Lentils for breakfast- welcome

Here is your invitation to sample beautiful recipes that are good for you, good for the planet and good to eat. They mainly feature plants, because that's what I try to eat the most. I am not a fancy cook, but I believe that food is one of our greatest pleasures and deserves to be celebrated. Real food, whole food, kind food. Welcome to the feast!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The most perfect recipe for olives ever

Glistening, rich and fruity, just begging to be picked up carefully between finger and thumb

Olives add a beautiful flavour note to many dishes. Pungent, earthy, salty . . . And the fat gives a solid, satisfying mouthfeel.

We add olives to many of our recipes, but we always bake them in a hot oven with oil and garlic first. This intensifies the flavour immensely and makes it sing. I don't really like olives any other way now.

We found the recipe in Something Italian by the uber-cool Maurizio Terzini. Lovely book, stylish illustrations and sophisticated design. But the recipes proved too chef-y for us plain folk and the book now moulders away in the storeroom, with oh, so many others. However, this olive recipe lives on in our kitchen every week.

It's easy to make a whole jar and keep in the fridge, Tamar Adler style. And we use Sandhurst kalamata olives that are available in the supermarket. Easy-peasy.

Incidentally, I'm using the royal 'we' here because this is a family recipe, and the 3 of us make it.

The smell when they're baking is heady and aromatic and gives you that happy feeling when you know good food is on the way. I usually pinch one when they're hot and fresh out of the oven, and burn my fingers. It's part of the olive tradition.

I jar black, pitted olives
4 tbs olive oil
4 tbs wine
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
rosemary, sprinkle of chilli, salt & pepper

Heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Drain the olives and tip into a baking dish. Spoon the olive oil and wine over them, add all the seasonings and stir.

Stick in the oven for 20 mins and let the flavours concentrate in the most delicious way.

The end.

We use olives to give a little kick in:

  • pasta sauces
  • home-made pizza
  • salade nicoise
  • haloumi salad
  • most other salads we're making!
  • braised cannellini beans with tomato
  • braised potatoes with leek
  • Neil Perry's sweet potato salad

Just having a bowl ready in the fridge invites their use. This delightfully simple recipe is a wonderful way of creating delicatessen-style olives from a supermarket product. Wholesome and divine kitchen alchemy. Perfecto.

Pumpkin, roast cauliflower and olive salad with coriander dressing, ready for work.





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