Friday, November 21, 2008

Baked Olives

It's olive season over here. The trees are being stripped and the new oil is out. We went to the frantoio last week to watch the process and buy a healthy-sized jug. The gorgeous green color and fruity yet peppery flavor is unmatched. Is it any wonder I love autumn?

While many of the local olives are being pressed, a good portion are also being cured. Most of those are destined to become the local delicacy, Olive all'Ascolana. The local olive variety, the tenera ascolana, is a behometh in the olive category, perfect for stuffing with meat and deep-frying.

Despite my addiction to the fried critters, I still love a simple dish of baked olives, too. Warm and fragrant, they're irresistable and make a nice presentation when serving guests.

Baked Olives

Mixture of black and green olives, unpitted is best
a bit of lemon or orange peel, grated
a sprinkle of chile flakes
a grating of fresh-ground pepper
a sprig of thyme and/or rosemary (fresh)
2 TBSP red wine
about 2 TBSP olive oil

Combine everything and put in an oven-proof baking dish. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.


YankeeSoaper said...

Hi Valerie
This sounds so interesting. I just picked up some mixed olives yesterday.. and will try this recipe today. I'm wondering how artichokes would blend with the olives.

Valerie said...

Hope you enjoyed them. I would think artichokes would blend in nicely, as would the lampascioni I mentioned or little oil-cured onions.