Here we will share stories and recipes, recap events, and post about what is going on at the farm. Follow along on all of our #PureVirginOils adventures from #SeedtoHarvest.
Pure Virgin Sunflower Oil Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
PG sunflower oil adds a beautiful nutty richness to this cake, and the PG blueberry vinegar subs in for lemon perfectly. Serve this with a blueberry compote and whipped cream.
3/4 cup Pristine Gourmet sunflower oil, plus additional for greasing pan
2 tbsp Pristine Gourmet blueberry vidal vinegar
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp salt
5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
- Whisk cardamom together with flour and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add sunflower oil (3/4 cup) and vinegar, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sift flower mixture over egg yolk mixture and stir in (do not beat) until just combined.
- Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
- Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.
Pristine Gourmet Visits the Celebrity Stage at the CNE
During the 136th Canadian National Exhibition our Big Chief, Jason Persall, and Marketing Squirrel Joel Solish did a demo on the Whole Foods/Food Network Celebrity Chef stage. Wait? Chefs? Nah, just two dudes that like to share the love of #PureVirginOils, and talk about and eat food.
A fabulous time was had by all, and the crowd of about 150 folks were super engaged. with lots of great questions, and the demoing of two of Joel's favourite summer recipes, see those below. It is always great to get to teach people about what we do out in Norfolk County and how we bring our seed from harvest to table, with only the very best farming practices, and quality control on our oil production.
After the recipes, be sure to check out our photo gallery from the day.
Edamame, Black Bean and Corn Dip
This first one can be used as a dip with chips, or the grilled tortillas, or simply decrease the yogurt a bit and use it as a side salad.
1 cup blanched shelled Pristine Gourmet gmo-free edamame beans
2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained (or 1 can)
2 cups corn kernels
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ cup yogurt
2 teaspoons hot sauce, just eyeball the amount
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons Pristine Gourmet Soybean Oil
Salt and pepper
1 pkg of tortillas
Pristine Gourmet Virgin Sunflower Oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Let stand at least 30 minutes for flavors to combine.
Grill the tortillas, after brushing with the sunflower oil and seasoning with the salt.
Remove from the grill, and slice.
Mix well, and serve with sliced grilled pita.
Maple, Coffee and Black Pepper Marinated Flank Steak
Flank steak is great, as it is a more affordable marinating cut of beef, and as we all know beef prices have definitely increased in the last year. This is a mix and wait recipe, and we hope you try it at home while the grilling weather is still here. In the winter you can always cook this in your cast iron in the kitchen, no problem!
3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon Pristine Gourmet Maple Vinegar
1 tablespoon Pristine Gourmet Virgin Cold Pressed Canola Oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn, crushed
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and salt in a glass dish large enough for meat to lie flat. Add steak and turn to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
Heat grill to high.
Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade). Lightly oil grill rack. Place steak on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve.
Our Love Affair with Chef Bangerter
Chef Jason Bangerter is, by all accounts, one of the top chefs in Canada. He is also a good friend and supporter of us here at Pristine Gourmet, and has been from our early days. Many a time we have enjoyed Jason’s food at the various top restaurants where he has led the kitchens, and at the events where he is supporting one cause or another. A true modern day gentleman and bon vivant.
Chef Bangerter is currently helming the stoves at the Five Diamond Restaurant at the internationally acclaimed Relais and Chateaux property Langdon Hall. Jason just recently won Relais & Chateaux, Rising Chef Trophy for 2015. This is quite the accomplishment!
Recently at The Restaurant Show Jason did a demo, talking about the food at Langdon Hall. He spoke about the philosophy of the cuisine and the importance of local relationships and collaborations with farmers and artisans. He even sampled our virgin cold pressed canola oil to the crowd, and it was a big hit. The picture below is the terroir plate he developed last year, and at the show he spoke about our farm and oils. The hands are a farmers hands (artists, limited edition plate), and they make an edible soil using nuts and dehydrated onions. The dish is garnished with over 25 wild foraged and garden delights from the property at Langdon Hall. We can’t think of a more beautiful and thoughtful plate! Definitely visit Langon Hall if you have the chance. Thanks chef, for your continued support.
Rebranding: Looking From the Outside In
Sometimes we are just too close to something to resonate that there is a problem. Maybe there is one, maybe not, but how are we to know? Sometimes, we rely on others to point this out, and we should always be receptive to feedback, both in life and business.
Our good friend Peter Neal, of Neal Brothers foods, kindly suggested to us at a meeting a number of months ago that our Virgin Oil branding could be refreshed, as we were poised for a mass expansion into the retail market in Canada. Point noted, as Petey is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience. He is also a friend.
So, we enlisted our talented marketing team to enact change, and make us better and stronger. Enter Dana Harrison of WellPreserved.ca, along side our trusty Marketing Squirrel, Joel Solish. Check out their results, what do you think?
Harvest Report, 2014
My late father use to say “ if farming was easy and always profitable, everyone would be doing it”, which for 2014 has proven that farming in Southern Ontario was anything but an easy, stress less journey. Farming is always governed by Mother Nature, and when she throws a curveball at us (such as that in 2014) it sends waves of unpredictable issues throughout all crops. We experienced a late, cold and wet spring that was followed by an abnormal wet and cool summer which then was followed by a wet fall and now with still many grain crops yet in the field a blast of old man winter. For many of us we like to blame something rather it is global warming, global cooling but true fully things are changing with our weather. We will adapt, even considering the weather struggles of 2014 we managed to see average crops.
Our edamame this year was a bit behind in terms of quantity but made up for it with quality as it is some of the best tasting to date. Sunflowers this year yielded well and is looking like it will take over the helm from our virgin canola as our leader in virgin oils.
