Wednesday, August 12

Olive the Recipes You Need

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When are olives a great choice for a burst of flavor and attention-grabbing tang? Well, “olive” the time, of course — but especially after a long heavy-on-sweets holiday season. These recipes are the perfect antidote to reset your palate and also perfect for parties sure to pop up in the New Year.

Olive Relish and Goat Cheese Crostini

Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup (around 16 medium) pitted green olives
  • ½ cup (around 22 kalamata) pitted black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup plain goat cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • Crostini or crackers
Instructions:
  1. Place the green olives, black olives, capers, pepper and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl using a small spatula, stir together the goat cheese, mascarpone and orange zest. If not using right away, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
  3. To serve, place a smear of cheese on the crostini and top with a tablespoon of the olive relish.

Green Olive Dressing

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the garlic, shallots, olives, vinegar, anchovy paste and mustard in a food processor, and with the machine running, slowly add the oil until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week before using.

Kalamata Olive Butter

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup (around 22) pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • ⅓ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice around inch off the top of the garlic and discard. Drizzle with oil and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Squeeze to remove the garlic from the outer skin. Allow to cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted garlic, shallots, olives, anchovy paste and marjoram. With the machine running, add the butter through the feed tube a few pieces at a time. Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides and season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the butter to the middle of a piece of plastic wrap to form a log. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Marinated Herbed Olives

Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pitted (around 40 kalamata) black olives, drained
  • 1 cup pitted (around 30 medium) green olives, drained
  • 1½cups olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 sprigs rosemary Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the olives in a small bowl (just large enough to hold the olives) and set aside. In a 2-cup measure, combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, red pepper and black pepper. Pour over the olives, cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Olive Tapenade

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pitted (around 40 kalamata) black olives
  • 1 head roasted garlic (see instructions in Kalamata Olive Butter)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1½teaspoons drained capers
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions:
  1. Place the olives, roasted garlic, basil and capers in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until smooth. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for later use.

Black Olive Tomato Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ cup chopped (around 22 kalamata) black olives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the wine, garlic and onions in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Reduce until only around ¼ cup of the wine remains, around 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, basil, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the olives, salt and pepper. Use immediately over freshly cooked pasta.

Green Olive Risotto

Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2½cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup chopped green olives
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan, Romano, Manchego or white Cheddar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Place the stock in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low.
  2. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the rice and saute for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the warm stock and stir constantly for 4 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Add another cup of stock and repeat. Continue adding the stock a cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid is absorbed, around 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the olives, lemon juice, lemon zest and spinach. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in ½cup of cheese. Stir until melted and add the salt and pepper. Serve warm with the remaining cheese as a garnish.

Tips and trivia: Olives

  • If purchasing olives in the supermarket, bypass those in cans. Mass-produced olives are usually lye-cured, which is a quick method that removes a lot of the olive flavor.
  • If your store has an olive bar, go there! Those sold in bulk and exposed to air will always taste best and have the most vibrant color.
  • Color is determined by processing. Black olives have a flow of air released into the tanks, while green olives are not exposed to air.
  • The only way to determine your favorites is to taste them, so make a mental note of the ones that you like.
  • Kalamata is one of the most popular types and has a nice, assertive flavor.
  • Moroccan olives are jet black and look a little wrinkled. These small olives have a salty, intense flavor.
  • Chios are a bit firmer in texture than kalamatas and have a distinctive greenish tan color.
  • Sicilian greens are mildly flavored and large with a meaty flesh.
  • Alfonso olives are soaked in wine vinegar, which gives them a rich, salty taste.

Ask Chef Tammy

Maryanne Reynolds would like to know what she is doing wrong when reconstituting nonfat dry milk. “I grew up on nonfat dry milk, and since I live alone, I bought a box to take advantage of the shelf life. I follow the instructions on the package to mix each morning before drinking it for breakfast, but I get a gritty taste that I don’t like or remember from the past. Am I doing something wrong?”

Maryanne, you are right about the economical value of nonfat dry milk. The fat and water are removed from fluid milk, giving it a shelf life of several months without refrigeration. The dry particles or flakes easily dissolve in water. I think you are using it too quickly and it needs a little time to meld. Since you are only reconstituting small quantities, mix it up the night before and place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. That length of time will make sure all the flakes completely dissolve. Then just give it a quick shake, and you’ll have a more satisfactory beverage the next morning.

Tammy Algood develops recipes for The Tennessee Magazine that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce.

Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood:
talgood@tnelectric.org.
You may be featured in the next issue of The Tennessee Magazine!

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at talgood@tnelectric.org.

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