Food & Drink

What Mindy Lindeman Riley Reaches For

What is her favorite product in the store?

Mindy Lindeman Riley, owner of Olive Tree (4949 W. 119th Street, Hawthorne Plaza, Leawood), instantly reaches for a bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar, ($17.95, 375 ml.) when asked to select her favorite product in the shop.

Aged for 18 years, the vinegar from Modena, Italy is made from trebbiano grapes cooked down to a sweet, syrupy consistency with a fruity tang and impressive depth of flavor.


Serve it with crostini, over ice cream, in caprese salad, with strawberries or on steak, Riley suggests.

Riley also loves the Tuscan blend olive oil ($18.95, 375 ml.) that “goes perfectly with the balsamic vinegar.” Another favorite is a Himalayan salt set that comes with its own grater ($13.95).

She adds, “We’re also known for our selection of locally made products such as Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts and Firebug Grilling Sauce.”

Savory Addictions, created by local grill master Craig Jones, combine cashews, almonds, pecans, Brazil and macadamia nuts. With Jones, it really is all about flavor. He seasons deluxe nuts by hand in small batches, and then smokes them over real wood. What you get is an explosion of sweet, savory and smoky flavor that’s really addicting. Savory Addictions contains no food colorings, MSG, high fructose corn syrup or preservatives.

Firebug Grilling Sauce, produced by Shannon Kimball, is a sweet and savory sauce with a touch of heat that sneaks in at the end.