Wednesday, February 15, 2012




Specialty Oils From All Over The World

As you step into Oliveto, the exciting new shop at West Village, you are in Italy once again or maybe even there for the first time. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the rows of shining silver, Italian designed, olive oil and balsamic vinegar vessels.

Owner, Elizabeth Merian

When I inquired as to whether the shop was a franchise, owner Elizabeth Merian, told me the story of Oliveto. Elizabeth was vacationing in new England and walked into an olive oil shop in Maine. She was instantly in love with the old world charm and wanted to fashion her own style of magic here in Roanoke. She succeeded in her creation of Oliveto because magical it is.

Oils for Tasting

I can’t think of anywhere else that you can have a choice of dozens of specialty olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, none the less, having them freshly bottled especially for you the moment you purchase them.

Jars, lined up and waiting to be filled with award winning olive oils

Elizabeth provides small containers for you to taste the pungent oils. Let your imagination soar as you read the names of these oils. White Truffle Oil, Porcini Mushroom, Japanese Toasted Sesame, Organic Persian Lime. For the vinegars: Coconut, Honey- Ginger, Alfoos Mango, Blenheim Apricot. Just to name a few.

Close-up of Specialty Vinegar

The Shop Also Has a Large Assortment of Spices and Rubs

I could not stop thinking of all the ways in which the large array of Italian staples could be used. With oils in hand, I rushed from Oliveto and came home to create a salad that was greatly enhanced with the oils I purchased.

Here is the recipe for my Bean and Roasted Garlic Salad.

Bean and Roasted Garlic Salad


Several slices of smoked bell peppers
1 lb green beans
6 cups salad greens
2 T. pine nuts-lightly toasted
6 whole garlic bulbs-roasted


16 T. Oliveto garlic oil
5T. Oliveto aged balsamic vinegar (aged in oak barrel for 18 years!)
4T. lime juice
4T. basil, chopped

You can shake this dressing up by trying any of Oliveto’s unusual oils. What about a Wild Mushroom and Sage oil or Tangerine vinegar?

Cook green beans until tender. Refresh under cold water and drain. Preheat oven to 350. Heat about a tablespoon of the garlic olive oil in heavy skillet. Add garlic cloves and sauté for 8 minutes. Cover skillet with lid and transfer to oven and bake till cloves are tender, about 10 minutes. Alternately, if you own a garlic roaster, just pop them into it and roast. Garlic and dressing can be prepared one day ahead and refrigerated. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and lime. Pour over salad with other ingredients. This salad not only looks delicious but the taste is divine. I plan to experiment with other oils and vinegars from Oliveto.

Serves 4-6

If you live near Roanoke, Virginia or are in the area, I hope you will stop by to visit Oliveto. Located at The Shoppes at West Village, 3565 Electric Road, 24018. You can also visit the website here

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  1. Looks like a wonderful place. I'll try to stop by next time I'm in Roanoke.

  2. Actually Cheryl I know the shop she was in though I forget its name. Its on Commercial street in Portland Maine. I bought toni yokum a bottle of pomagranate infused balsamic vinegar there. Its actually a kitchen supply shop with a gourmet foods department where the oils are.


  3. Sounds like you are having a good time.
    Love the salad recipe. I will have to try that soon.

  4. What a wonderful place! I must say I just finished eating diner and you have gone and made me hungry. Your salad recipe sounds so delicious and the picture of the salad is beautiful.

  5. What a fabulous journey you took us on today. I've made my own oils and balsamic vinegars before, but these sound supremely exotic. Thanks for sharing this magical place with us.

  6. Thank you for the tour. The recipe is making me hungry - yummy! Thank you! This looks like a fantastic place!

  7. How great to be able to taste the oils. Looks like a wonderful little shop. Also ...your recipe looks wonderful and will be trying it.

  8. I wondered about that shop. Thanks for the review. So tell me, what is your favorite olive oil from there?

  9. Oh my gosh Cheryl,what a dream OliveTo..I feel like a had a personal visit,thank you.I love Elizabeth sweather
    The recipe looks so yummy and pretty.
    I love visiting you,you share so much of creative you. So unique and giving.
    When I was watching the movie "The Vow",all that came to mind was your amazing art work. I wish that I could create sculpture, truly out of this word creative..I love it.
    Thanks again for the getaway to OliveTo.
    Hugs Laura.xxxoxx

  10. Who knew there were so many flavourings to choose from!

  11. FABULOUS post and info cheryl! now i'm going to have a salad with some olive oil on it! xo

  12. How beautiful to have such containers all lined up and shiny. I'm reminded of the glass jars I fell in love with in Practical Magic.

  13. Oh my! What a great shop Cheryl. I never saw a store that specializes in oil, vinegar and perhaps other spices. What a great entrepreneur is Elizabeth. I am not into cooking but I am amazed by the idea of the store. It's a heaven for anyone.

    Btw, thank you for liking my pictures from Caleruega. You can of course use the Chapel of Transfiguration as your inspiration. It's an honor :)

  14. Wow, all those oils, yummie!!!!!!! And thanks for the recipe!

  15. Last year, we took my six year old daughter to a shop and she did a vinegar tasting. The owners were shocked that she wanted to do shots of vinegar. They were even more surprised when she said the one she liked was one of their finest! I'll have to try your divine salad.

  16. What a deliciously lovely space! If I entered, I might never leave!

    Thanks, too, for sharing your salad with us ~ it looks and sounds delicious and I look forward to creating it in my own little kitchen.

  17. What a great idea and I would love to find a shop like that!
    hugs Lynn

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