Chicken Skewers with Green Olives

Chicken Skewers
750g chicken thigh fillets | 2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped | 2 tbsp olive oil | 2 tbsp lemon juice, strained | 3 cloves garlic, crushed | 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest | 24 bamboo skewers, soaked | lemon wedges, to serve | Green Olive Dressing | ½ cup pitted green olives | 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves | ⅓ cup olive oil
  1. Cut each thigh fillet into 6 long strips. Combine with oregano, oil, juice, garlic and zest in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
  3. Coarsely chop 4 olives and set aside. Blend or process remaining ingredients until almost smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and top with chopped olives.
  4. Thread 1 strip of chicken onto each skewer. Cook chicken, in batches, on a heated, oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.
  5. Serve chicken skewers with dressing and lemon wedges.


6 Health Secrets of Greek Food

Shivangana Vasudeva, NDTV, Modified: December 08, 2014 13:30 IST

490451511Beautiful blue waters, sun-soaked beaches and white-walled towns, Greece is unmatched for its breathtaking landscapes. While that may have taken many of you miles away, my fantasy is incomplete without Greek food. During those long lunches and balmy alfresco dinners, I see myself feasting on some of the finest ingredients in the world. Whether it’s a fresh Greek salad, the famous fava dip or a lovely spinach pie, the Greek table offers a variety of colours and flavours.

For a health freak, who is as paranoid about the health quotient as the flavour, it was love at first bite. Greek cuisine is served with a rich history of about 4000 years. When I recently caught up with Chef Paris Kostopoulos from Greece, I could easily agree that Greek food goes beyond the pleasures of simple eating. There was coffee, curiosity and a whole lot of chatter. I discovered that there is a lot that we can learn from the Greeks when it comes to healthy eating.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the miraculous Mediterranean diet. Most health experts claim that it is one of the healthiest diets to follow and there’s ample scientific evidence to prove that. A Harvard study shows that switching to a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%. It has also been named as the ‘longevity diet’.(Why the Mediterranean Diet Beats All Others)

Here’s our take away from what the Greeks have done right and six reasons to love their cuisine. Continue reading

A fresh take on traditional paella


Paella is a flavoured rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It’s named after the wide and fairly shallow pan it’s cooked in. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can buy one at a well-stocked kitchenware store. You could also simply use a large skillet to make paella.

Short- and medium-grain types of Spanish rice, such as Bomba, are the best choice for paella, as they absorb moisture well and have a nice bite when cooked. You’ll find them at some Mediterranean-style food stores. If you can’t, in my recipe I give the option to use risotto rice or long-grain white rice.

This vegetarian paella recipe is loaded with vegetables and tastily flavoured. Add some good bread and wine and say “Olé!”


Grilled Vegetable Paella with Artichokes, Olives and Peas

There’s a rainbow of colour in this vegetable-rich dish. (Prep. time: 40 minutes – Cooking time: About 40 minutes)

For the grilled vegetables

8 slices zucchini, 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) thick | 8 onion wedges, 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick | 6 medium mushrooms, each halved | 8 wedges red or yellow bell pepper, or a mix of both, 1 in. (2.5 cm) thick | 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat your grill to medium-high. Place the vegetables and mushrooms in a bowl and toss with the oil, salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables and mushrooms one to two minutes per side, or until lightly charred and just tender. Set on a platter and set aside until needed.

For the paella

1 tsp (5 mL) saffron threads | 2 tbsp (30 mL) boiling water | 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil | 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion | 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped green bell pepper | 2 ripe on-the-vine tomatoes, finely chopped | 1 large garlic clove, minced | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) paprika | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) oregano | 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cumin | 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock, plus more if needed | 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Spanish rice (such as Bomba), Italian-style risotto rice (such as Arborio), or long-grain white rice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1, 14-oz (398-mL) can artichoke hearts, each quartered | 16 to 20 black or green olives | 1/4 cup (60 mL) frozen peas, thawed | 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Crumble the saffron into a small bowl, pour in the boiling water and let steep 5 minutes.

