Recipes and News

Frescobaldi Laudemio's 30th Anniversary

Frescobaldi Laudemio have launched their 2018 harvest olive oil with a special edition gold bottle. This is to mark the 30th Anniversary of their involvement in the Laudemio collective, a group of producers who, after the terrible frosts in Tuscany in 1985—when 90% of olive trees were killed—signed an agreement to guarantee the quality and provenance of their estates’ oils, and relaunch the Tuscan olive oil production by focusing on excellence, not quantity.
These oils were then housed in a distinctive faceted bottle, which this year Frescobaldi has coloured gold as a celebration of their achievements in the olive oil industry over the past 30 years, and to represent the distinguished provenance of the precious oil inside. The word ‘Laudemio’ in the Middle Ages was the name of the best part of the harvest, destined for the lord’s table.

Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

Sicilian cauliflowers are a popular staple on the island, and this pasta dish combines them with north African flavours of saffron and pine nuts to make a delicious and quick dish which is perfect on its own as a weekday night dinner, or as an accompaniment to roasted meats such as leg of lamb. Just be sure to finish it with plenty of Ravida olive oil!

Serves 4

1 cauliflower weighing about 600gms/1 ½ lbs
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup sultanas
1/2 tbsp of tomato extract or alternatively, ¼ teaspoon saffron
3 anchovy fillets
1 onion, finely chopped
300 gms bucatini, caserecce or rigatoni pasta
Lots of Ravida Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Caciocavallo, pecorino, parmesan cheese, finely grated

Cook the cauliflower florets and chopped stems in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Drain and reserve the cooking water to cook the pasta or add to sauce.

Soften sultanas in a cup of hot water.

If using tomato extract, dilute tomato paste with three tablespoons of hot cauliflower water.

In a large pot, sweat the finely chopped onion in four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a small piece of chilli (optional) under very slow heat. Do not brown - add a bit of cauliflower water if needed.

Cream in the anchovy fillets, add the pine nuts and sultanas and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, the tomato paste (or alternatively the saffron) and mix by adding 2-3 ladles of cauliflower water. Cook until soft and mushy. Season with salt if necessary.

In the meantime, cook pasta al dente and drain well.

Add to the cauliflower and stir over medium heat with a few spoonfuls of cauliflower water and a generous pouring of olive oil. Sprinkle with some of the cheese.

Pour into a dish, mix and serve hot.

Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2018 (trade only)

This year The Oil Merchant will be exhibiting at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at Olympia, London. We will be joined by three of our suppliers: Valdueza from Extremadura in Spain, Liá from Messenia in Greece, and Frescobaldi from Tuscany, Italy. Please come along to our stand, 5090, to taste some oils and have a chat about our range.
If you would like us to send you an invite for a free ticket, please email us in advance - office(at) If you do not sign up ahead of time tickets on the door will cost £25.
Please be aware that this show is for trade customers only.