If I had known that my guest was deathly allergic to cantaloupe I would have made a very different fruit salad. Still, the grapes, dried blueberries and bananas were OK with her, and the “vinaigrette” of honey, orange-infused balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon thyme was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. I like a honey-vinegar dressing on most fruit salads, and I usually sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs (lemon basil is especially good, I think) over the top. My lemon thyme wintered well, and was very pretty and perfectly delicious.
I have just discovered the Texas Olive Ranch products and I am a smitten kitten. As I understand it, they press their olive oils (several varieties) from their own trees, and import balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy which they then infuse with local flavors. Wow. I tasted all of their oils and vinegars two weeks ago at the Saturday market, and dreamed of the orange balsamic vinegar for a week. I invested in a bottle last Saturday and will have to get another much sooner than expected!
I’m going to try it as the vinegar in my gluten-free chocolate cake recipe and I’m betting it will add a soupçon of oh la la… at the very least! I’ll let you know. MMmmmm…
I think I may have to buy a bottle of their orange-infused olive oil as well. Normally I shy away from flavored oils, I prefer flavor-infused vinegars with straight-up EVOO. I am *such* a snob! But these folks are on to something really good (no, they are not paying me to say any of this) and, as you know, we need to support our local farmers. So really, I’m just doing my bit to help out (and oh so happily!).
Maybe one of these days I’ll go visit the ranch itself. Its a few hours away, but if I make the road trip you can expect a full report. In the mean time, I’m having fun thinking of all the ways to use their oils and vinegars. Oh, and did I mention that they ship? So maybe it won’t be “local” for you where ever you are, but it can be yummy! Enjoy!