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Olive Tree Care

Whether you’re planting one tree or thousands, the care of your olive trees begins with the planting. Below are the steps we follow and recommend to you.

Site Preparation

Let her rip?

Some people recommend plowing or deep ripping the soil to prepare the site for planting. deep ripping of the soil is not required unless you are plant- ing on solid rock and then you will need to break up the rock for planting. When you plow the soil you expose seeds that have lain dormant for many years and so you increase the number of weeds you will have in the future. At Sandy Oaks, we mow the land with the blades very close to the ground and then plow very lightly. We disturb the soil as little as possible.

Setting up the irrigation system and the layout of the orchard

The next step is to set up the irrigation for the orchard. The spacing of the emitters goes hand in hand with how you plan to space the trees in the orchard. So, you will really want to mark off the spacing of the trees in your orchard at this point. if you are using drip irrigation, you can either bury the lines (there are irrigation lines that have the emitters within the pipe, spaced for the distance between trees) or you can put them above ground. Spray emitters or frame jets must be placed above ground. It is best to set up the irrigation system before planting the trees.

You are now ready to dig your first hole.

Dig a hole the size of the container in which the tree is planted – no deeper and no wider. Ideally, the best time to plant a tree is after a gentle rain. Since that can’t always be arranged, if you’re planting in an irrigated orchard, turn on the irrigation before you plant the trees to wet the soil. If you’re planting a single tree or your orchard isn’t irrigated, make sure the tree is very wet in the pot, and that the soil in the hole is also wet. If you’re planting multiple trees, please click here for information on planting density.

Setting out the tree

A tree that’s planted too deeply will not thrive. The roots will reach up for air rather than spread laterally as they should. This causes the roots to wrap around the trunk, girdling it, and eventually strangling the tree. Place the tree inside the hole, making certain that the root flare is level with the soil line. Using the soil from the hole you dug, fill in around and over the roots of the tree until you’ve reached the same level as the soil surround- ing the hole. Tap the soil gently around the tree to eliminate any air pockets.  Water the tree to see if there are any air bubbles. if there are, you need to add a bit more soil. Again, tap down the soil around the tree gently, water again, and follow the same process until there are no more air bubbles.

Staking the tree

We use green plastic flexible plant tape and 1/2” Pvc placed over 4’ rebar that is 2’ under ground in our orchard. We used bamboo stakes at one time, but they rotted and broke. insert the rebar in the ground about 1” from the tree. Take the lead branch and tie it loosely to the stake so that the tree will still sway slightly with the wind. The swaying motion stimulates the tree’s roots, causing them to grow, which makes the trunk grow as well. The tree should remain staked until it is sufficiently established to stand on its own – usually when the trunk size reaches ½” in diameter.

Another option, especially for super high-density planting, is to set up the orchard with fence posts spaced such that guide wire attached to the posts will remain taut. The tree is staked to the guide wire. The irrigation line can also be staked to the bottom wire. This is very like the manner in which grape vines are planted.

Applying mulch and fertilizer

Next, we apply the fertilizer. (adding the fertilizer on  top of the ground creates a “slow release” fertilizer.) We fertilize with manure that is composted. You can use chicken or turkey litter or cow or horse manure. Just keep in mind that all manure must be well seasoned, or it will burn the roots. next, irrigate the tree immediately to water in the roots.

You can also fertilize with liquid fertilizer. The liquid fertilizer can be delivered through your irrigation line, or by using a sprayer hauled behind your tractor or truck, with a gun that allows you to spray the tree and the root. a good liquid fertilizer mixture is a combination of sea- weed, fish emulsion, and molasses or manure tea. apply the mixture early in the morning or late in the afternoon to prevent leaf burn. Just make certain that when you do apply the liquid mixture, the temperature is below 85° and more than 45°F.

Some people like to use mulch around their tree. We don’t mulch in our orchard. But, if you do decide to mulch, all of the elements of the mulch should be broken down into small chunks. nitrogen breaks down the large chunks in the mulch and it will rob the tree of nitrogen while the chunks are breaking down.

