Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Olives, Really.....

image from Food and Wine Magazine

As the holidays approach with their usual breakneck speed, I find myself looking for some party type snack dishes that are not just quick and easy but are going to be really tasty too. Portable would be a good thing too!

So, it's off to the bookcase I go! I have a pretty decent collection of cookbooks and thought this was the perfect time to put the old books to the test.

Once upon a time, long before "Top Chef", "Chopped" and maybe even "Iron Chef America", there were a handful of some amazing chefs that were writing and compiling cookbooks....no celebrity stuff, just good old fashioned recipes from their restaurants and their incredible knowledge base of food experience.

It was back in that time boys and girls (the late 90's), that Todd English came under my own foodie radar. His book, The Olives Table, has been with me ever since... he's come a long way from those days and has built quite the empire. But it was his inventive and Mediterranean-inspired cooking that wowed me. So what if he's a celebrity now....I feel like..." I knew him when..."

I firmly believe that his recipe for marinated olives is hands down the best I have ever tasted! And for a while I was making these little gems at least a few times a month, not just during holiday time. So glad I found them again!

I want to share the recipe here in hopes Todd doesn't mind that I reprint it here on my blog!! They are too good not to pass this along....an oldie but goodie!

Olives Olives


Grated zest of 1/2 orange
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

2 garlic gloves, minced
1/4 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 to 2 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary or 1 to 2 tsp dry

2 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 tsp dry

1 tsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

4 cups assorted black and green olives ( Nicoise, Kalamata, Picholine, Cerignola, etc...)
Virgin olive oil, to cover

Make the marinade: Place orange zest, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, rosemary, oregano, ginger, fennel, pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with steel blade and pulse until the mixture forms a chunky paste (you can also use a mortar and pestle if you don't have a food processor).

Toss the olives with the marinade and cover with the olive oil. Serve immediately, or place in a glass jar and let marinade at room temperature for up to one month, or refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Simply Delicious!!!