Place the oil in a paella pan or large (12 in, or 30.5 cm, wide) skillet and set over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano and cumin and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until the mixture is very tender and almost sticky. Add the rice and cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Mix in the 4 cups (1 L) of stock, steeped saffron, salt and pepper, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is firm-tender and still slightly wet (add a little more stock if it is not).

Nestle the artichokes, olives and grilled vegetables into the rice. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, or until the vegetables are heated through. Sprinkle on the peas, cover and let the paella rest a few minutes off the heat before serving, sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 4 servings Eric Akis is the author of the book Everyone Can Cook Everything.

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.


Is gourmet food worth the extra dollar?

By Holly Dove

Our taste team finds some nice surprises in a gourmet versus budget food test

When it comes to “party” food, such as salami or olives, many might like to pay the extra few dollars to get added flavour and better quality. But when it comes to the bare essentials, budget food such as milk might taste just as good, if not better, than its gourmet rival. This week the Weekend Herald put gourmet food to the test against budget counterparts as a group of discerning food-lovers – including a Ponsonby chef – took part in a blind tasting. The seven-strong team tried a combination of essential foods and “party” foods – milk, olives, cheese, chips, salami, bananas and peanut butter. Comparing budget, mid-range and high-end foods the tasters sampled food from each category while blindfolded.

Without the packaging and brand-name hype, they were able to judge food based solely on taste – with no distractions.

The winners

Mainland Tasty Cheese, valued at $7.70 for 250g

Mid-range price.

“More crumbly [than the other contestants] and lots of flavour”, according to Herald’s Bite food editor Jo Elwin.

Ponsonby chef Dean agreed with the top spot, grading it a four out of five and describing it as “vintagey”.

Waitrose Halkidiki

olives valued at $8.99 for 300g.

High-end price.

A unanimous winner here, the Waitrose olives were described by tasters as big, juicy and full of flavour. “Succulent and herby”, said Dean, while fellow taster Lizzie Sullivan said they were “delicious and flavourful.”

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Agricultural exports could grow to 10 bln euros per year

By Dimitra Manifava

20140821_citrus marinated olivesThe Greek farming sector would be able to raise the value of its exports from the 4 billion euros a year it stands at today to 10 billion euros if it adjusts production to international market demand, Foodstandard chief executive Stelios Drys told a press conference in Athens on Tuesday.

Production of table olives in the last 10 years has grown from 90,000 tons to 140,000 tons per year, with 75 percent of output destined for foreign markets. A recent swing in favor of Kalamata olives, however, could see exports soar even further, Drys said. It is this kind of shift to agricultural products with high export potential that could constitute a key to the recovery of the Greek economy, the executive argued.

Another step he suggested is for farmers to switch to new crops that have high demand and high yields. A case in point is the decision by 56 farmers in Agrinio, western Greece, to swap tobacco for stevia, a plant used as a natural sweetener. They also reached a deal with a major multinational in the non-alcoholic beverages sector, which should earn them about 800 euros per 1,000 square meters.

Drys said that although the mentality of Greek farmers is gradually moving away from subsidized production to more innovative approaches, there is still a lot of work to be done to promote cooperation among various sectors in agriculture.

olives_390_1410“We need to develop what is called the domestic extroverted character. Tourists visiting Crete should be returning home with at least one liter of olive oil. With that alone the exports of Cretan olive oil could reach 3,500 tons [per year] from 1,300 tons today,” explained Drys.

There have been some food retailing and agricultural cooperations with the participation of the private and the public sector in the regions of Crete and the Northern Aegean to this end.


Olive bread is perfect for fall

A mix of olives with an undercurrent of rosemary makes a savory loaf that’s a perfect complement to autumn soups and stews.

