Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Harvest Guide to Pizza Sauce

Posted on: September 5th, 2018

Ah, pizza. What else needs to be said, really?

But “Ah, pizza,” would make a lousy blog post by itself, and I’ve never been all that great at brevity anyway, so let’s talk about pizza.

Pizza’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Sure, you can load up a pie with whatever toppings you want — even pineapple, if you’re one of THOSE people — and I certainly have no issues with Stuffed Crust-Supreme-Deluxe-Meat Fiesta-Veggie Storm-Cheeseapalooza pizzas. A slice a day keeps the doctor away, after all.

But take the humble, classic Pizza Margherita. A slightly charred, lightly chewy crust supports a dotting of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. It’s deceptively simple. It’s undeniably perfect. And it’s a subtle nod to pizza’s origins, which — and this may come as a shock — did not include fiestas of meat. Instead, the red tomato, white mozzarella, and green basil echo the colors of the Italian flag. Coincidence? Depends on who you ask. I’ll go ahead and take a bold stance: Maybe.

At the very least, the color scheme gives me a convenient segue into the second, more important part of this post: The Recipes. Below, you’ll find a sauce recipe for each color of the flag. (Click each title to be taken to each recipe’s individual page for easy printing.) Don’t be afraid to get creative, either; use your favorite flavor of Olive Oil, experiment with different herbs, or ignore the following sauces entirely and build the foundation of your pie with something like this Kalamata Olive Spread.

After all, pizza is pizza. And pizza is perfect.

As long as you don’t ruin it with pineapple.

Red: Three-Ingredient Pizza Sauce

  • – 1 (28-oz) can tomatoes
  • – Harvest Ultra Premium Olive Oil, flavor of your choice
  • – Kosher salt

In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, a healthy drizzle of Olive Oil, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pulse until combined and desired texture has been achieved. Taste for seasoning before using, adding more Oil or salt as necessary; keep in mind that many pizza toppings, especially pizza meats like pepperoni and sausage, tend to be quite salty themselves. Store unused sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

White: White Pizza Sauce

  • – 1 1/2 Tbs Harvest Butter Olive Oil*
  • – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • – 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • – 1 cup whole milk
  • – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • – Salt & pepper to taste
  • – Optional: Generous pinches of fresh chopped basil or rosemary

In a small saucepan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add flour and continue stirring until well-combined. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the milk a little at a time, making sure mixture is combined and smooth before adding more. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper, and herbs if using. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Sauce will thicken as it stands; store unused sauce in the refrigerator.

Green: Basic Pesto

  • – 3 cups fresh basil or other green, leafy herb or vegetable, slightly packed
  • – 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • – 2 tsp minced garlic
  • – 1/4 cup walnuts, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Basil Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
  • – 2 tsp Harvest Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired texture is reached.

Did you make one of our recipes? Let us know how it turned out on Facebook or Instagram! #howdoyouharvest | | 319.338.2339

Recipes Revisited: Summer Food Fest

Posted on: August 21st, 2018

As many of you know, we made a TON of food for our most recent Third Thursday party! Some recipes were new and written specifically for the event; some were old favorites. All of them — except for Seth’s secret pulled pork rubs, which are, well, secrets — are compiled below so they’re in one easy-to-find place! (Click each title to be taken to each recipe’s individual page for easier printing.)

Miss out on Third Thursday? Don’t worry, we throw them every third Thursday of every month*! Sign up for our monthly email or visit us in the store for more information.

