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Posts Tagged ‘Olives’

Chicken & new potato traybake

This really couldn’t be easier, everything in the one pan and shoved in the oven. New potatoes haven’t quite landed in Ireland yet but we chopped up some waxy ones which worked pretty well. Lemon, olives, bay, chicken & garlic – made for each other! Serve with a green salad.

Wine Suggestion: a joyously inexpensive southern French white, the Les Terrasses de la Negly, a Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Petit Grains and Muscat d’Alexandria blend. One highly popular grape with two that are deeply out of fashion. The wine: easy, fruity, fresh and with texture to work with the food.

Chicken & new potato traybake – serves 2

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 140g large pitted green olives
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 8 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 large chicken thighs

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

Pour the olive oil into a large roasting tray, then add the potatoes, olives, lemon, bay leaves, and garlic. Toss to coat everything in the oil, then nestle in the chicken thighs, skin-side up of course, and season well.

Put the dish in the oven and cook for an hour, basting half-way through. Check the chicken and potatoes are cooked, then return to the oven for a final 15 minutes to crispy up the chicken skin.

Remove the tin from the oven and squash the roasted garlic, discard the papery skin and stir the garlic into juices. Serve with a green salad, we had peppery watercress.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Mozzarella with salami, cannellini beans & olives

If you can find a ball of buffalo mozzarella, then lucky you. There is none to be had in our vicinity at the moment, but it will return. This is a super simple idea from the River Café which makes a lovely lunch or a starter for sharing – for when we can share stuff again. We will share stuff again.

Salami with Cannellini Beans & Olives

  • 1 x 400 tin of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • small black olives, we like the wrinkly ones, pitted
  • finely sliced fennel salami – of course any salami or other cured meat will do, and there are loads of brilliant Irish producers to choose from
  • a ball of buffalo mozzarella

Gently heat the beans with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some olive oil. Season and purée – a stick blender does the job here.

Toss the olives in a little of your special bottle of olive oil.

Put the salami on a plate with the mozzarella and serve with the bean purée alongside and the olives scattered over.

Simple and delicious.

(Original idea from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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Chicken Cacciatore

We were missing all the family and friends we were supposed to be with on Easter Sunday but had fun with an Easter egg hunt, Quiche Lorraine for lunch and this for dinner, which was truly delicious. Served with Italian-style roast potatoes, plus we pulled the rest of the chicken off the bones and stirred into the sauce for pasta another day. Our little bunny has already claimed the leftovers for her dinner for the rest of the week.

Wine Suggestion: As it was Easter and we wanted to have something special with dinner … off to the small cellar of hoarded wines we went. The first Italian we came across was chosen, and though we knew it wasn’t cheap, we’d purchased it many years ago at a very good price. We very much enjoyed the Sassicaia 2008. A classic wine of the world, made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and drinking truly fabulously now. Interestingly it was the vintage that had no “signature” head winemaker at the winery; well done those cellar hands and winery workers who just made the wine as it should be! Ignore the price if you have one and just enjoy this wine as a special event like we did. Lucky us, and pity we only had a single bottle.

Chicken cacciatore – serves 4

  • 1 large chicken jointed into 8, we used 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 70g pancetta cubes – didn’t have these so cut some thick-cut back bacon into strips
  • a glass of red wine, about 200ml
  • 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes or tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 10 black olives, pitted and halved
  • a handful of basil leaves

When you get your chicken home, remove all the packaging and season it generously with salt, then put back into the fridge until ready to cook. If, like us, you had the chicken in the freezer and forgot to season, take it out of the fridge and season with salt, then leave out of the fridge for 30 minutes before you start cooking.

Before you start to cook, season the chicken all over with some black pepper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken until golden all over. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic and cook gently until soft. Add the pancetta (or bacon substitute) and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add the glass of wine to the pan and simmer until almost evaporated, then add the tomatoes and plenty of seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the capers and olives.

