Feel Good About Olives
Are olives a food you can feel good about eating? A panel of nutritionists and diet experts polled by Time magazine all say olives make a very healthy snack indeed. They point out that about four large olives have only about 20 calories, are nutritionally rich and contain about two grams of healthy monounsaturated fat, which benefits your heart, your brain and your belly. What’s more, olives are packed with antioxidants like biophenols, which keep bad cholesterol from building up in your artery walls. They’re also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and aid in disease prevention. Plus, as a fermented food, they offer gut-friendly bacteria. One drawback: Because they are cured, olives may be high in salt, so the experts suggest you compensate by cutting out another salty snack. A small price to pay …
Bar lack of time, one of the biggest deterrents to preparing your own packed lunch is not feeling inspired about what you’re making. This doesn’t just apply to lunch: most people will have reached for the takeaway leaflet after quickly surveying the fridge and not being able to stomach yet another omelette.
So, speed and making something a bit different are both key, and while it’s hard to beat a sandwich for lunchtime convenience, the fillings can be predictable. Tuna mayo, BLT, chicken salad … even the newer fillings – falafel salad, which by some law of sandwich-making is always dry – have started to get samey.
Here are some quick and different filling ideas to jazz up your lunch break and help you find a new favourite. We’ve suggested baguettes, as the frozen home-baked ones are a godsend when you’ve run out of fresh bread. Plus, if you are assembling at home, they are far less likely to go soggy, due to their sturdy crust.
If you are able to do some quick assembly at work, then this could be the egg sandwich for you. Cook 2 eggs in boiling water for exactly 7 minutes then submerge in cold water. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel or put in a container ready to take to work. In one plastic container, combine crumbled feta, chopped green olives and parsley leaves. In another place sliced pickled beets. Come lunchtime, spread a split baguette with mayo, and top with slices of your egg. Season with salt and pepper, then top with beets and the salad.
Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing are authors of The Little Book of Lunch (Square Peg)
This authentic dish of meltingly tender leg of lamb is roasted with garlic, lemon and potatoes for an irresistible Sunday lunch centerpiece.
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves, half peeled and sliced, half unpeeled
- 8-10 fresh bay leaves
- 3 lemons, cut into quarters lengthways
- 2½ kg leg of lamb
- 50ml Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus 4 tbsp for the potatoes
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1kg Cypriot potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthways (if you can’t find these, any large, waxy variety is fine – try Desirée)
- 140g Greek Chalkidiki olives (or other large pitted green olives)
- 125ml red or dry white wine
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Arrange the unpeeled garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves and the lemon quarters in a large roasting dish and cover with 200ml cold water. Sit the lamb on top, drizzle with the olive oil and rub it in all over.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut small incisions in the lamb skin, then tuck the remaining peeled and sliced garlic and bay leaves into these slits.
- Season the lamb well and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Leave to cook for 4 hrs, skimming the fat from the juices and removing the foil for the final 30 mins of cooking.
- After 1 hr, put the potato wedges in a large roasting tin, coat them in 4 tbsp olive oil and season well. Roast in the oven with the lamb for 11/2-2 hrs.
- Transfer the cooked lamb to a large piece of foil, wrap tightly and leave to rest for 20-30 mins. Check the potatoes are cooked (if you need to, turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 to finish cooking). Add the olives and wine to the pan juices, simmer them and keep warm until ready to carve. Serve the lamb thickly sliced with the olives, potatoes and Tahini & lemon sauce (see ‘goes well with’), with the meat juices poured over at the last minute.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2015
Bonnie Stern | January 16, 2015 | Last Updated: Jan 16 3:52 PM ET
This Sicilian cooked vegetable salad gets its flavour from the combination of vegetables and the sweet and sour mixture of sugar amd vinegar. We learned a version of this at Maria Grammatico’s La Scuola de Cucina in Trapani. Serve as a salad, a side dish or a sauce for pasta.
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more
-2 lbs round Sicilian eggplants, or regular eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes with skin
-4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
-16 cippoline onions, peeled and halved or quartered
-1 cup puréed San Marzano tomatoes (freeze the rest and use in soups or sauces)
-1/2 cup each black and green olives, pitted
-2 tbsp capers, rinsed
-2 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar
-2 tbsp sugar
-kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oil in a large deep skillet on medium-high. Add eggplant, in batches if necessary, and cook 10 to 15 minutes until browned. Remove eggplant to a large bowl. Add more oil to the pan if necessary.
