If you’ve never tried the Roasted Local Vegetables at Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, this fall is the time! And after you’ve had it cooked to perfection by him, read below to make it at home yourself.
Chef Chris Joslyn sources all the vegetables for this dish from local farmers and changes the mix seasonally. Fall will feature the following local ingredients:
- Brussels sprouts
- butternut squash
- bell pepper.
It’s served with smoked mozzarella, arugula and house-made tapenade.
Chef Joslyn roasts the vegetables on separate pans at 400-450 degrees, to get the exact amount of softness and carmelization for each one. This can take from 25-45 minutes; you’ll need to taste them to make sure each pan is done. He then heats a skillet or cast-iron pan, places smoked mozzarella in the middle and piles on the veggies, adding a dollop of tapenade and a smattering of arugula.
Chef Joslyn uses Rancho Olivos extra-virgin olive oil from Santa Ynez in this and other dishes at the Café. Since the first harvest, owner Shannon Casey has invited folks to visit the farm and taste the oils right next to the olive trees that produce them. The dry climate in the Santa Ynez Valley, with its long warm days and crisp evenings, is the ideal environment for olive trees. The Caseys farm the trees sustainably, tend the orchards themselves, handpick the olives during harvest and have them sent to be milled within a few hours of picking. To make the oils, the Caseys blend olives from two varietals (one Italian and one Spanish): Frantoio and Leccino. They believe this combo to be the most pleasing to most people.
Farmer Jacob Grant of Los Olivos Roots Organic Farm and Santa Ynez farmer Steve Loyal supply almost all the vegetables in the dish. Joslyn knows he can rely on Grant’s famously sweet carrots, even if Grant isn’t so consistent. “Jacob never looks the same; you never know what you’ll get when he walks in.” Joslyn also says Loyal is a great storyteller and gives him advice on what’s happening in his own garden. “I grow vegetables at home, things like kale, lettuce, radishes, which I also bring in to the restaurant. Steve loves to talk shop, and my garden is a happy recipient.”
Locally-grown garlic is easily sourced in summer and fall. When local supplies run out, the restaurant looks further upstate for year-round garlic from none other than Gilroy, the self-proclaimed “Garlic Capital of the World.” If you’ve ever been close to Gilroy, you know this nickname is correct by the garlic smell!