Olive you. Olive you more!

Cooking with this adored Mediterranean fruit

It’s difficult to describe the tastes and flavors of foods. Olives are an especially hard case. Nothing tastes remotely like them, so it’s impossible to compare them to any other food.

Olive bread

Olive bread

Novelist Lawrence Durrell did the best job of evoking them when he wrote, “The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold beads, the bearded heroes . . . all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent smell of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”

Cultivation of the olive is certainly ancient. The gnarly trees, their green-and-silver leaves trembling in any breeze, are native to the Mediterranean. In Israel, there’s evidence of olive oil production in 6000 BC, and on the Greek island of Naxos, archeologists have discovered remains of olive oil in a jug dating to 4,000 BC.

Indeed, the olive tree was so vital to the Greeks that they embedded it in their myth of Athena. When she struck the Acropolis with her spear, the first olive tree sprang forth. This magic underwhelmed the witnesses, who grumbled that the sea-god Poseidon would have given them a better gift. But after Athena taught them how to cultivate the tree and process its products for food, light and timber, they realized its many virtues and named their city Athens in her honor.

Greece remains a major grower, producing 11 percent of the world’s olives and consuming 23 liters of olive oil per person per year. (Americans consume about one liter.)

(Source: http://www.amherstbulletin.com) Continue reading

Deep-fried olives stuffed with creamy Danish feta

Danish Feta_1349462_1092038INGREDIENTS
80g Danish feta
85ml ( cup) cream cheese
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
Freshly ground black pepper
50 large pitted olives, well drained (the bigger they are, the easier they are to fill)
120g (1 cup) cake flour
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
120g (1 cup) dried breadcrumbs
Oil, for deep-frying

METHOD
Mix the feta, cream cheese, chilli flakes and thyme until relatively smooth. Season with black pepper. Stuff the olives with this mixture, dust well with flour, dip into beaten egg and then into breadcrumbs.

Heat 3cm oil in a deep frying pan and deep-fry the olives in batches until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel before serving. Makes 50, great for a party snack

(Source: http://www.timeslive.co.za)

Tuna and Olive Pasta Salad

Tuna-Olive-Pasta-Salad-XL

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (1/2 box) whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup store-bought pesto
  • 1 (6-ounce) can oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water; reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta, run under cold water, and return to pot.

2. In a bowl, whisk together pesto and 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water; toss with pasta, tuna, olives, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in pot. Chill, if desired; serve.

(Source: http://www.health.com)

Olive production down 30%

Production of olives for olive oil in Portugal is expected to have fallen by 30 percent in 2016 to less than 500,000 tonnes, and the autumn/winter grain growing area to have fallen to an “all-time low” according to projections from the National Statistics Institute.

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According to INE, the drop in olive production for oil was the result of “adverse weather and the annual production rotation of traditional olive groves,” and expects total production of about 491,000 tonnes
(-30 percent against 2015), but “good quality” olive oil.
As for autumn/winter grains there was a “general reduction of installed areas,” compared to the previous year due to periods of intense cold and a lack of rain.
INE’s projections point to drops of around 5 percent in rye area, 10 percent in common wheat, triticale and barley and of 15 percent for durum wheat, with a total grain area of around 130,000 hectares, “which is the lowest recorded in the last three decades, in a year in which weather conditions made it possible for planting to go ahead as normal.”

(Source: http://theportugalnews.com)

Scientists REVEAL magnesium is the secret magic ingredient to healthy Mediterranean Diet

The secret ingredient which makes the Mediterranean Diet so healthy is magnesium, according to the latest research. By CYRIL DIXON

Scientists say the mineral is more important than previously thought in slashing the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. And they are convinced the results of their work explain why foods such as nuts, whole grains, leafy greens and oily fish help people live longer. The team conducted the largest ever analysis of dietary magnesium data, covering more than a million people in nine countries. Mediterranean-Diet-741021They found that eating a diet rich in magnesium cut the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke by 12 per cent. The danger of developing Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 26 per cent, according to the research at Zhejiang University’s School of Public Health in eastern China.

Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. Dr Fudi Wang

Dr Fudi Wang, who led the project, said: “Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases. “But no conclusive evidence has been put forward on the link between dietary magnesium and health risks. “Our analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting a link between the role of magnesium in food and reducing the risk of disease.” His team, based at one of China’s top universities, analysed data from 40 studies covering a seven-year period. Their findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, suggest people in “developed” countries in the West do not take in enough magnesium. 3B284E5C00000578-0-image-a-33_1481154562612Dr Wang believes public health departments should encourage people to consume more – and to get it from several sources because individual food items do not contain enough. He said: “Green leafy vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium while spices, nuts, beans, cocoa and whole grains are also rich sources. 
“Importantly, the daily requirement is difficult to achieve through a single serving of any one food item.”

(Source: http://www.express.co.uk)

Steak with feisty green olive tapenade and garlic mayo

“If you are anything like me, you will smoke out the whole kitchen in the cooking process of this recipe. Fear not, though — the reward is great. All steaks are best when prepped and seasoned simply, cooked quickly and given plenty of time to rest. Do those three things and no amount of smoke will dampen the result. Serve these tasty strips of steak and the indulgent dips with some flatbread and a tangle of watercress.”

by Flora Shedden 

stealw.olivetapenade

Serves 4 people

INGREDIENTS
2-4 sirloin steaks, about 750g in total | Olive oil | 1 tsp each of black and pink peppercorns, cracked | Watercress, to serve
FOR THE TAPENADE
200g pitted green olives | 1 small green chilli | Juice of ½ lime | 1 tbsp white wine vinegar | 2 tbsp olive oil | 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
FOR THE GARLIC MAYO
2 smoked garlic cloves | 2 tbsp good olive oil | Smoked salt (normal if you can’t find) | 100g mayonnaise

01 Set a griddle pan over a high heat, ready to cook the steaks.

02 Lay out a large sheet of greaseproof paper and drizzle a little oil over half the paper. Sprinkle over some cracked pepper. Place the steaks on top in a single layer,…

 

20 Healthy foods that look like the body parts they’re good for

They say you are what you eat, but we never thought that meant “literally” speaking.

These 18 foods actually reflect the body parts they provide nutrients for – read along to know why they say eating carrots is good for your eyes – it’s not just a coincidence.

olive_ovary1. Olives

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries. Olives and olive oil contain an abundance of phenolic antioxidants as well as the anti-cancer compounds squalene and terpenoid.


grapes2. Grapes

Grapes have an undeniable resemblance to the alveoli of the lungs. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. Including red/purple grapes in your diet has proven to reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema (a long term disease of the lungs).


kidney_beans3. Kidney Beans

Interesting fact: the Kidney beans got their name due to the resemblance they have to real human kidneys. Kidney beans have significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber, they are also very high in protein and iron.


sweet-pancreas4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes resemble the pancreas and can actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

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Olives and Bone: A Green Osteoporosis Prevention Option

ijerph-logoKok-Yong Chin*  and Soelaiman Ima-Nirwana

Department of Pharmacology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, 56000 Cheras, Malaysia

Abstract

Skeletal degeneration due to aging, also known as osteoporosis, is a major health problem worldwide. Certain dietary components confer protection to our skeletal system against osteoporosis. Consumption of olives, olive oil and olive polyphenols has been shown to improve bone health. This review aims to summarize the current evidence from cellular, animal and human studies on the skeletal protective effects of olives, olive oil and olive polyphenols. Animal studies showed that supplementation of olives, olive oil or olive polyphenols could improve skeletal health assessed via bone mineral density, bone biomechanical strength and bone turnover markers in ovariectomized rats, especially those with inflammation. The beneficial effects of olive oil and olive polyphenols could be attributed to their ability to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. However, variations in the bone protective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects between studies were noted. Cellular studies demonstrated that olive polyphenols enhanced proliferation of pre-osteoblasts, differentiation of osteoblasts and decreased the formation of osteoclast-like cells. However, the exact molecular pathways for its bone health promoting effects are yet to be clearly elucidated. Human studies revealed that daily consumption of olive oil could prevent the decline in bone mineral density and improve bone turnover markers. As a conclusion, olives, olive oil and its polyphenols are potential dietary interventions to prevent osteoporosis among the elderly.