2. Add celery to pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes until partially tender and golden brown. Add to the eggplant.
3. Add onions to pan and cook 10 to 15 minutes until tender and browned. Add celery and eggplant back to pan along with tomato purée, black and green olives and capers. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook gently 10 minutes.
4. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir into vegetables. Cook a few minutes.
5. Add parsley and cool. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Makes approximately 6 cups
- 1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
- 1 1/2 cups cracked brine-cured green olives (Try Inolivia)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Combine all ingredients in large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Shake bag to blend ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 3 days, turning bag occasionally. Transfer olives and some marinade to bowl. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature before serving.
NEW YORK, Dec 7 — New research from Harvard University suggests it could put years on your life.
But a Mediterranean diet rich in pungent olive oil does not come cheap, and it is just about to get a lot more expensive. Disastrous olive harvests in much of southern Europe have sent wholesale prices shooting up, meaning consumers around the world are going to have to get used to paying substantially more for a culinary staple prized equally by gourmets and physicians. Nowhere has the impact of freakish summer weather been felt more painfully than in Tuscany and Umbria, where the subtly aromatic, extra-virgin oils reaped from timeless landscapes provide the industry’s global benchmark for quality. In Spain, which last year accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil, a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria is expected to halve output this year.
A silent press
A different bacteria threatens to decimate olive groves in southern Italy. In the heartland of poshly-packaged oils that connoisseurs discuss like fine wines, it was a humble fly that wreaked havoc after being handed optimal breeding conditions by the erratic climate. At Fiesole, in the heart of Tuscany’s “Chiantishire”—so called because of its rich British ex-patriots—Cesare Buonamici’s olive processing facilities should be whirring at full capacity. Instead, thanks to the olive fly, the sophisticated presses and extraction machines lie dormant for lack of the organically-cultivated fruit that would normally keep them busy until nearly Christmas. “Our production has been halved,” the former engineer says gloomily. Figures from the International Olive Council suggest wholesale prices of Italian oil have risen 37 per cent from 2013, but Buonamici warns the rise for top quality oils like his will be steeper. “Those are the prices ex-press,” he told AFPTV. “For the final consumer the increase is likely to be more than 60 per cent.”
Chicken joints braised in white wine, with a lively garlic and orange-zest finish
This is Sicilian inspired and can be sweet-sour (in which case add the raisins) or simply savoury (in which case leave them out). Apart from a quick browning on the stove top, this dish really looks after itself. (Serves 4)
1½ tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs, or a chicken jointed into 8 pieces
3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into half-moon-shaped wedges about 1cm (½in) thick at the widest part
2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 small dried chillis, crumbled
500g (1lb 2oz) baby waxy potatoes, halved
250ml (9fl oz) white wine
finely grated zest of ½ orange, plus juice of 1
75g (2¾oz) raisins, soaked in boiling water for half an hour, then drained (optional)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
75g (2¾oz) green olives
30g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted
for the gremolata
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1 small orange, removed in strips (cut away any bitter white pith)
leaves from about 10 stems of mint, torn
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.Heat the olive oil in a wide oven-proof sauté pan or shallow casserole (large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer – or use two) and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning as you go. You are just trying to get a good colour, not cook the chicken through. Remove the joints to a dish as they’re ready.
Pour off all but 1 tbsp of oil from the pan and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat to colour, then add the celery, cooking for two minutes before adding the garlic and chilli. Cook for a further minute, add the potatoes and toss them around, then add the wine, orange juice and zest, and the raisins (if using). Put the chicken back (plus any juices that have run out of it), skin-side up in a single layer. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Season well and transfer to the oven for 40 minutes.
Add the capers and olives 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stirring them in around the chicken joints. The cooking juices will have reduced, the potatoes should be tender and the chicken will be cooked through.
Meanwhile make the gremolata by chopping the garlic and orange zest finely, then mix with the mint. Toss this over the chicken with the toasted pine nuts just before serving. A big watercress salad is all you need on the side – everything else is in the pan.