After care for your tree

Watering

Newly planted olive trees require more frequent watering than older trees to help them establish their roots. regardless of the tree’s age, soil moisture sensors are the best method for determining that you’re watering your trees sufficiently, and that the water is reaching the correct depth. For newly planted trees you’ll need a soil moisture sensor with a probe that reaches 1’ below the soil line. as the tree matures, you’ll need sensors that reach down 2’, 3’, and finally 4’ below the soil line, to assure that sufficient water is reaching the deepest roots.

Fertilizing

The manure based compost we put around our trees acts as a slow release fertilizer and should be replaced at least once a year. The foliar and root feed mixture of sea- weed, fish emulsion, and molasses added to water or the manure tea work best when applied every two to three weeks. Olive trees tend to be heavy boron users. We feel that using the seaweed combination is preferable since it allows a steady, small dosage of boron without the risk  of forming a toxic boron level. in addition, seaweed gives the plant the ability to deal with both cold stress and heat stress, and in the winter it gives the trees a 5° edge against the cold.

Pruning

During the first two years after planting, your olive trees should not be pruned except for suckers or water sprouts. Branches growing near the root line of the trunk are suckers.  Branches that grow on a limb and are green and shoot straight up are water sprouts. Suckers or water sprouts can take over the tree, becoming stronger than the growth that is already established. Once the trees have two years growth in the ground, you can prune some of  the lower limbs, but we recommend that you don’t prune above 4’ up the trunk. The canopy of the olive tree protects the shallow roots of the tree during winter and summer. if the canopy begins too high up the trunk, it won’t afford the tree the protection it needs. additionally, the more leaves a young tree has, the more roots it will develop, which will result in a bigger trunk size. you will, however, always want to cut away one of any two limbs rubbing against each other. choose the more viable of the two limbs and remove the other. Furthermore, anytime there’s dead wood on a tree this needs to be pruned back until you see green wood.

Although you can prune olives trees at almost any time  of the year, fall is not the best time to prune your trees, since pruning does encourage growth. if you prune in the fall, any new growth that results might not be hardened (hardy?) enough to endure a freeze. also, always remem- ber to use good sanitary practices when pruning. after you’ve trimmed a tree, dip the pruning shears in either alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Otherwise, if the tree is diseased, you can spread the disease to the next tree by using contaminated pruning shears.

You can also grow the olive tree as a bush. keep in mind that olive trees started out thousands of years ago as bushes, and they’re happy and produce well with a bushy growth. a good source for more specific information on this topic is, Pruning and Training Systems for Modern Olive Growing by Riccardo Gucci and Claudio Cantini, Csiro Publishing.

Protecting your orchard from uninvited dinner guests although trees are listed as deer resistant, if the deer are hungry enough, they will eat young and tender saplings. We found this out the hard way! additionally, when the trees are older, deer might use them for rutting, which will girdle the trunk and can destroy a tree. Therefore, if you are planting in an area with a heavy deer population, we suggest you use game fencing to protect your orchard.

copyright  © 2011 Saundra Winokur.

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How to Harvest Olives

Olive trees are pollinated by wind and not by bees. Some varieties are self fertile, others need another variety or two of the same variety for pollination. inflorescences appear on olive trees in February and March in Texas. Within a few weeks, the inflo- rescences become tiny white to green flowers. The flowers drop about 76 hours after they appear, leaving tiny olives, which grow over the spring and summer. In some areas of Texas, olives are ready for harvest in late august. The Texas season for har- vesting olives is from late august thru late October.

Download the full factsheet

All olives start out green, then turn to a rosy color and finally are black in color when they are fully ripe. The exact time you choose to harvest your olives depends on whether you want the majority of your olives to be green, rosy, or black. The point of maturity at which you pick your olives determines not only the taste of the olives you intend to pickle, but also the taste of the oil produced from those you intend to press. an oil that is pressed with ½ of the olives green, 1/4th rosy and 1/4th black will have more of an after flavor that is sharp. If the oil is pressed with a mixture of 1/4th green olives, ½ rosy olives and 1/4th black olives, the oil will have a milder after flavor. Keep in mind that olives must be brined or pressed into oil within three days from the time they are picked. If you hold them any longer than that, the olives oxidize and the resulting product is inferior in quality.

