. Add CVR Rosemary Olive Oil and salt, and toss until almonds are well coated.