Olives add flavor to dishes, especially holiday appetizers
It’s a fruit, not a vegetable. If you pick it raw, directly off the tree, you’ll most likely spit it out. Varieties include Lugano, Domat, Picholine and Arbequina. Can you name the fruit? If Kalamata is added to the list, the correct answer of “olive” may easily slip off your tongue. If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Italian olive groves and picking fresh olives right off the tree, here’s my advice: Visit, yes. Pick and eat, no. Just-picked olives are extremely bitter.
Various curing processes are needed to turn the inedible fruit into the delicious salty morsels we have come to love. In recent years, more attention has been given to the oil that is pressed from these green and black gems than to the fruit itself. But olives themselves are a great addition to a variety of dishes. They’re especially useful in creating quick and easy appetizers, something we all look for during the coming holiday season.
KNOW YOUR DRUPES
Learn a little about olives before you start selecting them for your appetizer recipes. The olive is a drupe; that is, a fruit with skin, meat inside and a single stone. Most olives start out green and darken as they mature. However, this does not mean that green olives are never considered ripe. Green olives are called “green ripe” when they reach full size but have not begun to change color. The flesh is firm, softening as it changes color on the tree. And those canned black olives that grace everything from your favorite pizza to your mother’s seven-layer salad? Canned black olives don’t start out black at all. They are harvested green and unripe, then lye-cured to trigger an oxidation process, turning the fruit black.
Once olives are picked, they are cured using a variety of methods. Olives can be cured in water, oil or lye. They can also be brined or dry-cured, usually with salt. Lye curing, invented in Spain, is the most cost-effective method. It also produces the least flavorful olive. The raw olives are placed in alkaline lye, which turns them black. Water curing is a traditional method of preparing olives but has taken a back seat to the faster lye cure. Water curing allows olives to naturally soak out their bitterness over a period of weeks or months while they are submerged in fresh water or a seasoned salted brine. Brine curing not only removes the olive’s natural bitterness, it also adds flavor. Kalamata olives often are cured in a red wine vinegar brine that gives them their distinct flavor. Dry-cured olives are rubbed with salt and then left to cure for weeks or months. The salt pulls out the moisture from the olives, removing the olive’s bitterness. The salt then is removed. These olives often are coated in olive oil after curing. Known for an intense flavor, dry-cured olives make a good choice for garnish on a charcuterie and cheese board.
It is important to select the right olives for the recipe you are preparing. Making a tapenade spread? Try meaty Kalamatas or Cerignolas. Are the olives going to be served warm? Select a firmer olive like a Niçoise or Arbequino. Steven Rawson, deli manager of Glorioso’s on Brady St., recommends Cerignola olives to create a quick platter. “Cerignolas are great for an olive mixture because of the various colors available,” he explained. The green Cerignola is picked raw and then brined. Fully tree-ripened Cerignolas are black. The red version is the brined green olive with food coloring added. The variety of olive, when it is picked and the curing method used all make a difference. The following varieties are frequently found in grocery store olive bars.
Arbequina: Arbequina olives are tiny and light brown in color. Grown mainly in the Aragon and Catalonia regions of Spain, the olive is eaten but also used in Spanish olive oil.
Cerignola: This large, meaty olive originated in the Italian province of Puglia and is named for the town of Cerignola. A popular table olive, Cerignolas are sold as green-ripe, black or red.
Gaeta: Purple-brown in color, the Gaeta olive comes from the Italian district of the same name. These soft-fleshed olives are cured in a water brine and have a slight citrus taste. Traditionally, these small olives are served tossed in extra-virgin olive oil flavored with fresh rosemary sprigs .
Kalamata: These smooth-skinned black olives originated in Kalamata, Greece, where they are used as a table olive. The soft black olive is brined in red wine vinegar and often sold without pits, making them a great choice for olive tapenade spreads.
Moroccan dry-cured olives: Morocco produces a large variety of olives but is best known for dry-cured. It is dry-cured in salt and resembles a small prune.
Niçoise: French Niçoise olives are harvested when they are fully ripe and black. Because of their small size, they are seldom sold pitted and are often packed in olive oil with dried herbs. Niçoise olives are a must ingredient in the classic Niçoise salad and Provençal-style anchovy and onion pizza called a pissalaiere.
