Yes Dorothy, there is a foodie’s Oz in the city of San Francisco, and one need not take a yellow brick road or even a ferry to get there. But take a ferry I did the last time I visited the Ferry Building—a gourmet gulch of some of the best farm-to-table food purveyors in Northern California. I stepped off the rumbling boat from Tiburon and had a little extra time to wander the center aisle and stop in at the shop of one of the Ferry Building’s original tenants during its reincarnation as a gastronome’s paradise: McEvoy Ranch.
I was meeting someone for dinner up in North Beach, so it was rush hour. The place was swarming with commuters, tourists, locals...but McEvoy was my usual island of civility to step out of the stream. I love the olive oils there, of course—even more so after the scandal that rocked Europe when we learned that many of those extra Virgins aren’t so extra after all. California olive oils came out of that debacle smelling like a...spicy, peppery, deliciously unctuous HONEST oil of the moment, and I’ve spent the last few years enjoying the harvest in my home state, particularly the ones from McEvoy.
Because I’ve been so swept away with the oils in what McEvoy calls their “urban outpost” in the Ferry Building, along with their own candles, body care products, tableware, and wines, I was pretty much unaware that people can now visit their Ranch for certain special tours and workshops, and that their blog and cookbook is a golden mine of great recipes.
Here’s a favorite, and thanks to the any-season attribute of using sun-dried tomatoes you can make it any time of year. It’s a healthful celebration of olive oil, of course, but with a splash of walnut oil that makes it even more special.
Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye. A good substitute in this salad is farro, an ancient variety of wheat and a Tuscan favorite. Changing the grain may change the cooking time; check for doneness periodically after 30 minutes.
- 1 cup triticale
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons diced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- In a saucepan, combine the triticale and water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep the grains submerged, until the grain is tender but still chewy, about 1 hour. Season with salt during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander and rinse briefly with cold water; let cool in a colander.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette; in a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Combine cooled triticale and vinaigrette, tossing evenly to coat the grains. Add walnuts and parsley and toss again. Let the salad stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours so the flavors meld. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.
Image via mcevoyranch.com
The Olive Harvest Cookbook by Chef Gerald Gass via McEvoyRanch.com