See the following link, how to Brine Olives, for how to pickle your olives.

As we discussed earlier, you can harvest by hand or by machine. Shakers mounted behind tractors can be used for orchards that are planted either in a high-density or traditional configuration. Grape harvesters can be used for super high-density orchards.

Take care not to bruise the olives when you pick them, and discard any damaged olives. Pick all of the olives off your trees, and never leave olives on the ground to rot. rotten olives are hosts for the olive fruit fly. This insect has ruined many crops in California. So far, the olive fruit fly has not appeared in Texas.

We are finding at our orchard, that it takes about 80 to 100 pounds of olives, depending on their ripeness, to make 1 gallon of olive oil. Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard buys freshly harvested olives at fair market value.

copyright  © 2011 Saundra Winokur.

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FAQs about olives and olive trees

What is the difference between green olives and black olives?

Olives are green when they are unripe, mottled reddish-purple (rosy) when they are partially ripe, and black when they are fully ripe. Pickled green olives and rosy olives are firmer than black olives, and most people find them to have a sharper more pungent flavor. Pickled black olives have a softer texture and a fuller, more subtle flavor. Preference for either is a matter of individual taste.

Download the full factsheet

Olive oil is pressed from a blend of unripe, partially ripe, and fully ripe olives. For a sweeter-flavored oil, the mix is 1/4 green, 1/2 partially ripe, and 1/4 black. if you prefer a sharper-flavored oil, you would use more green olives than either fully ripe or partially ripe in the mix.

How cold-hardy are olive trees?

An olive tree isn’t fazed by 32°F. a few varieties of olive trees are extremely cold hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 10°F. however, most varieties suffer damage when the temperature drops below 20°F and remains at that level for a period of days. Usually, the most likely damage your trees will suffer at that temperature range is tip burning, and they will recover. however, an olive tree is not likely to survive below 10°.

you can spray your trees with water when the temperature is predicted to fall below freezing. The ice that forms on the leaves and branches insulates the tree by holding the temperature to 32°. additionally, a good watering before a hard freeze helps the root system retain heat.

What soils will olives grow in?

The olive tree is a tremendously adaptable plant that can grow in almost any soil that is well-drained. an extremely ph tolerant plant, olive trees grow successfully in ph ranges from 5.0 (acid level) to 8.5 (alkaline level). Since the trees don’t require a lot of organic matter in the soil, they even grow successfully in sand and gravel. in some desert areas, it may be necessary to set the trees in holes drilled through the imperme- able layer. also, a soil that is underlain by a shallow hardpan or a layer of clay could create drainage issues for the trees if water becomes trapped in pockets due to poor absorption, thus drowning the deeper roots.

How soon will my trees produce olives?

The length of time it takes for an olive tree to produce fruit depends on the variety of tree. dwarf varieties (arbequina, arbosana, koroneiki) have been bred to produce as early as two to three years after planting; others may not produce a full crop until they’ve been in the ground for four to seven years.

Weather is one factor that determines production. Olive trees need 200-300 chill hours to produce fruit. Once the olive tree has flowered, a temperature of 90° to 100° F and above, can burn the flowers. This will limit your level of production. however, if you already have fruit on the tree, the higher temperatures will not affect the fruit. The USda is experimenting with products such as Surround and comparable products. Spraying the trees with Surround or a like product right before they are ready to bud insulates the tree against extreme heat.

Water conditions also affect production. after flowering, the trees need adequate water; however, before budding, you can stress the trees by reducing the water slightly. a little stress will promote fruiting.

Missing nutrients in the soil can affect the amount of fruit and the shape of the fruit your trees produce. For example, if you don’t have adequate boron in your soil, your fruit will be misshaped. also, olive trees require adequate levels of potassium and phosphorus for fruiting. There are other macronutrients and micronutrients that can affect whether your crop will be heavy or light, or whether your trees will produce any fruit at all. For a more thorough explanation of adequate nutrient levels, consult The Olive Production Manual.

