I’m so fortunate to live in an area, which for most people, is considered foodie mecca. Thousands upon thousands of people flock here annually (thankfully not all at once) to experience the wine, food, gorgeous scenery and joie de vivre of this expansive agricultural Graceland. Where am I you ask? None other than the beautiful Sonoma County in Northern California. And in particular, the quaint Dry Creek Valley.
Here in this long and narrow AVA (American Viticultural Area– a designation given to a particular grape growing region) you’ll find not only top-notch Zinfandel and Rhone-style wines, but an amazing collection of small, family artisans who have been tending their farms, dairies, chicken & cattle ranches, olive and stone fruit orchards for generations. It is this unique combination of farm to table living that makes this part of wine country a world-class destination.
Dry Creek Olive Company/Trattore Farms is just one of the many small producers thriving in this rustic-chic community known for its dichotomy of sophistication & lux and down-to-earth farmer attitudes. Dry Creek Olive Co. mills a wide selection extra virgin olive oils from their estate olive orchards and has a couple of phenomenal vinegars as well. Their other arm of the business (Trattore Farms) produces estate wines, with a focus on red and white Rhone blends.
I’ve been a fan of their olive oils for years and am always looking for ways to incorporate them into my everyday cuisine. So this past week, our winery caterer and I were doing a photo shoot for an upcoming publication this fall. We had the pleasure of testing & experimenting with a few recipes trying to find the best citrus olive oil & semolina cake we could. Collectively we both baked up to four or five cakes, each recipe offering a slight twist on the basic ingredients of olive oil, citrus, semolina and almond meal. In the end, we created a hybrid of them all (shown below) which proved the best result from a texture and flavor standpoint. The deep orange-golden color comes from the Valencia Orange Olive Oil and the semolina.
From the batch of recipes we tested, our top two winners were: Orange, Semolina and Olive Oil Cake that I adapted from KR Catering’s recipe and an Olive Oil Cake from Dry Creek Olive Company.
And should you ever make it out to this corner of the world, do stop by Dry Creek Olive Company for an olive oil tasting or to sample their wines. They’re open daily from 11am-5:00pm | trattorefarms.com