Harvest Cast-Iron Cornbread

  • – 1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • – 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • – 1/4 cup white sugar
  • – 1 tsp kosher salt
  • – 2 tsp baking powder
  • – 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • – 1/3 cup whole milk
  • – 1 cup buttermilk
  • – 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Olive Oil of your choice, plus more for greasing skillet

Heat oven to 425 degrees and place a medium cast-iron skillet inside to heat while you prepare the batter. In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix in milk, buttermilk, eggs, and Olive Oil. Carefully remove hot skillet from the oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Prepare the bottom and sides of the skillet with the extra Oil, wiping away the excess. Pour batter in and return skillet to oven. Bake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Korean BBQ Sauce

  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Garlic Olive Oil
  • – 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • – 1 cup chicken stock
  • – 1/2 cup ketchup
  • – 2 Tbs Korean chili flakes or Sriracha
  • – 3 Tbs Harvest Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • – 2 tsp honey
  • – 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • – 1 tsp Harvest Toasted Sesame Oil

In a medium saucepan, heat Garlic Olive Oil over medium heat and cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken stock, ketchup, Korean chili flakes or Sriracha, Balsamic Vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and five-spice powder. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency has been reached. Remove from heat and stir in Sesame Oil. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and refrigerate in an airtight container.

Peach-Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • – 2/3 cup ketchup
  • – 1/2 cup Harvest Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
  • – Scant 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • – 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced, plus 2-3 Tbs adobo sauce
  • – 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • – 1 tsp kosher salt
  • – 1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Allow to cool, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Smoky Maple-Strawberry BBQ Sauce

  • – 1 Tbs Harvest Olive Wood-Smoked Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • – 1 clove garlic, minced
  • – 1/2 cup Harvest Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 1/2 cup Harvest Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • – 1 Tbs Harvest Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 1 Tbs mustard powder
  • – Salt & pepper, to taste

Heat Olive Oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sautee until soft, about 5 minutes; add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add all other ingredients and stir until smooth. Simmer about 20 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth, strain through a fine-mesh strainer if desired, and refrigerate in an airtight container.

Amazing Apple Slaw

  • – 2 heads cabbage, shredded
  • – 1-2 apples, diced
  • – 1 small red onion, diced
  • – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Gravenstein Apple White Balsamic Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and chill at least an hour before serving.

Tomato Ketchup

  • – 4 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half (about 3 lbs)
  • – 2 cups Harvest Red Barrel-Aged Wine Vinegar
  • – 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • – 4 tsp salt
  • – 2 tsp black pepper
  • – 1 tsp Harvest Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar

In a wide, high walled skillet or large saucepan, bring first 5 ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring periodically, until liquid evaporates and mixture becomes thick and jammy, about an hour. Remove from heat and stir in Neapolitan Herb Balsamic. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discard solids, and repeat. Transfer to airtight containers and chill completely before using.

White Wine Mustard

  • – 1 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • – 1 cup dry white wine
  • – 2/3 cup Harvest Champagne Wine Vinegar
  • – 2 Tbs white sugar

Slingshot Beer Mustard

  • – 1 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • – 1 cup Backpocket Slingshot dark lager, or similar
  • – 1/3 cup water
  • – 4 Tbs Harvest Gravenstein Apple White Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Red Barrel-Aged Wine Vinegar
  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

For both mustards: Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel or glass bowl, cover, and soak for 2-3 days at room temperature. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blend until a mustard paste forms, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary until your desired consistency has been reached. Transfer to airtight containers and allow to rest in the refrigerator a couple days before using.

Dill & Lemon White Bean Spread

  • – 3 (15.5-oz) cans white cannellini beans, drained
  • – 2 cloves garlic
  • – 1/3 cup Harvest Wild Dill Olive Oil
  • – 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • – Salt, to taste
  • – Additional Harvest Olive Oil of your choice, for drizzling (optional)

Place beans, garlic, Olive Oil, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until creamy and smooth. Adjust seasoning and refrigerate until the bean spread thickens.