(Download full article: pdf)

(Source: http://www.mdpi.com)

Gin Mare Cured Sea Bass with Pickled Cucumber, Black Olives, Chilli & a Scallop Beignet in Tonic Bat

Gin Mare Cured Sea Bass with Pickled Cucumber, Black Olives, Chilli & a Scallop Beignet in Tonic Batter
gin-mare-cured-sea-bass

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sea bass fillet, scaled and pinned
  • 80g sea salt
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 lemon zest of
  • 1 orange zest of
  • ¼ bunch mint, chiffonade
  • 70ml gin mare
  1. Mix together the sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange zest, peppercorns and mint then mix in the gin, completely cover all sides of the sea bass with the cure.
  2. Place the fillet in a tray or plate with the cure with another plate on top to press slightly and place in the fridge.
  3. Leave to cure for 24 hours in the fridge. Wash off well under cold running water and pat dry.

For The Dressing:

  • 100ml of the marinade (passed)
  • 1 orange juice of
  • 2 lemon juice of
  • 250ml virgin rapeseed oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together.

To Garnish:

  • 6 medium scallops, cleaned
  • 75g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • 125ml tonic
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and sliced fine
  • 10g coriander cress
  • 6 black olives, sliced
  • ¼ cucumber sliced
  • 40g sea salt
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  1. First mix the sliced cucumber with the sea salt and leave for 20 minutes, in the meantime bring to the boil the vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds until the sugar has dissolved, allow to cool.
  2. Wash off the cucumber under plenty of cold running water and pat dry on a clean towel, place in a bowl and pour over the boiled vinegar sugar mixture and put to one side.
  3. Next make the tempura batter, in a bowl mix the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and tonic together to achieve a very light batter.

To serve:

  1. Slice the sea bass thinly leaving the skin behind, lay out on a cold plate and smother with the dressing.
  2. Place the scallops in the batter and then deep-fry @190c for 1-2 minutes, remove and drain on kitchen paper then place on top of the sliced sea bass plates.
  3. Finish by sprinkling over the pickled cucumber, chilli, olives and coriander cress and serve immediately.

Cooking with Gin Mare at Rocksalt Folkestone Recipes by Mark Sergeant

(Source: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk)

Black olive and lemon paté

A fabulous quartet of flavours – the richness of the cream cheese is cut through with the acidity of lemon and the earthy tang of olives.

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Serves 4
100g olives, pitted
250g cream cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Black pepper

1 Add the pitted olives to a blender and blend until almost smooth.

2 Transfer the olive mix to a fine sieve and sit it over a bowl to drain any excess liquid – around 5 minutes should do it. However, if your olives were in liquid it might take a little longer.

3 Next, add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl with the olives, lemon juice and black pepper. Carefully fold together until incorporated.

4 Place a round pastry cutter in the centre of a serving plate, add the paté and tamp down. Remove the ring and serve with some dressed leaves and hot toast.
Andrew Dargue, vanillablack.co.uk

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com)

Grilled Whole Mackerel With Lemon, Oregano, and Olives

Grilling a whole fish sounds daunting, but it’s incredibly simple and requires almost no preparation before cooking it.

This recipe is courtesy of Epicurious.

Grilled Mackerel Flickr MainDirections

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper. Pour in the olive oil in a stream, whisking until combined well. Whisk in olives and chopped oregano.

With a sharp paring knife, make 1-inch long slits at 2-inch intervals down the middle of the fish, on both sides. Brush the fish all over with vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Season fish cavity with salt and pepper, and fill the cavity with 3 lemon slices and 3 oregano sprigs. Arrange remaining lemon slices and oregano sprigs on top of fish and tie fish closed with kitchen string.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open the vents on the bottom of the grill before lighting the charcoal.

Grill fish on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, for 15 minutes. Turn fish over using a metal spatula and tongs, and grill for 15 more minutes, until just cooked through.