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Tip the sauce into an ovenproof dish that can fit the chicken in a single layer. Lay the chicken pieces into the sauce, leaving the skin exposed. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the basil and serve.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes & Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, April 2012)

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Spaghetti with Roasted Red Mullet

It feels a bit weird posting recipes like this but at the same time we think its important to remember that there are no food shortages. The fish shops are open and fishermen continue to fish and while this continues, we’re going to make the most of it.

Wine Suggestion: a good rule of thumb when matching wines is to look at the source of the food and see what is being grown nearby. Today, an Italian seafood pasta drags us to the Poggio ai Ginepri Vermentino, grown on the Tuscan coast; both floral and salty in equal amounts with a good dollop of tasty fruit in the middle.

Spaghetti with roasted red mullet – serves 2

  • 4 small fillets of red mullet – ask the fish shop to fillet them for you and make sure you check them over for tiny bones
  • a handful of black olives, pitted
  • a dried chilli or half a tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • your best extra virgin olive oil
  • some fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 200g spaghetti

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.

Prick the cherry tomatoes with a fork, then toss with a little olive oil, season and spread over a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Put the fillets of red mullet in a single layer in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with thyme and the dried chilli, then season. Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 5 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in loads of salty water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.

Add the olives and tomatoes to the pasta with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season. Add the red mullet and toss gently, then serve.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes form the London River Cafe by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006)

 

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Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Capers and Olives

It seems like so long since we’ve cooked fresh fish, but tonight was the night. We’ve had Rachel Roddy’s book (Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome) for ages now but this has been its first outing (for reasons that we won’t bore you with here). This dish was everything we hoped for – quick for a Friday night but absolutely packed with all the flavours that this family loves. We served with couscous but rice or bread are also suggested. Well done Rachel!

Wine Suggestion: we were seduced by the Sicilian white, the Gulfi Carjcanti, a blend of Carricante and the ancient Albanello. Lively and herbal alongside a salty sapiness in the flavour making this a great wine to pair with seafood, let alone the olives, capers and tomatoes in this dish.

Fish in spicy tomato sauce with capers and olives (Pesce all ghiotta) – serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, remove the strings and finely dice
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500g fresh tomatoes, or tinned plum tomatoes drained of the juice
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional but sometimes good if using tinned tomatoes)
  • a pinch of red chilli flakes
  • 50g salted capers, rinsed
  • 60g olives – we used a mixture of green and black
  • 4 fish fillets (cod, bream or hake – we used hake), about 120g each
  • 1 heaped tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Take your fish out of the fridge and season it with a little salt.

Gently fry the onions in a deep frying pan, large enough to fit the hake fillets in a single layer later, until soft and translucent.

Add the celery and cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and chilli and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the capers and olives and simmer for another couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, make a space in the sauce and arrange the fish fillets, skin-side down, in a single layer, then spoon over some of the sauce. Put the pan back over a low heat and simmer very gently, spooning more sauce over occasionally, until the fish is cooked through – watch carefully as it shouldn’t take too long. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from ‘Two Kitchens – Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome’ by Rachel Roddy, HEADLINE HOME, 2017)

 

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Conchiglie Rigate Piccanti

This pasta sauce is rich and full of flavour and works best without cheese, so don’t be tempted to add any. A new favourite for us and great for using up sun-dried tomatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Pico Maccario make some delicious Barbera and their entry “Lavignone” is a benchmark for the Asti region (Piedmont). Not only does it work with this dish, but we’d suggest versatile for many other dishes and occasions; a crowd pleaser and very food friendly.

Conchiglie Rigate Piccanti – serves 4

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 80g pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 80g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • 300g pork mince
  • 300g passata
  • 400g conghiglie rigate (medium shell pasta)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion and olives for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then.

Add the chilli, sun-dried tomatoes and the pork mince and continue frying for another 6 minutes.

Stir in the passata and gently simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Keep stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salty water according the timings on the pack. Drain and tip back into the saucepan.