Mediterranean Summer Salad

  • – 1 cucumber, diced
  • – 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Champagne Wine Vinegar
  • – 1 tsp salt)
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Olive Oil of your choice, plus more for drizzling
  • – Pepper, to taste
  • – Dill & Lemon White Bean Spread (see recipe above)
  • – 2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • – 2 Tbs fresh basil or lemon basil, chopped
  • – 1/2 cup feta cheese, drained if necessary

Place vegetables in a sealable container and set aside. In a bowl, whisk Vinegar together with salt until salt is dissolved. Add Olive Oil and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour over vegetables and allow to marinate, refrigerated, for no more than an hour. To assemble, spoon Dill & Lemon White Bean Spread into a wide, shallow bowl. Top with marinated vegetables and sprinkle with chopped herbs and feta. Drizzle with additional oil and serve.

Ginger-Hibiscus Punch

  • – 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
  • – 8 cups boiling water
  • – Zest of one orange
  • – 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • – 1 cup Harvest Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 1 cup white sugar
  • – 2 Liters ginger ale

Quickly rinse hibiscus flowers under cool water and drain. Remove boiling water from heat and stir in flowers, orange zest, and fresh ginger if using; let steep for 10 minutes. Pour into a pitcher through a fine-mesh strainer to remove solids, which should be discarded. Stir in Balsamic Vinegar and sugar and allow to cool completely. To serve, fill a glass with ice and half-fill with hibiscus mixture. Top with ginger ale and stir.

Harvest Mai Tai

  • – 1 1/2 oz white rum
  • – 1 Tbs Harvest Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
  • – 3 oz pineapple juice
  • – 2 oz orange juice

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Strain into a glass and serve over ice.

Did you make one of our recipes? Let us know how it turned out on Facebook or Instagram! #howdoyouharvest | | 319.338.2339

*Some exceptions may apply.

MythDebunkers: Olive Oil Edition

Posted on: June 11th, 2018

One of the biggest parts of working at Harvest is educating people about what Ultra Premium Olive Oil is and why it is different from SupermarketOliveOil; how it’s good for you; and when it’s OK to cook with it. (Spoiler: Always.) I’d like to address this and other myths that are often put forward as fact.

Myth: You can’t cook with Olive Oil

I’m not sure how, when, or why this idea started — I like to joke that the Coconut Oil People started a rumor — but somewhere along the way, people got it in their heads that olive oil should not be used for cooking. THIS IS 100% FALSE.

The RIGHT kind of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the kind we know and love as Ultra Premium, is ALWAYS great to use for cooking! The truth of the matter is that olive oil has a smoke point of about 410 degrees, so it’s very suitable for cooking and baking. Ultra Premium Olive Oil will retain all its health benefits and taste when cooking; heating WILL NOT hurt either of these!

Sorry if it seems like I am yelling. We’re passionate about this topic as it’s a straight fallacy that has become stuck in the minds of many. There is simply no reason not to cook, bake, or even fry with Ultra Premium Olive Oil. To hear Seth and I wax rhapsodic on this, book a complimentary private party with us. We promise it will be fun, too!


Myth: All great olive oil comes from Italy

Sure, it can. Italy produces some magnificent olive oils — but so does Australia, Portugal, Spain, California, Greece, Chile, Uruguay…I could go on and on.

Great olive oil can come from just about anywhere with the appropriate climate, and the taste, while subjective, is largely dependent on the freshness of the fruit. All Harvest Ultra Premium Olive Oils are certified as such for 14 months after the crush date of the olives. Our fusti tags will tell you the crush date, and we rotate them out seasonally to ensure you are getting the freshest and healthiest oil possible. This is why we don’t always have the same oil that you purchased before — this is a good thing! You want your olive oil to be as fresh as possible.

The Southern Hemisphere crushes its olives in the spring (usually April and May) and the Northern Hemisphere crushes in the fall (anytime from September to January). You’ll see new olive oils pop into the store as the new crushes become available.

All that being said, you’re in luck if you like Italian oils: We’ll debut some new oils from the Bel Paese later this month!