How much water do olive trees require?

Olive trees are extremely drought-tolerant. actually, more trees suffer damage due to over-watering than to drought. it is difficult to state a general rule for the amount of water your trees will require, since the amount varies according to the water-holding capacity of the soil in which they are planted. The suggested range is 24 to 52 gallons a week, with sandy soil (sugar sand) requiring the most water, and sandy loam requiring the least. For more detailed information on this topic, please click here.

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

It is all about the acidity level. Olive oil that is .08% or less is classified as extra virgin olive oil. if the oil has an acidity level over .08%, but less than 3%, it is classified as virgin olive oil. any oil with an acidity level over 3% is simply olive oil.

What is Cold Pressed Olive Oil?

When you press olive oil, a paste, pomace, is formed.  Once the olive oil has been extracted from the paste, it can be reheated and run through the machine again. The oil resulting from the reheated pomace, it is not considered cold press and is of an inferior quality.

What is first-pressed olive oil?

This means that the oil results from pomace that is fresh rather than used a second time to make oil.

What is the best variety to grow in Texas?

So far we’ve found fifteen varieties of olive trees that are suited to Texas. These are listed in our nursery sec- tion of our website.   Some do better in USda Zone 8 and some do better in Zones 9 and 10. We’ll continue  to experiment, trying new varieties and growing acclimated stocks of those varieties we’ve proven suitable.

Does Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard offer consulting services?

We do offer consulting services at the rate of $125.00 per hour. This is an opportunity for individuals to meet with the owner one on one and is especially suited to those individuals who want to grow olive trees com- mercially. This consultation is the nuts and bolts of entering this new Texas industry. In addition, we also routinely offer a free tour on Saturdays at 11:00. during the tour we discuss the care and planting of olive trees as well as their commercial value. We answer our customers’ questions on such matters as testing and amending their soils, fertilizing, and selecting appropriate varieties of olive trees.

We’re happy to share our experience with our customers who run into problems with their trees. Give us a call (210-621-0044) or email us to outline your problems.

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The Causes of Bark Splitting on Trees

Bark splitting can occur in response to various environmental factors at different times of the year. Splits can occur on the trunk of the tree as well as on branches. Trees that are most susceptible to this type of injury are those with thin bark, such as certain fruit trees.  Newly planted trees or young trees are more prone to bark splitting. Bark splits are not likely to be fatal to trees, although they will, in some cases, allow entry of disease organisms, which can cause decay.

Download the factsheet

During late winter and early spring, sharp temperature changes between day and night can freeze the water within the trunk causing it to explode or split open in a symptom referred to as “frost-cracks.” Frost cracks are also called southwest injury since this is the side of the tree most often affected. Frost cracks can also start from a wound inflicted earlier in the tree’s development. Sometimes the crack may remain in the internal wood, but frost can cause the crack to expand and split the bark. Excessively late growth in the fall stimulated by warm temperatures, high humidity, and high nitrogen levels can increase susceptibility of trees to frost cracking.

Fluctuating growth conditions may also cause splitting of bark. Dry weather (which slows growth) followed by wet growth conditions may cause an excessive or vigorous amount of growth leading to splits in the bark.

Sunscald, especially in winter months, can cause bark injury to thin barked or young trees.  Although an exact split may not be seen immediately, the outer layer of bark will peel away from the affected area in the summer following winter damage. Sunscald injuries to tree limbs can be minimized by avoiding heavy pruning of trees which have dense canopies. Gradual thinning of limbs over a period of years is preferable, particularly on thin-barked trees.

Certain trees are more susceptible to splits than others, especially Kwanzan cherry, maple, and fruit trees. To avoid splitting on newly-planted trees, especially of a thin-barked species, be particularly careful to avoid fertilizing trees late in the growing season, as this may promote new growth and predispose the tissue to winter injuries (including bark splitting). Autumn fertilization following leaf drop and dormancy should not lead to this problem.

