Think of your favorite olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Now imagine those oils bursting with flavors like Meyer lemon and tart lime, or raspberry, blueberry or peach balsamic. And more! Think of how you could enjoy them on so many foods--especially with summer upon us. The fresh vegetables and fruits that are so bountiful this time of year, and not to mention grilling. A splash of a flavorful oil or vinegar can take any dish from good to “oh-my-word-what’s-your-secret-ingredient?!”
A while back, Billy and I were having dinner with friends at their home. It’s always a lovely feast when we dine with Mars and Allison. This one time was different, though. Allison made a vinaigrette that I literally could not get enough of. Seriously. I had it on my salad. I had more salad just to have more vinaigrette. She made fresh bread with oil for dipping. I skipped that and poured some of her vinaigrette in a dish to dip my bread in. I ran my grilled chicken through more of it that I’d poured in my plate. I could not stop inhaling this dressing. there was something about it that made me not able to stop eating it.
When I asked what it was made with, she told me how simple it was. Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar from FIORE Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars. She did a 50/50 blend of the two and shook it up in a jar. That was it. I knew right then and there that there was no way I could go on at home without these magical ingredients. That Monday, I contacted Nancy O’Brien at Fiore and asked if she’d be interested in sponsoring a giveaway here on my blog and she said yes. I was over the moon because I just want to tell everyone how fantastic these oils and vinegars are. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! I'll never have a FIORE-free home again--these will always be stocked and ready to go.
You can read more about FIORE here on their site. They’re located in Maine in two locations, Bar Harbor and Rockland. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, you can enjoy the tasting rooms at both locations for a truly delicious experience. You can also order directly from their site. If you’re planning a trip to Maine this summer, be sure to add FIORE Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars to your itinerary! From their site:
“FIORE, which means "blossoming flower" in Italian, truly captures the essence of our venture into the education and exploration of extra virgin unfiltered olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars in our tasting room. From Tuscany to Greece, Tunisia to Portugal, Spain and Northern California in the northern hemisphere then from Chile to Australia and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere, our tasting rooms enable you to go on a global tour of the purest, freshest oils and the most flavorful balsamic vinegars of Modena while benefiting from the numerous attributes of health first-hand.”
I’ve had the opportunity to test drive a few of these oils and vinegars, and let me say--there are so many ways to enjoy these! I’ll show you a few here, but don’t let me limit your imaginations. We’ve had them in salads, of course, but a bit of the vinegar splashed in a pan sauce is wonderful! Drizzle some piping hot grilled meats or vegetables with a flavored oil and some fruity vinegar and you’ll be in heaven. Marinades will never be the same when you use these--you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them, like I did.
First up, homemade white pizza which is basically pizza dough, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cheese and perhaps some good Italian seasoning. Basic, right? And good in it’s own right. But how about some fresh, tender Spring greens drizzled with Organic Persian Lime Olive Oil and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar piled up on top of your hot, fresh pizza? Oh man, it’s like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
A couple of weeks ago, we grilled some sausage and I made veggie kabobs to go along with them. I didn’t season the kabobs first, but after they were grilled, tender and steamy, I removed the peppers, onions and small potatoes from the skewers and tossed them with salt, pepper, FIORE Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and fresh chopped rosemary. It took grilled veggies over the top with flavor!
I made a couple of desserts, too. They’re both incredibly simple to make, but people will think you worked hours on them. The first is a Berry and Ricotta Bruschetta. There isn’t even a recipe--that's how simple it is, but here’s what I did:
Balsamic Berry and Ricotta Bruschetta
Mix a little honey and orange zest into some ricotta cheese, to taste. Set aside in the fridge.
Slice some strawberries and toss them with some blueberries, honey or a bit of sugar, and some Fiore Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar.
Toast some baguette slices and then spread them with some of the ricotta mixture, then top with some of the fruit. Drizzle with a bit more vinegar if you like, then add some fresh cracked black pepper over the top and enjoy!
Raspberry Balsamic Truffles
These are incredible and only get better with age. Store them in the fridge, of course.
Follow this easy truffle recipe, leaving out the Chambord. Instead of adding the Chambord, add 2 ½ tablespoons of FIORE Raspberry Balsamic (or balsamic flavor of your choice) and 2 teaspoons of Fiore Roasted French Walnut Oil when the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
You can form these into round truffles if you prefer, but I find this method easier, less messy, and also--when someone’s got a fabulous tasting truffle melting on their tongue, they don’t generally care if it’s round or square. I'm still snacking on a stash of these in the fridge, and they're so tart, sweet and rich!
Nancy at FIORE has been very generous and is giving away three pairings of her lovely olive oils and vinegars to three lucky readers! I have three separate pairings for you guys:
These are all 375 mL (12.7 oz) bottles and can be shipped in the US only.
Summer Peach Balsamic paired with Roasted French Walnut Oil
Raspberry Balsamic paired with Organic Persian Lime Olive Oil
Blueberry Balsamic paired with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! I’ll choose three random winners next Friday, May 24th and let the winners know by email.