Picholine: These small French green olives have a light salty flavor. Picholines are often sold in jars and used for garnish in cocktails and served on relish trays. Olive bars in grocery stores make shopping a snap. Glorioso’s offers between eight and 10 varieties of olives in its deli area, in addition to various premade olive salads. Groppi’s in Bay View is also a good destination, and larger grocery stores offer olive bars. For the holidays, whether you make an aromatic tapenade, a citrus-laced topping for your favorite briny cheese or an easy mix of colorful favorites, olives are an easy go-to ingredient.
Fruit is not harvested from olive trees until they are 15 years old. And these trees grow to be very, very old. The average olive tree is between 300 and 600 years. And the oldest? That would be 2,000 years old. The olive branch is a symbol of peace. It can be found on the flags of seven nations, four U.S. states and the United Nations. Think Italy grows the most olives in the world? Think again. Spain holds that title, producing over 20% of the world’s olive crop. Italy comes in a close second at 18%. And California, the U.S. state that grows the most olives? It’s not even in the top 10 olive-producing areas, having less than 40,000 acres of olive trees. Residents of Crete have the highest consumption of olive oil per person and the lowest death rate from heart-related diseases.
Large trees produce an average of 300 to 400 pounds of olives annually. One hundred pounds of olives produces approximately 8 liters of oil.
Terri Milligan is a professional chef and cooking instructor who lives in Door County. Contact her through her website.
WHETHER we’re trying to lose weight or just avoid gaining it, many of us think steering clear of dietary fat is the first step. Rather than cut out all fat, however, we’d be better served if we focused on what types of fat we’re getting.
The body needs some fat — just not too much. Fat gives your body energy, keeps your skin and hair healthy, helps you absorb certain vitamins and even keeps you warm, among other responsibilities.
A diet high in saturated fat — found in animal products and some vegetable oils — can lead to heart problems, but eating the right amount of unsaturated fats can protect the heart.
Unsaturated fats — including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — are considered good-for-you fats. Polyunsaturated fats include the famed omega 3 and omega 6 fats, both considered essential fatty acids, because our bodies can’t make them on its own. Polyunsaturated fats can help lower total cholesterol, while monounsaturated fats can raise “good” cholesterol, or HDL, and lower “bad” cholesterol, or LDL.
The average adult should get about 20 to 35 per cent of their daily calories from fat and less than 10 per cent of their daily calories from saturated fats. A gram of fat contains nine calories, so a daily diet comprised of 2000 calories would even out to about 44 to 78 grams of total fat a day.
So where can you find these unsaturated fats? Look no further than the six healthy picks below.
Olives (And Olive Oil)
Mixing 10 large olives into your next salad will add about 5 grams of fat, 3.5 of which are monounsaturated and .4 of which are polyunsaturated.
Not an olive fan? The oil is an even more concentrated source of healthy fats — just don’t be too heavy-handed on your pour: A single tablespoon contains over 13 grams of fat, nearly 10 of which are monounsaturated and about 1.5 are polyunsaturated.
Looks like eyeballs tastes like fish, need we say more? Though might sound like a DIY bush tucker trial, this canapé is deceptively delicious and will kick the sophistication of your no doubt zombie-themed soiree up a notch or two.
- 500g sea scallops / 2 large egg whites / 85 g double cream / 1 tsp salt / 1 tsp white pepper / 250 g pitted green olives or pimento- stuffed olives / 1 garlic clove, crushed / 100 g mayonnaise / 1/2 tsp smoked paprika / 1 tsp fresh lemon juice / 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil / 10 slices white bread / 4 tbsp unsalted butter / 2 tbsp black olives, diced
- In a food processor, combine the scallops, egg whites, salt and white pepper and blend until smooth.
- With the machine on, add the cream in a thin stream.
- Scrape the puree into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Tear four 12-inch sheets of cling film.
- Spoon 1/4 of the puree onto each sheet in a 6-inch square.
- Slide the green olives lengthwise onto four 6-inch wooden skewers.
- Lay one skewer down in the center of each square.
- Roll the puree around the olives skewers and tightly roll up the cling film to form cylinders; twist the ends and secure with twist ties.
- Wrap each cylinder in another sheet of cling film and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Bring a large, deep frying pan of water to a simmer.
- Add the cylinders, cover with an inverted heatproof plate to keep them submerged and poach over moderately low heat until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let cool, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
- Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice, then whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark four).
- Brush the bread on both sides with the melted butter.
- Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible from the bread.
- Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 15 minutes.