Pour the sauce into the pasta pan and stir over a low heat for 30 seconds to combine.

(Original recipe from Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2010.)

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Caponata Spaghetti

A really healthy mid-week pasta dish but with heaps of flavour. Don’t be tempted to use  more oil than specified, as you really don’t miss it in this dish.

Caponata Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp capers
  • a handful of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Toss the aubergine with 2tsp of oil and a little seasoning and tip into a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until charred and soft.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and cook the red onion and celery with a large pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until softening and caramelised a little. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and 100ml water. Tip in the roasted aubergine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the raisins, capers, olives and red wine vinegar, and season. Keep on a low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the time on the pack, then drain, reserving a mug of the water. Tip the pasta into the caponata with the parsley, add a splash of water to loosen if needed. Stir well and serve.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, February 2019)

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Tomato & Olive Salad

Fabulous flavours in this easy summer salad by Sabrina Ghayour. Great with barbecues – there’s still time before the cold evenings arrive.

Tomato & Olive Salad with Za’atar &  Buttermilk Dressing – serves 6 to 8

  • 800g mixed tomatoes
  • 250g pitted mixed olives
  • 15g chives, snipped
  • 200ml buttermilk
  • olive oil (Sabrina suggests a flavoured one like garlic or lemon)
  • 2 tbsp za’atar

Slice the tomatoes horizontally into 1cm-thick slices and arrange on a large platter. Spread the olives around the plate and scatter over half of the chives. Season generously with good sea salt and black pepper.

Season the buttermilk well with salt and a good slug of olive oil, the drizzle this over the salad. Scatter over the remaining chives and sprinkle over the za’atar. Serve right away.

(Original recipe from ‘Feasts’ by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Crispy new potato bake

This is a bit different and perfect when you’ve got over the initial excitement of new potatoes and feel like doing something other than steaming them and covering them with butter. Jersey Royals are nice if you can find them. We served these with some salmon and herby mayonnaise.

Crispy new potatoes with olives, capers & herbs – serves 4

  • 1kg Jersey Royal potatoes or other small new potatoes
  • handful small capers
  • 2 handfuls stoned black olives
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • small bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 240C/Fan 220C/Gas 9.

Boil the potatoes until almost cooked – about 12 minutes. Drain, then slice and put into a large bowl. Tip in the capers, olives and herbs, then add most of the olive oil and season. Gently mix together, lightly crushing the potatoes as you go.

Line a medium Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging. Tip the potatoes into the tray and spread to flatten. Mix the vinegar with the rest of the oil and drizzle over. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is the ‘succulent lamb stew’ from Jamie Oliver’s latest book – ‘5 Ingredients’ . It takes a little while in the oven but requires virtually no prep and the results are super tasty. Who knew a jar of pickled onions could be such a revelation? We served with buttery mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

This is the third recipe we’ve tried from this book and have yet to be disappointed. Go Jamie!

Wine Suggestion: we found that a youthful wine from Jumilla, the Finca Bacara “3015” Monastrell was a great match. It was perfectly ripe but avoided the clumsy tannins of other Monastrell we’ve had in the past despite being young and only spending 2 months in oak to bring it together. Look for juicy fruit, freshness, and bold but supple and unobtrusive tannins in whatever you choose.

Easiest Ever Lamb Stew – serves 6

  • a few good sprigs of rosemary, about 15g, leaves stripped
  • 800g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 150g mixed-colour olives
  • 1 x 280g jar of silverskin pickled onions
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

Heat a 30cm shallow casserole pan over a high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss the rosemary leaves around for about a minute to crisp up. Scoop out the rosemary and set aside, then brown the lamb for a couple of minutes in the same pan.

Drain the pickled onions and add to the pan with the olives (remove the stones if necessary first). Stir everything together before adding the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, plus 2 tinfuls of water. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is meltingly tender. Jamie suggests stirring half-way through and adding a splash of water if needed. After an hour we had loads of liquid left in the dish so cooked for the remaining hour with the lid off. It probably depends on the heat in your oven so do as needed.