Myth: Greener = better

Nope. Just nope. This is patently false. It may have been true at one point, but lack of regulatory enforcement has led to an adulteration of the Extra Virgin olive oil label; producers are able to use these widely believed myths to trick consumers. I assume this myth came from the fact that the color green in olive oils may indicate a higher level of biophenols (the antioxidants associated with olive oil’s health benefits). The problem is that some producers ignore the rules and add chlorophyll to olive oil to boost make it look more green. This practice is fairly widespread. And it’s icky.

Our Ultra Premium Olive Oils have no artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial anything added to them. Some are, indeed, a gorgeous clear emerald green. Some are a cloudy pea-soup green. Some aren’t green at all; we have yellow, we have tan, we have crimson. They’re all incredible products. Color doesn’t matter.

Avoiding Olive Oil Pitfalls

These are the biggest myths we encounter here at Harvest, but there are several others we could speak on. In order to ensure you are getting the freshest, healthiest olive oil, Use these tips as you shop:

  1. Look for a crush date, not a bottled on date nor an expiration date. The crush date of the olives is your indication of freshness.
  2. Try to buy single-varietal oils instead of blends. Blends may not follow the global harvest and therefore some oils used might be older than others within the blend.
  3. Purchase bottles in dark-colored glass bottles, not clear plastic. Light, heat, and air can negatively affect the taste and health benefits of olive oil.
  4. Taste it! Ultra Premium Olive Oil tastes amazingly different than the plastic jug of oil you might buy in bulk. Stop in and talk to us; seriously, folks, it’s our job and we love it. We always have at least five single varietals in the store varying from mild to robust in taste, and we are happy to take you on a personal tasting tour.

Do you have an olive oil myth you’d like addressed? Shoot me an email — I live, breathe, and dream olive oil. (Editor’s note: It’s true, she does.)



The Age of Asparagus

Posted on: May 15th, 2018

Hello, Harvest Friends!

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, but now it’s farm-fresh veggie season, and that’s kind of my area at Harvest.

Spring is the prime season for asparagus, one of my favorite green vegetables. It took a while for it to take root as a Cornelius household favorite; as with many veggies, my husband Colin needed to taste asparagus fresh off the farm to realize he does indeed like it. That’s the magic of Iowa produce: Every week last summer, I watched him happily eat things he had once claimed to hate.

Our daughter would eat asparagus all day if we’d let her. (Seems excessive, I know, but maybe not to a 2-year-old.) It’s the first thing she grabs from her plate or attempts to stab with her fork or spoon. She asks for “more-more” before she touches anything else. It’s a good thing that Farmer Donna at Morning Glory Farm has a soft spot for Little E, so a few extra spears tend to show up in our weekly share. It has a short season, so we enjoy it while we can!

I like that I don’t have to spend a lot of time or be super fancy to make asparagus delicious; like most working moms, dinner is either a carefully planned event (undoubtedly one that was prepped and put together on a Sunday afternoon of domestic motivation) or a frenzy to get everyone eating something green before they’re off and running again. My go-to method is roasting the asparagus in my convection oven. I drizzle the stalks with Harvest Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil, unrefined sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper before roasting at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. I often finish them with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. And while Milanese Gremolata is our family favorite for green vegetables, almost any Harvest Olive Oil will work.

Want to stretch the ‘sparagus into a more complete meal? Check out my recipe for Lemon Feta Linguine with Garlic Asparagus on the Harvest recipe page! (I love that our home is a Harvest test kitchen!)

Asparagus goes quickly in our house, so there isn’t much worry about storing it for long, but it’s important to store it properly. It should be refrigerated and used quickly, or the natural sugars in the vegetable will turn to starch and affect the flavor. It’s best to store upright in an inch of water, and this is where some of our store gadgets come in handy.

The Prepara Herb Savor 2.0 is $15 (and 15% off for Morning Glory shareholders) and happens to hold asparagus perfectly. I will be the first to admit that I love kitchen gadgets, but I also hate kitchen clutter so I don’t purchase or hang onto things that I don’t use; the Herb Savor makes the cut in our house, and I would recommend it for your own home. (It does help, of course, that E finds the Herb Savor an amazing toy when it’s not in use).