- Unwrap the cylinders and remove the skewers.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinders into slices about inch thick.
- Place a piece of black olive in the center of each green olive.
- If desired, use a slightly smaller round cutter to stamp the mousse slices into perfect rounds.
- Spoon the sauce onto the toasts, top with the mousse rounds and serve.
12 baresane olives – 12 cerignola olives – 1 Tbsp bomba calabrese – 1/2 cup olive oil, divided – 2 navel oranges – 2 blood oranges – 4 clementines – 1 lemon – 2 ruby grapefruits – 1/2 pomegranate – Salt (we use Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves – 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- Smash olives with side of knife and remove pits.
- In a medium bowl, combine olives, bomba, and half the olive oil. Stir well and set aside to marinate.
- Slice the top and bottom off navel oranges and blood oranges. Remove the peel and white pith carefully with knife. Slice across cross-sections and set aside.
- Peel clementines, individually segment slices, and set aside.
- Slice the top and bottom off lemon and grapefruit. Remove peel and all white pith carefully. Slice each segment from membrane and set aside.
- Slice pomegranate in half. Over a bowl of cold water, hit pomegranate with the back of a spoon so each individual seed falls into the water. Remove any white particles. Strain seeds and set aside.
- On a large, flat serving plate, randomly arrange all citrus fruits and segments, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Spoon olives over fruit and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with parsley and mint.
- Serve immediately.
By Holly Dove
Our taste team finds some nice surprises in a gourmet versus budget food test
When it comes to “party” food, such as salami or olives, many might like to pay the extra few dollars to get added flavour and better quality. But when it comes to the bare essentials, budget food such as milk might taste just as good, if not better, than its gourmet rival. This week the Weekend Herald put gourmet food to the test against budget counterparts as a group of discerning food-lovers – including a Ponsonby chef – took part in a blind tasting. The seven-strong team tried a combination of essential foods and “party” foods – milk, olives, cheese, chips, salami, bananas and peanut butter. Comparing budget, mid-range and high-end foods the tasters sampled food from each category while blindfolded.
Without the packaging and brand-name hype, they were able to judge food based solely on taste – with no distractions.
Mainland Tasty Cheese, valued at $7.70 for 250g
“More crumbly [than the other contestants] and lots of flavour”, according to Herald’s Bite food editor Jo Elwin.
Ponsonby chef Dean agreed with the top spot, grading it a four out of five and describing it as “vintagey”.
olives valued at $8.99 for 300g.
A unanimous winner here, the Waitrose olives were described by tasters as big, juicy and full of flavour. “Succulent and herby”, said Dean, while fellow taster Lizzie Sullivan said they were “delicious and flavourful.”
A mix of olives with an undercurrent of rosemary makes a savory loaf that’s a perfect complement to autumn soups and stews.
If extending an olive branch is a symbol of peace, imagine the reaction you’ll get when you extend a loaf of savory olive bread, each slice an attractive mosaic of ingredients. On the other hand, if there’s not enough to go around, war may break out. Worth the risk.
As with any recipe defined by a main ingredient — in this case, olives — it’s best to seek out good quality olives. Bypass the jars and cans and peruse the olive bars found in many grocery stores, which also lets you buy only the amount you need. While Kalamata are the most common black olives in olive breads, some may prefer the smaller Niçoise with their concentration of flavor. There are a broad range of green olives, from quite fruity to deeply briny. Avoid any stuffed varieties, though; the fillings will create wet pockets in the bread and compete with the olives’ flavor. This recipe uses a mix of purple-black Kalamatas and plump, green Sicilians. Experiment! Some will favor an all-Kalamata loaf, while others go only green. The dough also incorporates some olive oil into the mix. In this case, a basic olive oil suffices because the bread bakes at a high temperature; save your spendier oil for fresh vinaigrette. This recipe also uses a kneading technique that’s becoming more popular, a bonus with this soft dough. Instead of massaging and pummeling the dough on a counter and being tempted to add more flour, place the dough in an oiled bowl, then with wet hands use a stretch-and-fold action, pulling one end up and over, repeating on all four “sides” of the bowl. Do this three times in 15-minute intervals and you’ll feel the dough start to develop its body, becoming smoother and more easily handled. It’s actually pretty cool. (And if that sounds time-consuming, it’s little different from baking several pans of cookies.) Set the dough aside to rise for about an hour, shape and let rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, then bake. Sharing such a loaf with people you love is the very definition of “breaking bread,” which is one of the most peaceable things we can do.
