May 2, 2007
There are more olive trees in Puglia than anywhere else in Italy. In fact, with an estimated 50 million trees growing in the Italian boot's "heel," there's nearly one for every man, woman and child living in the entire nation. Driving south along the Adriatic Sea, as I did late last fall, I saw acre after glorious acre of Pugliese olive trees, which have gnarled and windblown trunks, making sculptural shapes that are both colossal and somehow ethereal.
October 8, 2008
Instead of inviting friends for dinner, I sometimes ask them to come for wine and simple appetizers. For me, this is one of the easiest ways to entertain, especially when I'm busy. I prepare one or two nibbles, open a bottle of wine, set out glasses and napkins, and that's it. Several weeks ago, after learning that a dear friend from the Midwest was coming to visit her daughter who was expecting twins (and who happens to live only a few miles from us), I had planned such a get-together.
May 10, 2013
If you won't be in the Grandstand at Pimlico, you can still celebrate the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes in style with a black-and-gold party. Black and gold — the colors of the Calvert family — pop up everywhere at the Preakness, from the state flag to the winner's wreath of black-eyed Susans. Recreate that feeling at home with black and gold stacks of polenta, goat cheese and olives, deep brown chocolate bread pudding with a gold topping, and Black & Tans, a fruity cocktail with turn-of-the-century Maryland roots.
October 24, 1993
Focaccia and pizza are my favorite things made from bread dough and they are as good as they are easy to prepare. Focaccia, the Italian flat bread, can be made in round or rectangular shapes, and its dough is nothing more than flour, water, yeast, salt and a little oil, which is added for flavor and ease of handling. Usually no more than an inch thick, most focacce (the plural) are served as an accompaniment to a meal, or, especially in the rectangular shape, split for sandwiches.Typically, a focaccia is baked with a topping, often nothing more than a drizzling of olive oil and a sprinkling of coarse salt.
September 19, 2012
It's been years since Maggie Lebherz lived in sunny Spain as a college exchange student. Yet just one taste of fresh olive oil takes her back in spirit. "In 2007, I lived with a family in Salamanca, and my host mother cooked everything in olive oil, in a big cast-iron skillet," recalls Lebherz. "She rarely changed the oil, and it became spiced. Whether she was frying potatoes in olive oil or making paella, every meal was so delicious. " After Lebherz returned to the States and graduated from college, her cravings for the quality olive oil she'd enjoyed abroad turned her into an entrepreneur.
April 4, 2012
Baltimore-based Pompeian Inc. has become the first olive oil maker to have the quality of its products backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the company announced. The manufacturer has obtained approval for its extra virgin and extra virgin organic olive oils through the USDA's Quality Monitoring Program, which tests products to verify purity and quality. To enter the USDA program, Pompeian agreed to unannounced visits and testing of product samples. The product verification will allow the privately owned company to start placing a USDA logo on its products this month and will give consumers additional assurances, said David Bensadoun, chief executive officer of Pompeian.