California Olive Ranch

By Amy Sherman

Fresher is better, and California Olive Ranch Limited Reserve is pretty much the freshest extra-virgin around—one of Saveur magazine’s top 100 products for 2012. Rather than using over-ripe and bruised olives from the ground, state-of-the-art mechanical harvesters gather olives from the tree at the peak of ripeness and deposit them directly into baskets. Limited Reserve—modeled after the prized "olio nuovo" from Tuscany—is the first pressing of the season, done within hours after harvest and bottled unfiltered to retain fruit sediment. It's available just once a year; when it runs out—that’s it—you'll have to wait.

Toast of the Tuscan town

The balance of fruit and grassy notes makes Limited Reserve perfect over greens, goat cheese, potatoes, polenta, and pasta. But we love it the Italian way, when olio nuovo is drizzled right over garlic bread.

Grill or toast 4 slices of rustic Italian or French bread. Then rub each slice on one side with a garlic clove before drizzling the same side with olive oil. Finish with sea salt.