If extending an olive branch is a symbol of peace, imagine the reaction you’ll get when you extend a loaf of savory olive bread, each slice an attractive mosaic of ingredients. On the other hand, if there’s not enough to go around, war may break out. Worth the risk.

ows_141339677056209As with any recipe defined by a main ingredient — in this case, olives — it’s best to seek out good quality olives. Bypass the jars and cans and peruse the olive bars found in many grocery stores, which also lets you buy only the amount you need. While Kalamata are the most common black olives in olive breads, some may prefer the smaller Niçoise with their concentration of flavor. There are a broad range of green olives, from quite fruity to deeply briny. Avoid any stuffed varieties, though; the fillings will create wet pockets in the bread and compete with the olives’ flavor. This recipe uses a mix of purple-black Kalamatas and plump, green Sicilians. Experiment! Some will ows_141339672622626favor an all-Kalamata loaf, while others go only green. The dough also incorporates some olive oil into the mix. In this case, a basic olive oil suffices because the bread bakes at a high temperature; save your spendier oil for fresh vinaigrette. This recipe also uses a kneading technique that’s becoming more popular, a bonus with this soft dough. Instead of massaging and pummeling the dough on a counter and being tempted to add more flour, place the dough in an oiled bowl, then with wet hands use a stretch-and-fold action, pulling one end up and over, repeating on all four “sides” of the bowl. Do this three times in 15-minute intervals and you’ll feel the dough start to develop its body, becoming smoother and more easily handled. It’s actually pretty cool. (And if that sounds time-consuming, it’s little different from baking several pans of cookies.) Set the dough aside to rise for about an hour, shape and let rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, then bake. Sharing such a loaf with people you love is the very definition of “breaking bread,” which is one of the most peaceable things we can do.


What’s Inside New York’s Hautest Egg Roll?

It’s what’s inside that counts.

But when it comes to Lower East Side restaurant Fung Tu and its wildly popular “Original Egg Roll Version 2,” the outside’s pretty important, too.

Fung Tu’s upmarket take is a riff on neighboring Chinatown dim sum stalwart Nom Wah Tea Parlor’s “Orignal Egg Roll.” Both use a thin egg omelet—and not the typical store-bought wheat dough wrapper—to encase the filling, making them literal “egg rolls.”


That’s where the similarities end. Nom Wah’s massive egg roll is filled with chicken and mixed vegetables and wrapped in a plain egg omelet about 10 inches in diameter. It’s then dipped in a thick pancake-like batter and deep fried.

Fung Tu’s egg roll is smaller, stuffed with cumin-coriander-anise braised pork belly with melted leeks, picholine olives, nicoise olives, pickled Thai bird chilies, and cilantro. It’s encased in a thin garlic and chive egg crepe with a diameter of about 8 inches. Then, it’s dusted with Wondra flour and potato starch, dredged in a tempura-like flour and water batter and deep-fried.

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Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta


…The Chili Cheese Toast, which was recommended to us, was strictly okay: the green olives and green bell pepper did add to the flavour. But the Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta is a delight. Loaded on the bruschetta, moist and bursting with flavours, it was devoured.


Health benefits of olives

September 16, 2014, by Katie Wilhelmi RD, LD , The Journal

I love olives. They are one of my favorite foods. Ironically, my 2-year-old also loves them. My husband claims it’s because I ate way more than my share when I was pregnant. Whatever the reason might be, I’m glad he likes them too.

Olives are a main ingredient on any pizzas we make at our house. They are common on holiday tables and at parties on traditional relish trays. But olives are also an ideal ingredient to add flavor and variety to foods all year long.

Olives come in many different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. The difference between black and green olives is simply the ripeness. Green olives are unripe and black olives are fully ripe. Olives, both ripe and unripe, are cured or pickled before eating. The reason for this is that fresh olives are too bitter to eat because they contain oleuropein. Oleuropein is full of antioxidants that actually make the olives good for us.


