THE three main objectives of harvesting olives are: Pick when ready for preparing eating olives or making olive oil, to cause as little bruising as possible and cause as little damage to the trees as possible. Olives for eating need to be picked while still firm. Olives for oil can be picked at the same stage or left to fully swell to maximise the overall yields.
Some high quality producers still pick by hand. However most olives are allowed to fall naturally or racked, knocked off with long canes, or shaken off with mechanical tree shakers onto nets and then transferred to plastic boxes.
In some areas, to reduce harvesting costs, the ground under trees is laid bare by using weed killers two weeks before shaking the olives onto the ground when they are blown or brushed into heaps for sacking.
Yields can vary from 10 to 110 kilos or more per tree depending on the age, health and pruning of the tree, and the summer and autumn sunshine and rainfalls.
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
As if we didn’t already know that life on the Mediterranean is much better for our health, than the hectic city life and fast food of metropolises, it turns out that new research published this week in the British Medical Journal reveals that a Mediterranean Diet is amongst the healthiest out there. But while you may imagine strolls on the beach and kilos of gelato to take home, like many trips to Italy undoubtedly have, the diet that Harvard researchers investigated for the study was the trademark diet known of the Mediterranean – rich in olive oils, fish, vegetables, legumes and low in sugar. With a little added touch; a glass of wine traditional with every meal. And what the researchers found is that women who follow the strictly healthy fat diet have significantly longer life spans than women who don’t have a healthy diet – keeping them younger and in better health for years more than the global average.
Studying nutritional data from 4,676 participating in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, the research team was able to determine which individuals’ diets were the healthiest. And what they found was that women whose dietary habits hewed significant similarities with a Mediterranean diet had elongated telomeres at the ends of their DNA, giving them longer cellular life-spans and healthier skin as a trade-off.
“We know that having shorter telomeres is associated with a lower life expectancy and a greater risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases” study coauthor from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Immaculata De Vivo says. “Certain lifestyle factors like obesity, sugary sodas, and smoking have been found to accelerate telomere shortening.”
Shivangana Vasudeva, NDTV, Modified: December 08, 2014 13:30 IST
Beautiful blue waters, sun-soaked beaches and white-walled towns, Greece is unmatched for its breathtaking landscapes. While that may have taken many of you miles away, my fantasy is incomplete without Greek food. During those long lunches and balmy alfresco dinners, I see myself feasting on some of the finest ingredients in the world. Whether it’s a fresh Greek salad, the famous fava dip or a lovely spinach pie, the Greek table offers a variety of colours and flavours.
For a health freak, who is as paranoid about the health quotient as the flavour, it was love at first bite. Greek cuisine is served with a rich history of about 4000 years. When I recently caught up with Chef Paris Kostopoulos from Greece, I could easily agree that Greek food goes beyond the pleasures of simple eating. There was coffee, curiosity and a whole lot of chatter. I discovered that there is a lot that we can learn from the Greeks when it comes to healthy eating.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the miraculous Mediterranean diet. Most health experts claim that it is one of the healthiest diets to follow and there’s ample scientific evidence to prove that. A Harvard study shows that switching to a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%. It has also been named as the ‘longevity diet’.(Why the Mediterranean Diet Beats All Others)
Here’s our take away from what the Greeks have done right and six reasons to love their cuisine. Continue reading
Sweet potatoes. Turkey. Cranberries. Pumpkins. Stuffing. These are the foods Americans think of when they think of Thanksgiving. But for nearly a century, two unlikely foods were absolute must-haves on every traditional Thanksgiving menu.
Celery and olives.
From the late 1800s until the 1960s, these two foods—which usually only come together in the murky depths of a Bloody Mary—were a must on seasonally decorated tables in homes across America. Fix yourself a cocktail—extra celery, extra olives—as you witness the rise and fall of the menu items for which Americans were once the most thankful. Until, all of a sudden, they weren’t.
Back in 1779, a Connecticut girl named Juliana Smith wrote to her “Dear Cousin Betsey” describing the Thanksgiving meal she had just enjoyed. The menu included: “pigeon pasties,” “suet pudding,” “plumbs and cherries,” as well as a new and exotic vegetable which Smith described to Betsey as “one which I do not believe you have yet seen.” She went on: “Uncle Simeon had imported the Seede from England just before the war began and only this year was there enough for table use. It is called Sellery & you eat it without cooking.”
12 Nov 2014
Preserved in a choice of gin or vodka, naturally infused with fruit, the olives have to be served direct from the freezer. They can be added to cocktails, gin and tonic or simply eaten ice cold.
To create Neat & Dirty Olives, Olives Et Al chose the Sicilian Nocellara olive because of its creamy flavour and low salt content. Each olive is hand-sorted and double-graded before being placed in its jar, ready to be steeped in alcohol, infused with either natural lemon or orange zest.
“I seem to remember we had a rather jolly time creating these,” said founder Giles Henschel. “We discovered the best way to serve them ‘au naturel’ is placed in a Martini glass filled with crushed ice. Just pop a few on the top and hand them around. Although, we do advise people to eat responsibly, as these really are alcoholic.”
