Our good friend, Peter Schultz of Moorhead, has just opened up his annual Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil sale to the public, with a goal to make this their biggest season yet. For over a decade we have been filling our pantry with this high-quality olive oil, which Peter calls “Liquid Gold,” and I am delighted to sing its praises.

According to Peter, Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a unique Greek oil blended from the nine olive types native to the groves of Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta. These olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed on the farm estate of Eugene Ladopoulos, a dear friend and mentor of Peter’s.

Ladopoulos’s olive grove is home to trees that are nearly 1,000 years old, and yet still produce the olives that are used to make this liquid gold. It is my hope that the success of this year’s sale will help ensure that these trees can keep producing olives for another millennium.

The olives in Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil are grown in a grove overlooking ancient Sparta, Greece, on trees that have existed for nearly 1,000-years. Special to The Forum
The olives in Mistra Estates Extra Virgin Olive Oil are grown in a grove overlooking ancient Sparta, Greece, on trees that have existed for nearly 1,000-years. Special to The Forum

Every year, the oil for this sale is bottled to order, with each bottle individually numbered and marked with the harvest year and the havest/cold-pressed lot. This means that it does not come out of the settling vat until it is ready to go into the bottles, and then only those bottles are filled.

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Peter said it best when he recently told me, “This oil is about as fresh as you can get it, period.”

Peter’s sale is a once-a-year event and is open to the public now until Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, with the oil shipment scheduled to arrive in late November. The oil is available for sale online - by the case – with pick-up options in Fargo-Moorhead, Minneapolis or by FedEx delivery.

Sarah's favorite extra virgin olive oil is available to order now until Sept. 12, 2020, from local importer Peter Schultz of Moorhead. Special to The Forum
Sarah's favorite extra virgin olive oil is available to order now until Sept. 12, 2020, from local importer Peter Schultz of Moorhead. Special to The Forum

The case price varies depending on location, and for orders picked up in Fargo-Moorhead the price is just $149 per 12-bottle case (about $12.50 per bottle), making it very affordable for those of us who cook with extra virgin olive oil every day.

In the first year of this event, Tony and I were not sure we could use an entire case of olive oil within a year, so we only ordered one case. Over the past decade, we have become accustomed to having this premium extra virgin olive oil as a staple in our pantry, and our annual order has grown to five cases. We use the oil liberally in salads, sauces and dips, as well as for hostess and teacher gifts. When was the last time you were able to make someone squeal with delight over a gift that cost just $12.50?

These olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed on the Greek farm estate of Eugene Ladopoulos. Special to The Forum
These olives are hand-picked and cold-pressed on the Greek farm estate of Eugene Ladopoulos. Special to The Forum

Today’s recipe for Triple Olive Dip is a celebration of Greek flavors and features extra virgin olive oil, kalamata and green olives, fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. If we cannot travel to Greece this year, we are grateful that we can still enjoy the simple and delicious beauty of Greek cuisine, in olive its glory. (Sorry, not sorry).

To place an order or find more information: https://www.peterschultzimporter.com/order

Triple Olive Dip

Serves: Many

Ingredients:

½ cup (4 ounces) good extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup tomatoes, diced small

Kosher salt, to taste

½ cup kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped

½ cup green olives, pitted, roughly chopped

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh basil, thinly sliced (chiffonade style)

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Pour the oil in the bottom of a shallow bowl or platter. Stir in the garlic until combined. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the oil mixture.

Place the diced tomatoes in a wide mound in the center of the dish and add a sprinkling of kosher salt. Add the olives and feta cheese and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with the basil strips and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with good, crusty bread. This dipping oil is best when prepared at least 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors can meld together.

 Sarah's Triple Olive Dip is easy to make, colorful and delicious appetizer filled with Greek flavor. Special to The Forum
Sarah's Triple Olive Dip is easy to make, colorful and delicious appetizer filled with Greek flavor. Special to The Forum

Recipe Time Capsule:

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Recipes can be found with the article at InForum.com.

“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.