Taste the dish and season with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle over the crispy rosemary to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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Obica: Linguine with Yellowfin Tuna

A simple but delicious dish from a cool restaurant called Obicà that we found on our last trip to Florence. They insist that it’s best made with fresh tuna (and they’re probably right) but we made it with top quality tinned tuna and it worked for us.

Wine Suggestion: Classic Italian matches for tuna depend on the region. If you are in Sicily a great match is their native Grillo grape, a textural, slightly salty and mineral wine with good body but not weighty. For this dish though we drank a Vermentino, made by Morisfarms, from the Tuscan coast. It has a great vinous texture and savoury character which combined with fresh fruit and minerality matches this Tuscan combination of tuna, tomatoes and olives.

Linguine with Yellowfish Tuna – serves 4-6

  • 2 tins top quality plum tomatoes (the Italian brands are good)
  • 500g yellowfin tuna
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit extra
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 80ml white wine
  • 30g salted capers, soaked and drained
  • 100g pitted black olives (Gaeta or Kalamata)
  • 500g linguine
  • chopped fresh parsley to serve

Drain the tinned tomatoes and cut into strips.

Cut the tuna into 2cm cubes. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté with 1 sprig of rosemary and the chilli flakes.

Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, then add the capers.

Add the olives and tomatoes and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes.

Cook the linguine until al dente, then drain and add to the pan of tuna sauce. Toss gently.

Sprinkle on the parsley, drizzle with some more olive oil, and garnish with the remaining rosemary.

(Original recipe from Obicà: Mozzerella Bar, Pizza e Cucina, Rizzoli, 2014.)

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Green Olive Salad

We can’t encourage you enough to try this salad. The list of ingredients is not instantly inspiring but the result is fabulous!

You will have far too much dressing left over but it will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months and can be used on any salad (it will separate but just give it a good shake each time before serving).

Crushed olive salad – Insalata di olive verdi schiacciate – to serve 4-6

  • 450g good quality green olives in brine
  • 6 celery stalks, with leaves, all finely chopped
  • the leaves from 10-12 stalks of mint, finely chopped
  • 40ml dressing (see below)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE DRESSING (makes approx. 375ml): 

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 300ml extra virgin olive oil

First make the dressing:

Put the salt into a bowl, then add the vinegars and leave aside for a minute or two to allow the salt to dissolve. Whisk in the olive oil and 2 tbsp of water until it emulsifies. Pour into a clean bottle and keep in the fridge (it should last for about 6 months); it will separate but just give the bottle a good shake before serving.

Drain the olives and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut the flesh away from the stone (try slicing 3-4 times from end to end then carefully cutting away each segment). Put the olive pieces into a bowl and add the celery, celery leaves, and mint. Toss with 40ml of the dressing, season and serve.

(Original recipe from Georgio Locatelli’s Made In Sicily, Fourth Estate, 2011.)

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This is something we’ve bought loads, either in a deli or in a restaurant. Easy, tasty and fresh; don’t know why it has taken so long for us to make our own! Provided you keep it in the fridge with a thin film of olive oil covering the top it will last for ages. A really nice topping for bruschetta or slices of crusty bread.

Green olive paste  – makes enough to fill a jam jar

  • 40 stoned green olives
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground paprika

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to make a purée.

Wine Suggestion: The influence here is clearly Spanish and as you’re likely to serve this before a meal we suggest the ultimate Spanish aperitif – a glass of Sherry. We would choose either a Fino or Manzanilla where the salty-savoury freshness would really compliment the tangy olive flavours and add a texture that really works. It is super important that you pick a recently bottled version (ask your wine merchant to explain the lot numbers! … or me if you are in Mitchell’s) as these sherries really lose freshness and vitality if it has been bottled too long.

(Original recipe from Real Fast Vegetarian Food by Ursula Ferrigno, Metro Publishing Ltd., 2002.)

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