Posted by Olivia on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
Now that olive harvest season is coming to a close, you might have your own home-cured olives or a favorite brand of simple olives in brine to doctor up. This can be a fun cold weather project to do at home – and so delicious! We have compiled our favorite methods and ingredients for flavoring, pitting, stuffing, and baking cured olives. Enjoy!
You can flavor olives by adding your favorite herbs and spices directly to the jars with the brine, and like any other marinade, the longer they sit the more flavorful they will become! Or you can drain the brine, rinse the olives, and season them a few hours to a few days before serving. This method is wonderful for palates that prefer less of a brine flavor.
Here are just a few of our favorite ingredients for marinating:
• Lemon or Orange Zest • Fresh Garlic
• Fresh Thyme or Rosemary • Cayenne Pepper
• Red Chili Pepper or Paprika • Fennel Seeds
• Roasted Cumin or Coriander Seeds • Sage or Oregano
• Chopped Preserved Lemon • Chopped Fresh Cilantro
• Herbes de Provence • Harissa
Pitting and Stuffing
No matter what you marinate or flavor your olives in, pitting and stuffing them is fun and delicious! And did we mention easy?
To properly pit an olive, we suggest using an olive pitter. Just place the olive in the tapered hole, grasp the handle, and squeeze hard so the pit pops out the other end.
As for stuffing, we suggest using an olive stuffer for softer fillings like cheese. Our stuffer is easy to use, just stick the end in your favorite cheese and make sure it’s full because it is the perfect size to fill an olive. Then place the olive onto the end of the stuffer, and push to insert your filling!
If you’re stuffing an olive with something harder like our Olive Oil Roasted Almonds with Herbs de Provence and Salt, or a roasted clove of garlic, just pop it into your pitted olive!
Cured olives, pitted and stuffed with almonds. Typically larger olives would be ideal - but they are oh-so-delicious!
Serving up some warm, roasted olives can be as simple as tossing your favorite, meaty, dry-cured olives in some extra virgin olive oil and herbs, setting the oven to 350 degrees, and baking them for about 15 minutes. What a treat!
Here’s one of our favorite recipes for whole kalamatas baked in wine:
• 1 cup unpitted black olives (Kalamata or Niciose)
• ½ cup dry red wine
• ¼ tsp. fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine olives, wine, fennel seeds, sliced garlic and olive oil in a small baking dish. Bake uncovered until olives are heated through, about 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve olives warm.