Have a favorite asparagus recipe using Harvest Oil & Vinegar products? Share it with us on Instagram or Facebook with hashtag #howdoyouharvest. We always love hearing from you!

— Shauna

Olive Oil for the Heart

Posted on: February 15th, 2018

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, leaving a trail of crumpled cards and discounted sugar-flavored chalk behind.

And while your kids’ piles of Star Wars-themed Valentine’s hearts are probably safe to toss at this point — after you’ve picked through the candy that came with them, of course — it’s important to remember your REAL heart.

There are still two weeks left in February, which is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and on a larger scale, cardiovascular diseases including heart attack and stroke claim the lives of almost 18 million people around the world each year.

The good news is that many of heart disease’s various risk factors can be worked around just by eating healthily — and we can help you. If you’ve been to one of our tasting parties, you’ve heard us talk about the number of ways Ultra Premium Olive Oil can be good for you. This largely boils down to their extremely high concentrations of certain antioxidants that don’t exist outside the world of fresh olive oil.

Those antioxidants — biophenols and polyphenols, if we’re being sciencey — mean that Ultra Premium Olive Oil is a wonderful way to combat cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Plus, they taste good; higher concentrations of these phenolic compounds translate to a more peppery oil. Use it to sautee veggies, marinade meats, or even brush on toast to lower your caloric intake. Multiple studies have shown that olive oil consumption can lower your bad cholesterol, and the monounsaturated fats found in the oil can help manage diabetes and therefore put even less strain on your heart.

And by using Ultra Premium Olive Oil in your kitchen, you free up calories you can spend on Valentine’s chocolate. It’s 50% off today. Go nuts, we won’t tell.

Memories of Alien Centaurs & Smoky Chili Con Carne

Posted on: February 6th, 2018

There was a time in my life when I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Books are pretty great; they’re where I learned about chili.

I had a long stretch in elementary school where I was obsessed with K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series; if you’re unfamiliar, a bunch of teenagers and blue alien centaurs shape-shift into various animals and fight hordes of evil slugs that hide in our ears and control our brains. Cool stuff for an 8-year-old. An early entry features one of those centaurs morphing into a human and experiencing chili for the first time:

It was hot in temperature. But it was also hot in a totally new way. The taste buds of my human tongue seemed to explode! They burned with an intensity of flavor like nothing I’ve tasted before or since. Every nerve in my body seemed to tingle. Water dribbled from the tiny ducts beside my eyes … This is what being a human was all about. Taste! The glory of it. The incredible wonder of it.

At its best, chili truly is magical — and adaptable. I’ve had amazing chili made with beef, with turkey, with freshly hunted elk and homemade wild boar sausage (Uncle Ernie’s dinner parties are no joke), with no meat at all. I’ve had chili that turned my nose into a faucet and threatened to set my hair on fire. I’ve had chili on hot dogs, on baked potatoes, on macaroni and cheese. I’ve even had chili that wasn’t chili at all. Get it together, Cincinnati.

And while the Internet is awash with wonderful recipes and I suspect that you may already have one of your own, I’d like to add mine to the mix. It’s a riff on a classic Texas-style con carne recipe, which skips the beans you find in many chilis in favor of extra meat; it’s therefore perfect for people who need to watch their fiber intake. I do strongly recommend taking the time to grind your own chili powder from dried guajillo chilis and to seek out Mexican oregano; both should be readily available in large grocery stores or online. They lend a fruity complexity to the stew, and the guajillos are spicy without being unapproachable.

I like to think that blue alien centaur would be impressed.