Transfer fish to a large serving platter, remove kitchen string, and pour lemon-olive sauce over the top before serving.

(Source: http://www.thedailymeal.com)

Educational Games for Olive and Olive Oil

“In the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, people have not been living alone. For thousands of years, they have been living together with a different kind of population, a population that constantly grows and expands over the plains, the slopes and the mountains of the hinterland of the Mediterranean countries. This is the population of the olive trees,” as we learn from the back cover of a new book, On the Olive Routes by Nikos Michelakis, Angela Malmou, Anaya Sarpaki, and George Fragiadakis.

OliveGames and Routes

Above there is a series of educational games and digital books created under the Project of Raising Youth Awareness for Olive and Olive Oil from Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities in cooperation with the International Olive Council (http://www.olivegames.gr/).

(Source: http://www.oliveoiltimes.com)

Ελιόπιτες

Τα νόστιμα αυτά ψωμάκια είναι ωραίος μεζές για ούζο και τσίπουρο, ενώ μπορούν να αντικαταστήσουν και το ψωμί συνοδεύοντας λαδερά φαγητά. Βέβαια, μπορείτε να τις απολαύσετε και με ένα φλιτζάνι τσάι.

ELIOPITA_slider-575x386

ΣΥΝΤΑΓΗ: 

Υλικά για τη ζύμη

  • 5 φλιτζάνια αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις
  • 1 φλιτζάνι χυμό πορτοκαλιού
  • ξύσμα από 1 πορτοκάλι
  • 1 φλιτζάνι ελαιόλαδο (ή ½ φλιτζάνι ελαιόλαδο + ½ φλιτζάνι καλαμποκέλαιο)
  • 1 κουτ. γλυκού αλάτι
  • 2 κουτ. γλυκού μπέικιν πάουντερ
  • 1 κουτ. σούπας ζάχαρη

Υλικά για τη γέμιση

  • 2 φλιτζάνια ελιές Χαλκιδικής, χωρίς κουκούτσια
  • 2 κρεμμύδια μεγάλα, ψιλοκομμένα
  • 1/3 φλιτζανιού δυόσμο ψιλοκομμένο (ή 2 κουτ. σούπας αποξηραμένο)
  • 1 φλιτζάνι αμύγδαλα χονδροκομμένα
  • σουσάμι

Διαδικασία

Ετοιμάζετε τη ζύμη. Σε ένα μπολ ανακατεύετε το αλεύρι με το μπέικιν πάουντερ, το αλάτι και τη ζάχαρη. Προσθέτετε το ξύσμα, το λάδι και το χυμό πορτοκαλιού και ζυμώνετε. Αν χρειαστεί, προσθέτετε λίγο χλιαρό νερό. Η ζύμη πρέπει να είναι σφιχτή και ελαστική. Την πλάθετε μια μπάλα, τη σκεπάζετε με μεμβράνη και την αφήνετε 1 ώρα να «ξεκουραστεί».

Για να ετοιμάσετε τη γέμιση, σε ένα μπολ ανακατεύετε τις ελιές με το κρεμμύδι, τα αμύγδαλα και το δυόσμο.

Προθερμαίνεται τον φούρνο στους 180°C. Σε επίπεδη, αλευρωμένη επιφάνεια ανοίγετε με τον πλάστη τη ζύμη σε χοντρά φύλλα και τα κόβετε σε λωρίδες. Απλώνετε λίγη από τη γέμιση κατά μήκος κάθε λωρίδας και τυλίγετε σε ρολό, σαν φραντζολάκια.

Αραδιάζετε τα ρολά σε λαδωμένο ταψί, τα ραντίζετε με λίγο νερό και τα πασπαλίζετε με σουσάμι. Ψήνετε στον φούρνο για 35 λεπτά περίπου, μέχρι δηλαδή να ροδοκοκκινίσουν οι ελιόπιτες. Τις κόβετε λοξά και τις σερβίρετε.