Even though olives have a high fat content – 15 to 30 percent – the majority of fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Olives are also considered a good source of vitamin E and contain the natural antioxidants found in oleuropein. Four or five medium to large ripe olives have only 25 calories and 2 grams of fat. Because of the curing process, olives do contain sodium. Rinsing olives first before eating will help reduce some of the sodium.

If you are looking for new ways to try serving olives one way is to make a tapenade. Tapenades are an olive puree or paste blended with seasonings and herbs. All you need is a food processor, blender or knife with a cutting board to prepare a basic tapenade. Tapenades are the perfect building blocks to use with baguettes, crackers or pita chips for holiday parties. For another fun appetizer idea using olives try the stuffed olive recipe below.

Gouda-Stuffed Olives (Serves 24).

All you need

1 oz Gouda cheese | 1 (6-oz) can large black ripe pitted olives, drained | 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto or deli ham

All you do

1. Cut Gouda cheese into small (1/4-inch) pieces; stuff one piece into each olive.

2. Cut prosciutto into 3-by–inch strips; fold each strip lengthwise once to form 3-by–inch strips.

3. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each olive; secure with a toothpick.

4. Cover and chill up to 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 20, Total fat 1.5 g, Sodium 150 mg, Total carbohydrate 0 g

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.



Parmezan Chicken with minted Zucchini

SERVES: 4,  PREP: 20 mins, COOK: 15 mins, SKILLS: Basic



– 1/4 cup plain flour, – 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt, – 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, – 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, – 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, – 4 x 125g uncrumbed chicken schnitzels, – 1/4 cup olive oil, – 4 zucchini, cut into ribbons, – 400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, – 1/2 cup marinated pitted green olives, halved lengthways, – 2 tablespoons small fresh mint leaves, torn, – 60g baby rocket leaves, – 2 tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped


1. Place flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place yoghurt in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley on a plate.

2. Coat 1 piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in yoghurt. Coat in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a large plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, flour, yoghurt and breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook zucchini for 2 to 3 minutes or until just softened. Remove from heat. Add beans, olives, mint and rocket. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Serve chicken with zucchini mixture and sprinkle with tomato.

*Recipe by Liz Macri.


Linguine with swordfish and olives


16bb593f992107536b77302246b8185b2295073263-1409814400-54080f80-360x2511 large onion, chopped
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
5g chilli, chopped
60g green olives
200g fresh swordfish, diced
½ glass white wine
12 cherry tomatoes
4 tbsps chopped basil
2 tbsps chopped parsley
2 tbsps chopped coriander
400g linguine


Sauté the onion slices in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil until these turn slightly soft. Add the garlic, chilli, olives and the swordfish and sauté for one minute. Then add the white wine and cook until all the wine is absorbed. Add the cherry tomatoes, half the basil, parsley and coriander and allow to simmer for five minutes.

Cook the pasta in boiling water. Take a tablespoon of the pasta water and add it to the sauce, add a pinch of salt and cover. Drain the pasta and transfer to the pan over low heat.

Mix the pasta in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Add more fresh herbs, but keep some aside to garnish.

Serve the pasta on warm plates, garnish with the remaining herbs and drizzle some herb oil.

Joe Vella is an Executive chef, Hilton Malta.


Tapas heaven with olives – recipes


750ml flour | 10ml salt | 10ml sugar | 10g sachet of instant yeast | 50ml olive oil | 400-500ml warm water | 60ml chopped black olives | 60ml chopped green olives | extra oil for brushing

  • 20140821_834680664Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  • Add olive oil and enough warm water to mix to a dough that is soft but not sticky. Knead well until smooth and elastic.
  • Put the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size.
  • Remove dough and knead lightly.
  • Knead the olives into the dough. Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on a greased baking tray, cover with an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Brush the surface with olive oil and bake at 190°C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove and cool on a rack.


