Olives are one of those foods I did not appreciate until later in life. And by "later in life" I mean just a few months ago. Weird, huh? One day I didn't like 'em, the next I did. Just like that. I've heard that our tastes buds will evolve over time for certain flavors but waiting half a century to enjoy the taste of olives seems a little ridiculous to me.
I would eschew the whole pizza if it had even the slightest hint of an errant black olive. When restaurants started getting too clever and offered tapenade with their bread baskets I would push it away and request butter instead. Or olive oil. Olive oil was always an exception to my rule. (And ironically, pissaladiere, where my love of anchovies was strong enough to win the tastebud war with my dislike of olives.)
Then I discovered the olive bars at fancy markets. Here the olives are inspired. Whereas the olives I had been rejecting all years were overly salty and one dimensional, these olives are layered with all manner of interesting stuffings and aromatics. I think it took 3 attempts before I realized how perfectly they pair with a cocktail or glass of wine while dinner is getting ready.
Whats more, I enjoy the ritual of selecting a small amount each week to serve as cocktail fodder for as long as they last. (My favorites are the ones stuffed with blue cheese.) These olive bar olives are nothing like their canned counterparts.
These were very easy to make. Warmed aromatics such as like coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns are added to garlic, lemon peel, and dried peppers to infuse an olive oil that is warmed and poured over the olives. A lengthy maceration finishes the job and makes a perfectly lovely olive.
I'm sure I will never make these again, however. Its just too much fun sifting through the olive merchant's selection.
French Friday's with Dorie Haiku Catch-UpSeeing as how today is a day for leftovers I thought I would serve you up some of my French Friday with Dorie leftovers. Here are some dishes I was able to cook up along with the group but couldn't seem to get ready on time for prime time on an actual Friday.
Top Secret Chocolate Mousse
Recipe posted here.
Secret agent mousse
worst secret in all Paris
just uncooked soufflé.
Wasn't the secret
something else entirely:
that you used raw egg?
Mushroom and Shallot Quiche
Just another quiche
but this one tastes fantastic
cooked by a real man
Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes
Recipe found here.
Oh Moroccan stews!
My favorite things to eat
but not photograph
"Herbed Olives" was this week's assignment for French Friday's with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan's culinary tome "Around My French Table". Generally we are discouraged from including the recipes in our posts. Wherever there has been significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers I will either include it here or provide a direct link. Please also feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding French Friday with Dorie Recipes.