(Source: http://www.olivemagazine.gr)

Cook to Get Cut: 5 Nutritious Recipes Using Olives

Healthy Open-Face Breakfast Sandwiches

Avocado sandwich with arugula, seeds and poached egg

Avocado sandwich with arugula, seeds and poached egg

Most breakfast sandwiches include a combination of eggs, bacon, and cheese. This triple threat always tastes delicious, but it’s not the healthiest way to start your day. Instead of topping your breakfast with a mound of smoked pork, try olives with this Mediterranean-inspired sandwich from Chowhound. They add just as much flavor without requiring any additional cooking, which means this sandwich is pretty speedy.

As for the specifics, olives contain 65 calories per ounce compared to bacon’s 149 calories for the same amount, making them a great way to lighten up this breakfast classic. And even though they’re loaded with the salty taste most of us love, olives still contain less sodium per ounce than bacon.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices spelt or other bread
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups baby kale or spinach
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced into four pieces
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add eggs and begin to cook. Meanwhile toast bread under the broiler or with a toaster. Cook eggs to your desired doneness, spooning some of the oil over the tops of the whites to help them cook. Remove eggs to a plate.

Increase skillet heat to high and add red pepper flakes. Stir in kale and cook, tossing, until just wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in olives.

Top each slice of toast with an equal amount of greens. Add an egg to each, then top with avocado, feta, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Serve.

(Source: http://www.cheatsheet.com)

Amazing Health Benefits Of Olives

Written by: Bindu Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 2:01 [IST]
olivesforovaries-15-1455537537Olives are one of the most widely enjoyed foods across the globe. Olives are the fruits that come in a wide range of varieties. They are bitter in taste and are highly used in the preparation of salads. Olives are one of the healthiest foods that one can opt for. Even olive oil is known for its wide range of health and beauty benefits. Hence, all in all, this is one fruit that is packed with goodness for the body. The health benefits of olives are numerous. They help eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood, control blood pressure and are a good source of dietary fibres as an alternative for fruits and vegetables. Olives are the greatest sources of vitamin E. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant and protects the cells from free radical damage. Regular consumption of olives reduces the effect of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and benign diseases. Olives prevent blood clots that can lead to further diseases. They also protect the cell membrane from cancer. Likewise, there are various benefits of consuming olives. Therefore, in this article, we at Boldsky will be listing out some of benefits of consuming olives on a regular basis. Read on to know more about it.

For Cardiovascular Health: Olives have a diverse range of antioxidants that protect the cells from oxidative stress. The antioxidants in them protect the cardiovascular health by neutralising free radicals. The monounsaturated fatty acids present in olives are good for reducing the risk of cardiac diseases.

Cancer Prevention: Olives lower the risk of cancer by providing a rich supply of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. They lower the risk of breast cancer and its re-occurrence.

waist-22-1450760664Weight Loss: Olives assist in weight loss too. Their monounsaturated fatty acids help in weight loss and weight management. According to a research conducted, a diet rich in olives is beneficial in reducing weight.

Digestive Health: Maslinic acid and triterpenoid compound present in the olive skin help fight cancer cells. This acid hampers the growth of colon cancer cells. Since olives are a good source of fibre, they promote the digestion process.
: Olives are a rich source of iron, an essential mineral component of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs and transports it throughout the body.

(Source: http://www.boldsky.com)

Cheese-Stuffed Olives

Preparation

Mix goat cheese, Parmesan, herbs, garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (or use a resealable plastic bag and snip one corner of bag open with scissors). Pipe mixture into olives.
Place olives, thyme sprigs, chiles, and lemon zest in a shallow dish and pour oil over top.

Do Ahead

Olives can be marinated 4 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe by Rita Sodi & Jody Williams
Photograph by Eva Kolenko

Thanksgiving salad

NANA’S ORANGE, FENNEL AND OLIVE SALAD WITH MARINATED FETA

thanksgiving salad tll 1109MARINATED FETA:
1 pound block feta cheese
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup roughly chopped or torn fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

SALAD:
2 cups sliced fennel (halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise with a sharp knife)
3/4 cup chopped feathery fennel fronds
1 3/4 cups pitted whole Italian oiled-cured black olives (substitute Kalamata if desired)
8 navel oranges, divided use
6 blood oranges or ruby red grapefruit
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

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