Smoky Chili Con Carne


For chili powder:

  • – 3 dried guajillo chilis, stems and seeds removed and spread open
  • – 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • – 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • – 1/4 tsp garlic powder

For chili:

  • – Harvest Olive Wood-Smoked Olive Oil
  • – 2 Tbs cumin seed
  • Guajillo chili powder, see above
  • – 3 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • – 2 white onions, diced
  • – 2 tsp paprika
  • – 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • – 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • – 1 cup beef broth or bone broth (recipe here)
  • – 1 cup dark beer (or water)
  • – 1 28-oz can tomatoes; whole, diced, or pureed are all fine
  • – 2 dried guajillo chilis, stems and seeds removed
  • – 2 oz unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped if necessary
  • – Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Make the chili powder; place the chilis in a cast-iron skillet and toast over medium heat, turning periodically, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and cut into small strips with scissors once cool. Meanwhile, toast cumin seeds in the hot pan, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Using a clean spice grinder or coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind chilis into powder; you will likely need to work in batches. Do the same to the cooled cumin seed, as well as the Mexican oregano if necessary. Stir in garlic powder and reserve. The mix will likely not be as fine as store-bought chili powder, nor does it need to be.

Set a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, stir remaining cumin seed until fragrant, about a minute. Crush as above, and set aside. Increase heat to high and add 2Tbs of Harvest Olive Wood-Smoked Olive Oil. Working in small batches, cook beef until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer batches to a bowl with a slotted spoon, adding more oil if necessary between batches.

Reduce heat to medium, and cook onions in reserved oil and beef drippings for about 10 minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned. Add crushed cumin, reserved guajillo chili powder, paprika, Mexican oregano, thyme, garlic, a good pinch of Kosher salt, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper; cook, stirring, for about a minute or until fragrant. Add broth and beer and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon before adding tomatoes (breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon if necessary), guajillos, and beef. Increase heat to high and allow to come to boil, then reduce heat to low and add chocolate once a gentle and consistent simmer has been reached.

Cover pot partway and continue to simmer at least 2 hours, or until beef is very tender; like most stews, the longer the better, although you may need to add splashes of water to keep it from drying out. Remove stewed guajillos before serving; they impart a lovely flavor, but are texturally similar to shoe leather.

How’d the recipe turn out? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram! #howdoyouharvest

Garlic Nirvana

Posted on: January 8th, 2018

I heard once that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

I disagree. There absolutely are stupid questions. But even the dumbest query has merit and deserves to be answered. To prove it, I tried really hard to come up with the very stupidest question I could:

Is there a wrong way to eat garlic?

The answer, clearly, is no. (Unless you happen to be a vampire, in which case, whatcha doing reading a blog post about garlic?) Garlic goes in everything. I don’t trust recipes that don’t call for it, and double the amount called for as a general rule. There’s a reason one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been to is the hilariously-named Stinking Rose in Los Angeles: It’s a garlic-themed eatery, a business plan I can fully get behind. (Those baby back ribs dance through my dreams with some regularity. It’s great.)

I did, however, just discover a NEW way to eat garlic. That doesn’t happen much anymore, but it’s a special treat when it does. I’ve been working my way through the backlog of articles and recipes at Saveur magazine, and in doing so, stumbled on an old recipe for garlic confit. You ever come across something so perfect it seems like it was made specifically for you? This is one of those recipes for me.

Garlic? I like that. Olive oil? I like that, too. (Good thing, I guess.)

Garlic poached in olive oil until the outside is caramelized and pleasantly chewy, leaving the inside gooey and perfect for smearing across a hunk of crusty bread? My goodness.

You may want to keep the Tums and chewing gum handy, though.

Saveur Magazine’s Simple Garlic Confit

You’ll need two ingredients:

  1. One cup of garlic cloves, which I pulled from about three good-sized heads
  2. Two cups of good olive oil. I used a combination of Harvest Cobrancosa, a lovely and robust unflavored oil, and Harvest Garlic because I didn’t have as much Cobrancosa as I thought I did and doubling down on garlic is always a good idea

Peel the cloves, but keep them whole; this is a great time to use that funny rubber garlic-peeling sleeve that every cook should have in his or her kitchen JumbleDrawer. (We sell them, too, if your JumbleDrawer is lacking.)