When a split occurs on a tree, what should you do?  In recent years, quite a bit of research has been done on closure of tree wounds. These investigations have indicated that tree wound paints are of little value in helping a tree to callus over. For this reason, do not paint or try to seal a split with paint or tar.

Cleaning the edges of the wound, known as “tracing,” can be very helpful in aiding healing. Do not enlarge the wound any more than necessary to clean the edges! With a sharp knife, starting from one end of the split, trace around one side of the wound, no more than one-half to one-inch back from the split bark. Stop at the other end and do the same procedure on the opposite side of the split. Knives should be sterilized between cuts by dipping for several minutes in a 1:10, bleach: water solution or a 70 percent alcohol solution to avoid contaminating the cuts. Carefully remove the bark from inside the traced area.

You should now have a bare area with smooth edges. Remember to leave this untreated. A tree growing with good vigor usually calluses over quickest. Encourage vigor in the tree with spring fertilizer applications-but only if the tree exhibits signs of nutrient deficiencies-and be sure to provide adequate irrigation in hot, dry weather. Bark splits will often close over completely leaving a slight ridge in the trunk where callus tissue has been produced. Some trunk cracks may open and close for many years depending on weather conditions.

Excerpted from Chautaugua Living, Cornell Extension, by Thomas Kowalsick, Juliet Carroll, and Margery L. Daughtrey. Edited by: Greg Patchan, MSU Extension – Oakland County Horticultural Agent

July 2000

Oakland County

Distributed by MSU Extension-Oakland County, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341, 248/858-0880, www.msue.msu.edu/oakland

Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.

MSU is an affirmative-action equal opportunity institution.

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Brining Olives

Congratulations, you have olives! Now what to do?

Please don’t try to eat them fresh from the tree; they are really, really bitter.

  • One option is to cure them by brining them; a simple process outlined below.
  • Select only olives free of flaws. To paraphrase an old adage, “one spoiled olive ruins the batch”.
  • Make a solution by mixing 1.5 cups of Kosher or sea salt (without iodine) to one gallon of water. The old fashioned method is to put a raw egg in the shell, in the bottom of a container of water.
  • Pour in salt until the egg floats to the top.
  • Place the olives in a glass or ceramic container. Cover the olives with the above mixture.
  • Weight the olives down with one-gallon Ziploc bags filled with the same brine solution to keep them submerged in the brining solution.
  • Store the olives in a cool place, about 65-72 degrees.
  • In approximately 6 weeks, test the olives by tasting one. The olives should no longer taste bitter. If they do, keep them in the brine a few weeks longer. For the more technically inclined, when the PH meter reads 4.6, the olives are ready.
  • If you think the olives are too salty, pour off the brine, then cover them with cool water and soak for several hours. Drain, cover with fresh water. Store in the refrigerator. Your olives are now ready to eat.

Serving suggestions

Place the cured olives in a bowl of olive oil (Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a good choice). Add peppercorns, garlic cloves, fresh herbs, or any citrus peel. Let olives marinate for a few hours to infuse them with these flavors.

Download The Recipe

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Orange & Black Olive Salad on a Bed of Arugula

Ingredients

  • 5 oranges (four for the salad and one for the dressing)
  • Arugula
  • 1 cup salt cured olives
  • 1 cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried mint leaves or several sprigs of fresh mint leaves

For The Dressing

Mix together 1 cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and the juice of 1 orange. Add the ¼ cup of raisins, 1 tsp. of orange zest, 1 tsp. of salt, and either a couple of sprigs of mint leaves or ½ tsp. of dried mint leaves. Whisk until blended.

Two hours or so before serving the salad peel the remaining four oranges and slice them. Put them in a dish and pour part of the dressing over them.

For The Salad

When ready to put the salad together arrange the arugula in a shallow serving dish. Arrange the orange slices over the arugula. Scatter the olives on top and add the rest of the salad dressing to the salad.

