Willow Creek, an Olive orchard of over 200,000 trees, I situated in the Nuy Valley just outside Worcester in the Western Cape. On this, one of the largest olive plantations on the southern hemisphere, there is no lack of passion.
The classic table and oil production varieties, olives, Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino, Barnea, Koroneiki, Favoloza, Mission, Kalamata, Noccelara del Belice and Manzanilla are all found here. Agriculturally care in the orchards and attention to the trees ensures even ripening of the olives and consistency of quality in the final product.
While the estate is well known for its extra virgin olive oils – the Director’s Reserve, the Nuy Valley, the Extra Virgin and the innovative Gourmet Squeeze, owner and Master Blender, Andries Rabie has created a range of flavoured oils.
These come in a variety of flavours and add to much to your cooking and eating experience.
There are a number of ways in which these oils can be used – as replacements for the produce with which they are flavoured, or to enhance the flavours of the products during the cooking process or being poured over the finished product as a seasoning. Sweet or savoury?
Imagine a risotto which starts off its life with the Arborio rice being sautéed in Parmesan or Garlic Flavoured oil and being finished with a swirl of Truffle flavoured oil? Or a more simple and refined risotto like that of Anna del Conte, the famous Italian British food writer, who flavours here solely with lemon, using the Willow Creek Lemon Flavoured Oil would be perfect.
An Insalata Caprese, that salad from the Isle of Capri using the ripest and most aromatic tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and large perfumed sweet basil leaves, benefits so from a swirl each of the Willow Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic Vinegar and the Willow Creek Basil Flavoured Oil, a generous sprinkle of sea salt and a grind or to of black pepper.
The Blood Orange and Persian Lime, while there may be many excuses to use them in savoury dishes, fare well in sweet dishes too. Alice Waters of the famous Chez Pannise Restaurant in the Californian Winelands make a delicious cake Sauternes and Olive Oil Cake. This could be perfectly flavoured with the Blood Orange flavoured oil and using the unctuous Muscat aromaed Nuy White Muscadel from the nearby winery. Persian Lime would well flavour an Olive Oil Ice Cream. And need one even mention how delicious your peri-peri chicken would be roasted whole with the Jalapeño Flavoured oil rubbed under its breast skin or your Thai Salad drizzled with the Coriander Flavoured Oil?
I hope I have given you some new ideas and inspiration for your next foray into the kitchen.
Read more about Willow Creek – CLICK HERE