…The Chili Cheese Toast, which was recommended to us, was strictly okay: the green olives and green bell pepper did add to the flavour. But the Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta is a delight. Loaded on the bruschetta, moist and bursting with flavours, it was devoured.
September 16, 2014, bThe Journal,
I love olives. They are one of my favorite foods. Ironically, my 2-year-old also loves them. My husband claims it’s because I ate way more than my share when I was pregnant. Whatever the reason might be, I’m glad he likes them too.
Olives are a main ingredient on any pizzas we make at our house. They are common on holiday tables and at parties on traditional relish trays. But olives are also an ideal ingredient to add flavor and variety to foods all year long.
Olives come in many different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. The difference between black and green olives is simply the ripeness. Green olives are unripe and black olives are fully ripe. Olives, both ripe and unripe, are cured or pickled before eating. The reason for this is that fresh olives are too bitter to eat because they contain oleuropein. Oleuropein is full of antioxidants that actually make the olives good for us.
Even though olives have a high fat content – 15 to 30 percent – the majority of fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Olives are also considered a good source of vitamin E and contain the natural antioxidants found in oleuropein. Four or five medium to large ripe olives have only 25 calories and 2 grams of fat. Because of the curing process, olives do contain sodium. Rinsing olives first before eating will help reduce some of the sodium.
If you are looking for new ways to try serving olives one way is to make a tapenade. Tapenades are an olive puree or paste blended with seasonings and herbs. All you need is a food processor, blender or knife with a cutting board to prepare a basic tapenade. Tapenades are the perfect building blocks to use with baguettes, crackers or pita chips for holiday parties. For another fun appetizer idea using olives try the stuffed olive recipe below.
Gouda-Stuffed Olives (Serves 24).
All you need
1 oz Gouda cheese | 1 (6-oz) can large black ripe pitted olives, drained | 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or deli ham
All you do
1. Cut Gouda cheese into small (1/4-inch) pieces; stuff one piece into each olive.
2. Cut prosciutto into 3-by–inch strips; fold each strip lengthwise once to form 3-by–inch strips.
3. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each olive; secure with a toothpick.
4. Cover and chill up to 24 hours before serving.
Nutrition per serving: Calories 20, Total fat 1.5 g, Sodium 150 mg, Total carbohydrate 0 g
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.
SERVES: 4, PREP: 20 mins, COOK: 15 mins, SKILLS: Basic
– 1/4 cup plain flour, – 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt, – 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, – 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, – 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, – 4 x 125g uncrumbed chicken schnitzels, – 1/4 cup olive oil, – 4 zucchini, cut into ribbons, – 400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, – 1/2 cup marinated pitted green olives, halved lengthways, – 2 tablespoons small fresh mint leaves, torn, – 60g baby rocket leaves, – 2 tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped
1. Place flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place yoghurt in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley on a plate.
2. Coat 1 piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in yoghurt. Coat in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, flour, yoghurt and breadcrumb mixture.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook zucchini for 2 to 3 minutes or until just softened. Remove from heat. Add beans, olives, mint and rocket. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Serve chicken with zucchini mixture and sprinkle with tomato.
*Recipe by Liz Macri.
Olive and orange have a lot in common. The O — obviously. The spherical shape — sorta. And the intensity of flavor. Olive hits the low notes on the palate; orange the high.
Together, they strike a rich chord. One I found refreshingly fresh. Proving me late to the party. Olive and orange have been palling around the Mediterranean for a long time. The team adds complexity to stews, sharpness to salads and intrigue to metaphor.
Olive, with its connection to the olive branch, is a natural stand-in for peace. Orange, with its sunny disposition, doubles for optimism. Together the salty-and-sweet, little-and-big, rich-and-acidic odd couple both taste good and do good. Definitely refreshing.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
Drain olives and tumble into a bowl. Pour in warm water to cover. Soak 15 minutes. Drain. Pat dry.
Roll olives into a medium skillet along with oil, thyme, zest, garlic and fennel seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until garlic turns fragrant, about 4 minutes. Pull pan off heat; stir in vinegar. Pack into a 1-pint jar (I’m crazy about those Weck canning jars). Serve warm or cold.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.