Variations

Thinly slice purple onions can also be used in the salad.
Sliced pickled beets can also be layered between the slices of oranges.
Ruby red grapefruit can be used instead of the oranges, substituting grapefruit juice for orange juice in the salad dressing. When arranging the salad use Roquefort cheese along with the black olives to garnish.

Download The Recipe

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Olive Oil Ice Cream

This is Sandy Oaks Orchard signature olive oil ice cream. You will need an ice-cream maker.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions – Download The Recipe

Whisk egg yolks with honey in a bowl.

Simmer the milk and cream mixture to a boil in a small pot.

Poor milk and cream mixture slowly into the yolk mixture.

Pour mixture back into the pot and heat over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon without running off.

Strain mixture and chill for at least four hours.

Whisk in Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil and churn in ice cream maker according to instructions.

Yields 8 quarts.

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Mediterranean Potato Salad

This is a wonderful, easy salad. The main ingredients are Olive Oil, Garlic and Potato so use a really fine Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Boil potatoes with skin on in water with a bit of olive oil and salt. Remove from heat, drain and peel the potatoes. Figure one potato per person. Cut into chunks and place in a bowl.

Mince garlic cloves depending on the number of potatoes, or about 3 potatoes to one clove. Use a bit of seasoned sea salt, either Sandy Oaks Mediterranean Sea Salt or Sandy Oaks Olive Sea Salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil so that the salad holds together. The potatoes will soak up a lot of oil, so you will need to use a lot of oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.

You can garnish with parsley and if you are a real olive lover you can add chopped olives to the salad.

You will be amazed by the flavor of this salad.

Download The Recipe

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • lemon zest
  • 1 cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 tbs. lemoncello

Directions – Download The Recipe

Beat eggs, mix in oil and sugar, add milk and limoncello. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to wet and incorporate until blended.

In a greased 9×13 pan, add mixture and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serves 10-12

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Grilled Shrimp and Mediterranean White Bean Salad

Ingredients

For The Marinade

  • 6  long stems fresh rosemary, soaked in water for an hour
  • 18  10 -15 count fresh gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail left on
  • 2  lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2  tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2  tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1  pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4  cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper

For The Salad

  • 8  ounces dried cannellini beans (canned are an acceptable substitute), cooked and drained (chick peas can be substituted)
  • 1/2  small red onion, finely diced
  • 1  small red pepper, roasted, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely slivered
  • 1  cup mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1  small radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 4  ounces arugula, washed and dried

For The Vinaigrette

  • 2  cloves garlic
  • 1/3  cup red wine vinegar
  • 1  cup Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions – Download The Recipe

Prepare the marinade:

In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice and zest, herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and let them marinate for 15 – 30 minutes. Don’t let them remain in the marinade too long or it will start to “cook” the shrimp.

Prepare the vinaigrette:

This can be done by hand with a whisk or in a blender or food processor. Finely mince the garlic and the  anchovies with a sprinkling of salt, then with the flat of the knife smear them together to make a paste. Place this mixture in a medium bowl with the red wine vinegar,  some freshly ground pepper and whisk well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify the ingredients and create a creamy sauce. Set aside. The vinaigrette can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.  It may separate but can be re-whisked to a creamy consistency.

Cook the shrimp:

Skewer the shrimp onto the rosemary. Grill them on the barbecue or use a grill pan on the stove. Shrimp do not take long to cook. They are done when they are opaque. Set aside.

Finish the salad:   

Place the cooked cannellini beans in a large bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Add the red onion, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives and half of the basil being careful not to smash everything together. Taste. Add more vinaigrette if desired and season with salt and pepper. This part of the salad can be done ahead and refrigerated. Remove the salad at least an hour ahead, it is best served at room temperature. Before serving taste again and adjust the vinaigrette and seasonings, the beans tend to absorb the sauce.

To serve:

Toss the arugula and the radicchio with some of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the greens

on individual dinner plates or a serving platter.  Top with the bean salad. Toss the tomatoes with a bit more of the vinaigrette. Arrange on the plate. Place the skewered shrimp on the beans. Sprinkle with the remaining basil.

Serving Size: 6