Simmer the garlic and oil together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the cloves are browned and very tender, about 35-40 minutes. I stirred mine periodically to ensure even browning and because I wasn’t doing anything else, and you certainly can do the same if you feel so inclined, but it’s not necessary.

Let cool, and transfer cloves to an airtight container; add the cooking oil to cover. Saveur says the confit will last two weeks in the fridge, and maybe it will in someone else’s house. My wife and I ate our first batch in two days.

How’d the recipe turn out? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram! #howdoyouharvest

Game Day Party Showstopper: Jalapeno Popper Dip

Posted on: December 27th, 2017

Happy game day! New York for the Pinstripe Bowl is probably not the warm-weather destination that Hawkeye fans had in mind at the beginning of the year, but Yankee Stadium will technically be 20 degrees warmer than it is in Iowa City today. One way or another, if you travel to bowl games, Kirk and Co. will make sure you go someplace balmy. (Relatively.)

For those of us who prefer to watch the Hawks lose try really hard to win on TV rather than in person, we offer this recipe for a creamy, spicy, and indulgent Jalapeno Popper Dip. I first made it for a friend’s Super Bowl party years ago; it is now my entry fee to any event they host. It’s that good. It’s also absurdly unhealthy, as all great game day recipes should be; it’ll be OK if you balance it out with serving or two of salad.

Jalapeno Popper Dip


  • – 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • – 8 oz goat cheese, softened
  • – 1 cup mayonnaise
  • – 1 cup sour cream
  • – 5 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • – 1 (8-oz) can diced green chilis, drained
  • – 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan
  • – 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • – 1/4-1/2 cup Harvest Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil, to taste
  • – 6 oz cooked, drained, and diced bacon (optional)
  • – Chips or crostini, for serving

Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Beat in Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil, tasting for heat level. Stir in jalapenos, green chilis, and bacon if using, and transfer mixture to a 13×9 baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine parmesan and bread crumbs. Spread evenly over the dip before putting it under the broiler until the cheese is melted and toasty brown, 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

The Harvest Holiday State of the Union: Event Previews & Tasting Parties

Posted on: November 28th, 2017

The holidays are here. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you survived Thanksgiving weekend, which you should feel pretty good about. It can be tough to successfully navigate the throngs of angry people, after all–and that’s just the throngs seated around the dinner table. My brother was hoarding the dinner rolls, he had to be put in his place.

And don’t get me started on Black Friday.

So now, with the turkey out of the way, we can turn our attention to the rest of the winter holidays. Whichever you happen to celebrate, Shauna and I wish you and yours a happy and healthy season–and we can help!

It starts with our November Double-Punch Day today: Stop in any time today and receive double punches on your punch cards for each bottle you buy. You can earn your free bottles twice as quickly as normal! (And you don’t even have to tell your friends that their gift was free if you don’t want to!) If you can’t make it down today we’ll do another D.P.D. on Monday, December 18.

Need some holiday cooking ideas? Keep an eye on the blog for a bunch of winter-themed recipes that will start trickling out soon. Those recipes are being developed for our Harvestivus party on December 9. We’re partnering with the good people at Yelp Iowa City to bring you a vaguely Seinfeld-themed holiday extravaganza full of food, fun, and feats of strength (read: thumb wars). This is a private and 21+ event, but space is still available. You must RSVP at this link if you’re interested in attending!

Have you been pressed into hosting a holiday party but don’t necessarily want your friends and family in your house? Have it here with a free tasting party! Shauna and I will lead a guided tasting, provide snacks and drinks made with our oils and vinegars, and teach you how to use our products in your daily life to promote good health and creativity in the kitchen. Space is still available in December and beyond, so contact the store for additional details or to reserve your date! And, now through the end of the year, hosts or hostesses will receive a free gift and 10% off any purchase on the date of the party!

