Tis the season for bright green, pungent olive oil straight from the presses, and two Portland eateries are set to celebrate the first shipment of olio nuovo from Italy. While Oregon's own olive harvest is behind us, the winter months deliver Italy's finest zesty first press oil to our ports, ready to be drizzled over just about everything. Here are your best bests for olive oil worship this week:
Nostrana's Olio Nuovo Celebration
Cathy Whims' annual festival of oil at Nostrana begins with an $85 cooking class, wine pairing, and tasting on Sunday, December 9th, featuring olio nuovo expert Jeffrey Bergman of Bergman Culinary Concepts. From 12:30 pm to 3 pm, guests will delve into the history and nuances of new oil, taste through a flight of Whims' favorite oil selections, and learn the best ways to use new oil in the kitchen (think cara cara, blood orange and meyer lemon salad with Frescobaldi Laudemio Fresh Press 2012 or olive oil poached and sautéed bay scallops).
On Monday, December 10th, Nostrana hosts their annual Olio Nuovo Dinner. $85 gets you five courses and wine pairings, more information available here. To make a reservation for either event, please call Nostrana at 503-234-2427.
Can't make either event? Savory flights of olio nuovo and special olive oil-spiked desserts will deck the Nostrana menu from Tuesday, December 11th until the shipment runs out, and savvy gift givers can pick up a bottle of first-press Italian oil for their favorite foodie (prices range from $30 to $60).
Ristorante Fratelli's Four Chef Olive Oil Dinner
Across the river, Chef Paul Klitsie of the Pearl District's Ristorante Fratelli will host “Novello 2012,” a $55, four-coursed olive oil dinner on Tuesday, December 11th at 6:30 pm. Klitsie will be joined by Biwa's Gabe Rosen, Toro Bravo's John Gorham, Oregon Culinary Institute's Melanie Hammericksen, and Fratelli’s executive sous chef Alex Ditton to craft an edible celebration of olio nuovo.
Dishes are set to include pumpernickel bruschetta with Castelvetrano olive tapenade and olio nuovo-poached fingerling potatoes, Tombo tuna crudo with avocado, Korean spices, and olio nuovo, whole fire-roasted pork with olio nuovo, and chocolate hazelnut Marquise cake with olio Novello ganache and pear coulis. Wine pairings will be available for an additional $25. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 503-241-8800.