250ml grated Cheddar cheese | 100g butter, softened | 310ml flour | 5ml dry mustard powder | 2ml salt | 12 large green stuffed olives, drained

  • 20140821_Olive PastryPut the cheese, butter, flour, mustard and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Remove from the processor, wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes. Break off pieces of pastry and mould around an olive. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and olives. Bake at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and cool. Delicious served as a cocktail snack.


250ml olive oil | 300g green olives in brine | 300g black olives in brine | 4 bay leaves | 4 sprigs of rosemary | 1-2 red chilies, seeded and sliced | a few strips of lemon rind | a few strips of orange rind | 60ml red wine vinegar

  • 20140821_citrus marinated olivesPour oil into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just warm. Divide olives, bay leaves, rosemary, chili, rind and vinegar between sterilised glass jars. Pour over warm olive oil. Seal.
  • Turn jars upside down and stand for five minutes. Turn upright.
  • Allow to infuse for one week, turning once daily.

OLIVE TAPENADE (Makes 125ml)

250ml black olives, pitted | 50ml chopped parsley | 5ml chopped garlic | 2-3 anchovy fillets | 30-60ml olive oil

  • 20140821_834680664Put the olives, parsley, garlic and anchovies into a processor and process until finely chopped.
  • With the machine running, add in the olive oil. Process until smooth.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator and serve on slices of toasted baguette.


* For household queries, recipes and tips, call The Angela Day Helpline at 011 836 7181 from 8.30am-12.30pm weekdays, or e-mail Janice at

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Tilapia with toasted Almonds and Green Olives

Tilapia is the beige of the fish world: inoffensive and ubiquitous. It doesn’t stand a chance against, well, just about every other fish around, but it’s also incredible cheap and fairly adaptable to whatever toppings you’d like to add to it. This explains why I spent far more time worrying about what would go with the fish than I did worrying about the fish itself.


I wanted something dramatic and flavorful, which led to the idea of coating the tilapia in crushed almonds. But I always cringe before starting a recipe where I have to make sure something adheres to fish. Regardless of how careful I am, half the time the coating falls off in the pan, burning the ingredients and leaving the fish exposed. And even when I do succeed, I’ve usually made a mess of the kitchen in the process.

Instead, I took the easy way out and sprinkled on almonds at the end. That way I could focus on making sure they were properly toasted, and not on whether they were sticking to the fish or burning in the pan. This also allowed me to mix in some briny green olives with the almonds, which added even more character to the dish.

I took the easy route with the green beans, too. They’re simmered in boiling water until bright green, drained, and then immediately tossed in a tart Sherry vinaigrette. I liked the vinaigrette so much, I drizzled a bit of it over the whole finished dish.

Get the recipe at


Mario Batali’s Beef Braciole with Prosciutto and Olives

Beef Braciole with Prosciutto and Olives Recipe: This Italian specialty takes a traditional beef tenderloin to the next level with prosciutto and provolone slices nestled inside.

  • Beef290x2903 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian Parsley
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • 8 ounces aged Provolone (cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup toasted Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup brined Green Olives (chopped)
  • 4 Scallions (thinly sliced)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 10-inch long Beef Tenderloin Roast (2 1/2-3 pounds butterflied)
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper


  • In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, cheeses, bread crumbs, olives, and scallions with 1/4 cup of olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

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5 reasons why eating olives is a must

Almost everyone loves olives be it on your favourite pizza, sandwich or salad. Not only do they taste good but are loaded with a number of health benefits.

Here are a few reasons as to why olives are a must in your diet regularly:

  • olive-smallOlives are a rich source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and hence helps in easing pain.
  • Loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants, olives are an excellent food for your hair and skin.
  • Eating olives help boost haemoglobin level in the body as it is a rich source of iron.
  • Eating a cup of olives can help regulate blood pressure.


Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives | Friday Night Bites

When I am at , nine times out of ten, I make my way to the olive bar.  They house one of the best selections in the Bay Area of olives without having to venture to a specialty shop in San Francisco.  One of my absolute favorites is the Castelvetrano Olive.  It is grown exclusively in western Sicily among the Belice river valley, near the town of Castelvetrano.  The prime time for harvesting is the beginning of October through mid November.  DSC02515

Contrary to popular belief, this olive is not actually cured, but goes through a similar process as to the California style black ripe olives.  The olive is washed in lye, or caustic soda for up to 12 hours.  It takes the bitterness out of the olive and then it is continually washed in fresh water to remove the lye.  Then it is either refrigerated or canned.  This process produces an intense green color and sweet flavor profile.   A great pairing to this beautiful olive is parmesan-reggiano, mozzarella, marcona almonds and Genoa salami.

I wanted to create a quick recipe that was packed with flavor we could enjoy for our Friday Night Bites.  Hubby doesn’t like anything with a pit or bones, so luckily Whole Foods had the pitted version of the Castelvetrano olive.  The idea of serving warm olives with garlic, citrus, spicy red pepper and fresh thyme simply resonated with me.  The flavor combination was simply divine, fresh and a perfect little bite.  I actually serve with a small fork so you can get the different bits of flavor in one bite.  The zest of the orange and lightly toasted slice of garlic with a fleck of spicy red pepper was a wonderful treat for my mouth. If you want to kick up your olives and impress your guests, this is the recipe for you!

Warm Spicy Citrus Castelvetrano Olives

DSC025002 Cups Castelvetrano Olives

6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced thin

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Zest of one Orange

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and olives and heat on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to have the heat too high or the garlic will burn.  Right before serving, add the orange zest and thyme leaves and toss.  Serve in a bowl and enjoy!


Chef Stefanie Martin at the PC Cooking School

Experience A Night in the Middle East with Chef Stefanie Martin at the PC Cooking School on August 14
middle-east-1-640x426During a visit to Israel and Palestine this past March, Elaine McCarthy was fortunate to enjoy some amazing Middle Eastern foods

The Middle East is comprised of 18 countries and 12 languages and is the birthplace for major religions that are practiced worldwide. It’s a very economically, politically, culturally and religiously sensitive area and the conflict there has been felt for generations. One thing that the people of the Middle East — Jews, Muslims, Christians and all people in-between — can agree on is that the food is amazing and was part of the “clean eating” diet well before it became a major food trend elsewhere.

References to olives, garlic, honey, mint, figs and dates are found in the Torah, Quran, and the Bible. The most commonly used proteins in that region are lamb, chicken, and fish. While both Islam and Judaism forbid the consumption of pork, tilapia is found naturally in the Sea of Galilee — where the fishermen still use nets similar to the ones that the disciples in the Bible were said to have used. Olives, olive oil, pita, honey, dates, sesame seeds, sumac, chickpeas, and yoghurt are used daily throughout the region.

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5-Star Martini with Tartufo cheese stuffed Chalkidiki green olives

EyrIa.AuSt.132Erna’s Cellar Bar at Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant will premier a new cocktail Aug. 1 — the ’5-Star Martini,’ exclusively designed for Forbes 5-Star properties. Erna’s Elderberry House has been a Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star Award recipient for 12 years, an honor shared with only 100 other properties nationwide. Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant will celebrate their 5-Star status with this ’Double Cross 5-Star Martini’ sponsored by Forbes and Double Cross Vodka. ’The Sottocenere al tartufo cheese used in the olives is unique and truly what makes this cocktail unique,’ said Erna Kubin-Clanin, owner. ’It is a very pale yellow to off-white cheese with truffles that has a grey-brown ash rind. It has a somewhat mild taste and is semi-soft in firmness, perfect for placement in the colossal green olives.’ Wine Director Samuel Aguilar, left, said Erna’s is honored to be part of Forbes selection of restaurants featuring this unique cocktail. Details: Cocktail components: Double Cross Vodka, vermouth, green olive stuffed with fresh Sottocenere al Tartufo cheese.