We also would love to see how you used Harvest products in your holiday cooking: Share photos or stories on our Facebook or Instagram!

Questions? Call the store (319.338.2339) or send us an email (


Open House Revisited: The Recipes

Posted on: November 10th, 2017

Thursday was our annual Holiday Open House, and boy are our arms tired!

…what’s that? Wrong punchline? Sorry. It’s been a heckuva week for us; the HOH is our biggest event of the year, and we may be a little loopy for a couple days as we recover. Planning and executing all those wonderful goodies and decorations really takes a lot out of you, apparently.

And while we enjoyed seeing so many happy faces, we do understand that not everyone could make it down to the store. Those in attendance were given sheets with recipes for all the evening’s goodies, and we’d like to make them available to everyone on one easy-to-find page. Sharing is caring, as my nephew likes to say. A lot. Like, all the time. WE GET IT, ZANE. SHARING IS CARING.*

…but I digress. To the recipes!

Cake Mix Cookies


  • – 1 box white cake mix
  • – 1 egg
  • – 1 (8 oz) brick light cream cheese
  • – 3/4 cup Harvest Persian Lime Olive Oil
  • – powdered sugar

Mix ingredients and place batter in fridge for at least 20 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and coat with powdered sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Harvest “Secret Recipe” Best Brownies


  • – 1 box Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • – 1 egg
  • – 1/3 cup water
  • – 1/3 cup Harvest Blood Orange Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Mix ingredients together. Combine until smooth. Pour into greased pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, depending on desired texture of brownie. Let cool. Enjoy! We like to serve ours with a balsamic reduction drizzled on top. Raspberry is what we used for the Holiday Open House refreshments.

Dill-icious Pretzels


  • – 1 tsp garlic powder
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Butter Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Garlic Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Wild Dill Olive Oil
  • – 1 bag mini pretzels

Mix garlic powder into oil. Pour pretzels into a one-gallon bag and pour oil mixture over. Shake to mix. Spread all pretzels onto a sheet cake pan and roast at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Olive Wood Smoked Almonds


  • – 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • – 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • – 3 Tbs Harvest Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil
  • – 3 cups almonds

Mix all ingredients together. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Harvest Cheese Puffs


  • – 3/4 cup whole milk
  • – 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs Harvest Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
  • – 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • – 1/3 cup water
  • – 1 1/2 cups flour
  • – 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • – 12 oz cheese, grated and divided in half

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, Olive Oil, salt and water to a boil over high heat. Add flour and stir until a clumpy dough forms; reduce heat to medium, and stir constantly until it comes together and begins to look at bit dry, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and beat in one egg with a hand mixer until smooth; repeat with each egg, beating well, until dough is smooth and sticky. Stir in half the cheese.

Using well-floured hands, gently roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and transfer them to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Piping the dough through a plain 1/2 inch tip works as well; use a swirling motion to make small mounds. )Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and place in oven. Reduce  heat to 375 and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Harvest Chex Mix


  • – 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • – 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • – 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • – 1 cup pretzels
  • – 6 Tbs Harvest Butter Olive Oil
  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Neapolitan Herb Balsamic
  • – 1 1/2 tsps Seasoned Salt
  • – 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • – 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals and pretzels; set aside. In small bowl, combine Butter Olive Oil and Neapolitan Herb Balsamic. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Spread out to cool. Enjoy!

Holiday Punch


  • – 3 cups cranberry juice
  • – 2 cups apple juice
  • – 1/2 cup Harvest Cara-Cara Orange Vanilla Balsamic
  • – 2 cups club soda
  • – cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Pour over ice and garnish, if desired.


*Seth loves his nephew dearly, thinks it’s wonderful that he’s so attached to such a simple and decent idea, and thinks more people should follow Zizou’s good advice.