There are three varieties to choose from: Lemon Infused Vodka, Orange Infused Gin and Lemon Infused Gin.
Description: Using a lemon-flavored extra-virgin olive oil gives the marinated feta extra flavor. Flavored olive oils are available at a variety of specialty stores, such as the Oilerie and Oro di Oliva. Wisconsin-made Weyauwega feta makes a good cheese choice.
Recipe tested by Read more: All about olives
Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Place in a bowl and add the lemon and orange zest.
Coarsely chop 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Add to bowl. Whisk in 1/3 cup of the oil, the red pepper flakes and ground pepper.
Place the feta piece in a container small enough to just fit the feta and all of the marinade. Pour olive oil marinade over feta and place remaining sprigs of rosemary on top. Cover and chill overnight or up to 2 weeks.
To serve: Place the feta on a platter. Pour olives and marinade over the feta. Brush French bread slices or pita bread with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and lightly toast.
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.
serves 8 | prep 1 hour (+ 30 mins cooling & resting time) | cooking 1 hour 10 mins
1 brown onion | 1 1⁄2 tbs extra virgin olive oil | 1⁄2 garlic clove, crushed | 1 bunch English spinach,
stems removed, thinly sliced | 1 carrot, peeled,
coarsely chopped | 2 x 1.8kg whole chickens, deboned, wings reserved | 1 1⁄2 tbs lemon juice | 185ml (3⁄4 cup) hot water
olive & fig tapenade | 90g (1⁄3 cup) Angas Park Soft & Juicy Figs | 80ml (1⁄3 cup) water | 80g (1⁄2 cup) pitted kalamata olives | 1 tsp baby capers | 1⁄2 garlic clove, chopped | 3 tsp lemon juice | 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced. For the tapenade, place the figs and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 6 minutes or until water is almost evaporated and figs are soft.
Set aside for 10 minutes, to cool. Process the figs, olives, capers and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and oil. Process until combined. Season with pepper.
2. Finely chop half the onion. Thickly slice remaining onion. Set aside. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook garlic and chopped onion, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach. Season. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
3. Place the carrot, sliced onion and reserved chicken wings in a large roasting pan. Place the chickens, skin-side down, on a work surface. Spread each chicken with tapenade, leaving a 1cm border. Sprinkle with the spinach mixture. Roll up carefully to enclose. Tie with kitchen string at 3cm intervals to secure.
4. Place the chickens in tray. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining oil. Season. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour hot water into pan. Roast, basting halfway with pan juices, for 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a chopping board. Cover loosely with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes, to rest.
5. Pour the pan juices through a sieve into a jug. Discard solids. Skim fat from the surface. Thickly slice the chicken. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle with pan juices.
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.”
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.
You can’t lose weight and stay fit simply by removing fat from your diet. But you can give your body fats that are more beneficial to your health.
WOULD ALL OF our weight loss problems be solved if we just removed fat from our diets? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Fats are a vital part of a healthy diet, providing essential fatty acids, assisting in absorbing vitamins A, D & E, and acting as a great source of energising fuel. But it’s easy to get confused about what constitutes good fats and bad.
Here’s the skinny on fats: There are many different types of fats and they can be conveniently divided into four main categories: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats. A balanced diet should contain a good mix of fats while avoiding trans fats all together.
This type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils like olives, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter and avocados.
Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also produce nutrients that assist in developing and maintaining the body’s cells.
Foods high in polyunsaturated fats include soybean oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout.
In addition to reducing your bad cholesterol levels, polyunsaturated fats contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which boost brain function and may strengthen the immune system.
Saturated fats are contained naturally in many foods including fat on lamb, fatty beef, poultry with skin, full fat dairy products and take away foods. At SMART Training we suggest that clients limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories. We suggest trimming visible fat from meat or removing the skin from chicken or swapping butter for sunflower or olive spread.
1 large onion, chopped
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
5g chilli, chopped
60g green olives
200g fresh swordfish, diced
½ glass white wine
12 cherry tomatoes
4 tbsps chopped basil
2 tbsps chopped parsley
2 tbsps chopped coriander
Sauté the onion slices in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil until these turn slightly soft. Add the garlic, chilli, olives and the swordfish and sauté for one minute. Then add the white wine and cook until all the wine is absorbed. Add the cherry tomatoes, half the basil, parsley and coriander and allow to simmer for five minutes.
Cook the pasta in boiling water. Take a tablespoon of the pasta water and add it to the sauce, add a pinch of salt and cover. Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan over low heat.
Mix the pasta in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Add more fresh herbs, but keep some aside to garnish.
Serve the pasta on warm plates, garnish with the remaining herbs and drizzle some herb oil.
Joe Vella is an Executive chef, Hilton Malta.
By | August 20, 2014
Best served as an appetizer or snack, these delicate cookies shine their brightest when paired with an equally salty olive-infused hummus on the side. Don’t be afraid to really drive the theme home with a robust tapenade. An intense dark chocolate can stand up to anything you throw at it. The saying really is true; chocolate goes with everything, or perhaps more accurately, everything goes with chocolate.
- 1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Oil-Cured Olives, Pitted and Chopped
- 2.5 Ounces 90% Cacao Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil