Braised chicken with olives and pine nuts

Chicken joints braised in white wine, with a lively garlic and orange-zest finish

This is Sicilian inspired and can be sweet-sour (in which case add the raisins) or simply savoury (in which case leave them out). Apart from a quick browning on the stove top, this dish really looks after itself. (Serves 4)

Braised_chicken_wi_3098301b1½ tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs, or a chicken jointed into 8 pieces
3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into half-moon-shaped wedges about 1cm (½in) thick at the widest part
2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 small dried chillis, crumbled
500g (1lb 2oz) baby waxy potatoes, halved
250ml (9fl oz) white wine
finely grated zest of ½ orange, plus juice of 1
75g (2¾oz) raisins, soaked in boiling water for half an hour, then drained (optional)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
75g (2¾oz) green olives
30g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted

for the gremolata
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1 small orange, removed in strips (cut away any bitter white pith)
leaves from about 10 stems of mint, torn

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.Heat the olive oil in a wide oven-proof sauté pan or shallow casserole (large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer – or use two) and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning as you go. You are just trying to get a good colour, not cook the chicken through. Remove the joints to a dish as they’re ready.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp of oil from the pan and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat to colour, then add the celery, cooking for two minutes before adding the garlic and chilli. Cook for a further minute, add the potatoes and toss them around, then add the wine, orange juice and zest, and the raisins (if using). Put the chicken back (plus any juices that have run out of it), skin-side up in a single layer. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Season well and transfer to the oven for 40 minutes.

Add the capers and olives 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stirring them in around the chicken joints. The cooking juices will have reduced, the potatoes should be tender and the chicken will be cooked through.

Meanwhile make the gremolata by chopping the garlic and orange zest finely, then mix with the mint. Toss this over the chicken with the toasted pine nuts just before serving. A big watercress salad is all you need on the side – everything else is in the pan.


Citrus Salad


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

citrus recipes


  • 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.


Roast string beans for an unexpected burst of flavour

We’re used to seeing green string beans as a side dish, but the white variety is often forgotten. Similar in taste and texture, I like changing it up with this uncommon pick.

These beans are filled with antioxidants and can be stored for at least a week if unwashed and placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Roasting the beans along with the garlic, tomatoes and black olives gives you a true Mediterranean feel. Great as a side dish or salad on its own.beans

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Place the garlic cloves and tomatoes on one of the foil-covered baking sheets. Place the string beans on the other sheet. Spray both sheets of vegetables with vegetable oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the tomatoes. Continue baking for another 10 minutes until the beans are slightly browned and the garlic is soft. Carefully squeeze out the garlic cloves. Continue reading

Homemade Salsa with Artichoke and Olives

Who doesn’t love salsa?

Artichoke hearts and olives produce a delicious briny flavor which comes to life when mixed with the sweet Italian pairing of roma tomatoes and fresh basil.  Try this contemporary homemade salsa with baked pita chips or cut up veggies.

  • One 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Continue reading

Traditional bruschetta with creamy ricotta and olives

article-0-1EB188C900000578-687_634x801Ricotta bruschetta with crushed tomatoes and olives (Makes 4)

Roughly crush 250g (9oz) cherry tomatoes and toss with 4 tbsp good olive oil, 12 stoned kalamata olives, 2 tsp small capers, 4 finely chopped anchovy fillets and some seasoning. Toast 4 slices of good sourdough bread, dress with olive oil and a little sea salt then spread each slice thickly with 2 tbsp ricotta. Pile on the tomato mixture, top with sprigs of summer herbs or peppery leaves (such as basil, rocket and baby chard) and devour!

(Source: )

Baked prawns with feta and olives

Baked prawns with feta and olives (Serves 4)

• 1 Tbsp olive oil • 3 cloves garlic • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut in quarters • ½ tsp sugar • Salt and pepper, to taste • 2 Tbsp olive oil • 500g raw prawns • 1/3 cup sliced olives • 100g feta • A few thyme sprigsSCCZEN_180614NZHBMRECIPES08_620x310

1. Preheat grill to hot.

2. Place the first measure of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic in a small pot. Warm through until garlic is just starting to cook. Add tomatoes and sugar, then cook for a few minutes until softened and saucy. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat second measure of oil in a frying pan, add remaining clove of garlic, then the prawns. Toss in the pan until just cooked (3 or 4 minutes).

4. Place prawns in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle on olives, crumble over the feta and thyme sprigs. Season with black pepper.

5. Place dish under grill until feta starts to melt and brown. Serve hot with crusty bread.


Whole grilled fish can be a perfect summer dish

There is nothing quite comparable to whole grilled fish with a warm seasonal salad on a summer evening. My Barbecued Red Mullet with Warm Fennel Salad and Oranges is exactly that.


These fish have a distinctive flavor that contrasts perfectly the acidic citrus in this dish. Small red mullet show up at fancier fish stores in the United States and everywhere in the Mediterranean. Red mullet is sold whole and in fillets, both fresh and frozen. Whole fish are usually sold unprepared and thus require trimming, scaling and gutting. Red mullet is best bought from May to November, outside of spawning season, to protect stocks. If mullet is unavailable on those off months, use small snapper or even ocean perch for a similarly delicate substitution.

Nyons olives are one of my all-time favorite varieties to toss in salads or cook in pastas, or even to blend into a pesto, which is a favorite of my sons. These tiny, jet-black olives from southern France have a salty, mild bitterness whether dry-cured or packed in oil. If you’re an olive novice, Nyons will romance you right from the first bite. As an alternative, arbequina olives are perfectly crisp, tiny and slightly bitter Spanish olives that pair nicely with the warmed fennel in this recipe.
Just as red mullet is best bought from May to November, oranges have a peak season as well. I really enjoy Valencia oranges in a summer salad because they are medium sized and have few seeds. And you really get bang for your buck as opposed to smaller citrus fruits like tangerines and nectarines that are filled with inedible seeds. While these are delicious substitutes in winter months, Valencia oranges are perfectly ripe at the moment and you’ll get a lot of juice out of this variety.

This dish combines elements from three of my favorite parts of the world. Mediterranean red mullet with French olives and Valencia oranges make for the perfect summer evening meal.

We recommend Chalkidiki olives to be integrated to the recipe above. Try Inolivia!

Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind twenty-four restaurants including Eataly, DelPosto, and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo. In this column, Mario answers questions submitted via social media and by people he encounters daily in Downtown Manhattan. Keep asking!

Korean Style Seasoned Olives

Whether you celebrate the upcoming Easter or simply enjoy a nice weekend at home, there are chances that apart from “proper” meals, you also plan small snacks. If you intend to buy seasoned olives, my advice is: don’t! Olive seasoning is quick, effortless and, frankly the results are incomparably better. The most popular, vaguely Mediterranean ingredients, such as thyme or garlic, are the safest and always satisfying choice. Last Saturday however I went crazy and, for the first time, spiced up my olives in what I would call “Korean style”. It must sound like another fusion idea doomed to fail, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that sweet and hot flavours with a strong sesame touch proved fantastic – though still astonishing – company for olives. Certainly it’s not a crowd-pleasing snack, but if you are a fellow Korean food fan, you should try this unusual combination; you might fall in love with it just the way I did.

TIPS: Seasoned olives improve after several hours in the fridge, but you can serve them straight away. They keep for several days in the fridge, but I cannot guarantee a week (I always finish them in less than a week).

Preparation: 5 minutes 

kor_olivepIngredients (makes an appetiser for 3):

about 150 g (about 5 oz) drained olives (or 250g/about 8 oz if they still have pits)

1 big garlic clove, crushed or grated

1 heaped tablespoon Korean chilli powder

1 tablespoon honey or syrup (I have used agave syrup; if you use honey, choose a more neutral flavour, for example not chestnut or lavender honey)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine everything in a bowl. Cover and put into the fridge for 15 minutes (or several days).

If you are in a hurry you can serve it straight away.


Friday night: Try a couple of martinis as suggested by Jared Brown

martini2Meet the man who is going to make you drink 100 martinis in three weeks

After a lifetime of drinking martinis, Jared Brown shares the secret to a perfect cocktail.

Perched over the bar at Kettner’s in London’s Soho, Jared Brown apologises for sipping his Martini before GQ even has a chance to pose a question. “Forgive me for not waiting, but as Harry Craddock once said, ‘A drink should be drunk while it’s still laughing at you!'”  As a cocktail historian, New Yorker Brown has been studying the perfect Martini for over two decades  – during which time he’s published 30 books on the art of mixing drinks – but he is still fascinated by the endless variants on the  components. “It is the simplest and yet the most challenging of drinks to balance perfectly,” he explains. “Anyone in this world can mix a good Martini. Few can mix a great one”. Currently working as master distiller at London gin company Sipsmith, Brown has recently created a list of 100 Martinis for a drinks showcase at Kettner’s. GQ caught up with Brown to discuss cocktail mistakes, fictional favourites and how to cope with a monstrous Martini hangover.

GQ: What’s the cardinal sin of Martini making?
Jared Brown: The first thing that can go wrong is the use of cheap gin and vermouth. Because it is such a pure drink and there’s no juice or soda to mask the alcohol’s flavour, what you mix with is crucial. Also you couldn’t do anything worse than pouring a Martini into a warm glass. Why would you go to so much effort to perfectly chill the drink, and then warm it back up before it hits your lips?

Other than the English, who makes a really good Martini?
One of the best bars in the world for martinis is in fact Bar High Five, located in the Ginza district of Tokyo. You can generally find an amazing martini at Barcelona’s Boadas too.

martini1Other than Kettners, which other bars would you recommend?
In London, I would definitely recommend Duke’s in Mayfair; The Savoy, because their head bartender, Erik Lorincz has more than inherited the great Harry Craddock‘s post and studies his classic work extensively; and because I must, The Artesian at the Langham.

Out of the 100 variations, what are your personal picks?
I absolutely love the original Martini, which so few people have actually tasted. Everyone thinks that it was originally created with dry vermouth, but it wasn’t. The original martini was made with equal parts gin and sweet or Italian vermouth, a dash of orange bitters and often a drop of absinthe.

Second would have to be Julia Child’s reverse Martini, which is mixed with three and a half parts sweet vermouth to one part gin in a wine goblet that’s filled with ice and topped with a lemon twist.

Lastly, a dry gin Martini with olives. When I was in school and on a very low budget, there were days when my lunch would involve going into a bar, ordering a Martini and a glass of olives. I would pour the drink over the olives and that was my meal. A very nicely marinated olive salad.

What do you like served with your Martini food wise?
The Martini is a wonderfully versatile drink to pair with food and honestly for me, cocktail pairing is easier than wine pairing. With wine, the best magic often happens several years prior and hopefully somewhere in France. With a cocktail, the magic happens here and now. They can be tailored, balanced or tweaked with any different additions or garnishes. I once designed one specifically to go with steak, which featured gin, vermouth, fresh tomato, Tabasco sauce and garnished with a blue cheese-stuffed cherry tomato. It was really quite phenomenal.

What trend in cocktails needs to die out?
Bartenders telling customers how they should have their drink. The rise in consumer sophistication has allowed for better interactions and it’s wonderful to see when customers give instructions that are respected. By all means, ask for a shaken Martini if you want one.

martini3Other than Bond, what’s your favourite cultural reference to Martinis?
The Thin Man. Hands down. It was a four film series which did so much for the Martini. Myrna Loy’s character, Nora walks into the bar and asks her husband Nick, who is played by William Powell: “How many have you had?” To which he replies, “Six Martinis.” “Well waiter, line up five more Martinis for me!”

What should no man ever order at a bar?
I believe that in a good bar, anything can be as amazing as the person behind it. Unless you really need a beer or you’re desperate for a glass of wine, have a mixed drink because you’re missing the opportunity to take advantage of the great talents of many bartenders. Leave it up to them. Ask them what they are working with and give them some direction. There is no wrong order – when you let a good bartender build on their inspirations, you get that much more love and care in the drink.

What is your hangover cure?
Firstly, always have a good-sized glass of water for every cocktail you have. Secondly, have a vitamin before bed to replace what has been depleted. Lastly, if you really think you’ve had too much, then purging might just be the answer. In fact you will be more functional in the morning if you take that drastic step. I absolutely do not recommend a “hair of the dog”, either. It simply postpones your hangover at a great cost. Not only are you putting it off, but you’re also banking it!


Meatless Monday: Marinated chickpeas with olives, roasted red peppers and raisins over mixed greens

This is a nice sweet, salty salad with a bit of a nutty undertone, thanks to the walnut oil. No dressing required. Just spoon the chickpea mixture over top of fresh, bright baby greens, and enjoy!

by Caitlin Sanigameatlessmonday

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red pepper
  • 6 pitted kalamata olives or chalkidiki (Inolivia), sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens (I used spinach, frisee and arugula.)

In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, raisins, red pepper, olives, parsley and scallions. Pour the olive oil over top and season with the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the greens among 4 bowls. Top with the chickpea salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: so hungry I could blog


16 Food Reasons Greeks Are Better At Life (Huffpost Taste)

slide_339523_3479162_freeWe have the Greeks to thank for so much of our modern day society. They paved the way for great philosophical minds to keep pushing us forward intellectually. They gave us the Olympic Games, and a desire to strive for athletic excellence. And, well, then there’s democracy. Clearly, we owe a lot of who we are to Greece. We’re thankful for all of it, but most of all, we’re thankful for the feta. The Greeks have singlehandedly shaped our modern society, and they have also — and just as importantly — shaped a way of eating that no country can rival. Not only is their cuisine swimming in fruity olive oil, drowned in red wine and full of mezedes, but it’s also a diet that nutritionists across the board tout as the way to eat healthy. While we all try to eat like this, and happily so, the Greeks do it best. It’s just their way of living, which explains why they’re so much better at life than the rest of us. Cont…..


Mediterranean all-in-one chicken

A recipe by Mary Berry: This is a great way to feed the family as the chicken and veg are all cooked in one very large tray in the oven. It takes only minutes to put everything together then it sits in the oven for under an hour with no fussy finishing off to do and only one pan to wash up. The recipe allows one chicken thigh and one drumstick per person, but use less if you are not such big eaters. I love stuffed olives, but use plain green or black ones if you prefer. The preserved lemons really give a lovely citrus tang to the dish and are well worth using but if you can’t find them use one sliced lemon instead.

article-0-1B06854A00000578-89_634x617SERVES 6

  • 1kg (2lb 2oz) main crop potatoes, peeled and cut into
  • 5cm (2in) chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, snipped into
  • 1cm (½ in) pieces
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 5 preserved lemons, cut into quarters
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 3 courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 1 x 200g can anchovy-stuffed
  • green olives, drained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large roasting tin with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toss well to coat them. Add the onion, garlic, bacon and chicken pieces and toss together.
  3. Add the lemons to the roasting tin. Season everything well and sprinkle with the paprika. Roast for 40 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, toss the courgettes in the remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper, then poke them in among the chicken and scatter the olives over the top. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are golden brown and tender.

Mary’s wise words Don’t overcrowd the roasting tin. You need everything to be in a single layer or it will not cook evenly – divide between 2 tins if necessary. Preserved lemons can usually be bought in jars in the speciality section of the supermarket. Traditionally from Morocco, the lemons are preserved in salt water and are beautifully soft and citrussy. Use them to flavour tagines and chicken or pork dishes. They will keep in the jar in the fridge for 1 month, or you can freeze them in a freezerproof container for up to 3 months.