We are excited about our advances with virgin oils in food service here in Canada and now in the US BUT most of all we are totally stoked about our new brand release. While nothing has changed to our name or the intense craftsmanship that goes into every bottle of virgin oil, we think the NEW and IMPROVED look will elevate us from the ‘cool’ to the ‘super cool’. And, you have to admit, the hashtag #purevirgin is pretty brilliant. Even for a farmer 😉 Thanks to Joel Solish and Dana Harrison for a great team effort! You guys Rocked it!
On October 27th the good folks at Evergreen Brickworks held their first annual Evergreen Rodeo fundraiser. If you don’t know about Evergreen, or the Brickworks, you have been missing out. This amazing place in the Don Valley in Toronto is a special place, for so many reasons, and one of our favourite places in the entire city to spend time. Beyond that, there are many programs offered by Evergreen on site, and the funding can always use a helping hand.
Our Marketing Manager, Joel Solish, was lucky enough to be chosen to be on one of the chef teams for the BBQ, and represented himself (Death Row Meals – for more info deathrowmeals.ca) and Pristine Gourmet. On his team was Trish Gill, Executive Chef at The Dock Ellis and The Emerson, Giacomo Pasquini, from Vertical Restaurant, and Bettina Schormann from Earth to Table Bread Bar, in Hamilton. On the day they had the helping hands of Eric Wood, who will soon be opening a new hot spot in the east end of Toronto.
The dish created by the talented group created was: Crostino of sprouted spelt & wheat berry heritage bread topped with a corn & heirloom tomato salad with a dressing of Pristine Gourmet virgin cold pressed canola oil and blueberry infused wine vinegar, tasso ham-style pork belly with cracklings & a peach jalapeno BBQ sauce. That is a mouthful, isn’t it!
For those of you who tried, or did not have a chance to try, the dish at #rodeoBBQ, Joel has decided to share his recipe for the BBQ sauce. People seemed to really love it, and there isnt a lot left over to share so you can make it yourself at home. Get your Ontario peaches before they are gone!
Peach Jalapeño BBQ Sauce
1 lb peaches, cored peeled and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic
((roast for 45 minutes, give or take))
2tbs ginger syrup
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
((combine and blitz))
I don’t really measure, but these are approximate amounts. Can me made hotter or sweeter, depending on your taste.
This has become one of our favourite recipes at Pristine Gourmet. Adapted from a great recipe by famed NY chef Marcus Samuelsson. We love the use of chickpeas in hummus, they lend such a luxurious flavour along with our virgin sunflower oil. Try it and let us know what you think.
1 (12 ounce) package frozen shelled edamame
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons Pristine Gourmet Virgin Sunflower Oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Place edamame into a large pot and cover with salted water. Place over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes; drain.
In a small skillet, heat sunflower oil over low heat. Add garlic and let steep in oil for two minutes, then let cool.
Place edamame, tahini, water, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil with garlic, kosher salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper; blend until smooth.
Chef Goodyear & Foodie Pages
Cured scallops with Pristine Gourmet Virgin Soy Oil
Our friends at FoodiePages.ca sent us this picture of a photoshoot they did with Chef Jonathan Goodyear, this week. Chef Goodyear, you may recognize, is the chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and was a contestant on season 3 of Top Chef Canada. This is a gorgeous plate, and Chef Goodyear is a big fan of our Virgin Soy Oil and the fact that it is a GMO-free product, produced locally. We have worked with Chef Goodyear in the past, and look out for a possible collaboration this year!
City Boy Gone Country
By Joel Solish, Marketing & Communications
Born and bred in Toronto I did not have much (or any, really) exposure to farms for most of my life. Changes happen, and they are good. Nothing makes me happier than being alone in a field where good food is being grown, and thankfully this gets to happen quite often, these days. Being trusted with the marketing responsibilities at Pristine Gourmet, thanks to the wonderful Jason Persall, has allowed me more access to time spent on a farm, and promoting the good things they do. Knowing how my food comes to my table is one of the most important things to me, and being connected to the individuals that grow/raise this food is a privilege and honour.
Our fearless leader, Jason Persall AKA Chief Nut
Every summer we invite chefs, media, and members of the local community out to the farm to see how we do what we do, and tell the story of why. The Good Food Starts Here event is in it’s second year, and it is always fun and educational to have people out to the farm for an afternoon of food, fun, and sunshine and fresh air. This year was an absolute blast, and we had a great crowd and some of our neighbours out to show what Norfolk County has to offer.
Some of our friends! John Picard of Ramblin' Road and Paul Sawtell from 100KM Foods (one of our distributors).
Jess and Ben of Sosnicki Organics
Our Pristine Angel, Chef Joshna Maharaj and our entire PG team was on point cooking up a great lunch, alongside Cory from VG Meats who was grilling up some superb grass fed tri-tip steak.
It seems like Joshna, and Jason's wife Linda had zero fun that day. What a shame!
All the veggies used on the day were from Jess and Ben Sosnicki, from their organic farm that is just a 5 minute drive from the farm. Talk about local! Beverages on hand were from Ramblin’ Road Farm Brewery and Burning Kiln Winery, so whistles were very wet.
I was on hummus and pita duty for the day, and it was a big hit!
Marinated tri-tip being grilled up
Edamame Hush Puppies with Scallion Ailoi and a Corn and Bacon Chutney
Our press, gently squeezing out some virgin canola oil
So remember to play in the sunshine, connect with your food and farmer. Make your own changes, chart your own path, and most importantly play, love, and enjoy.