Monday, January 28, 2008

A Tribute to the Newborn Oliver

I'm glad to see restaurants are offering olives as appetizers. When the olives are really good, fresh, and ideally, local... you've got a good dish of snackies.
A fun twist on the olive dish lately has been oven-roasted olives. I ordered some at an acclaimed local pizzeria, and doggone it, the olives were heated in the pizza oven!
But that's all.
Warm olives, otherwise nude and dull.
Somehow you wish the olives would pick up a bit of smoke, or oregano, or jeez, mozzarella.
Uh.
Let me tell you about a personal favorite flavorizer this time of year. Orange rind. I gots the oranges (and so does the food bank; we're taking two huge boxes of oranges tomorrow).
This simple dish of roasted green olives took a little bath in olive oil mixed with orange zest, some peeled garlic, and sliced hot peppers. No salt needed; the olives are salty. These are soft cured, velvety, buttery green olives from the farmers market. We accidentally ran into some inferior cure from another vendor the other day, and the pitted (eek) green olives are brittle, and taste like something from the refrigerator door, circa 1970. (Why? Bad goal.)
Use soft olives.
Here's the trick: Cook the olives until they begin to collapse. This batch went almost 45 minutes.
They will be very hot when they come out, and You Will Have to Wait!
The only thing I would do differently (and I will try this) is to shave some fennel bulb in there with the other flavors.
They're pretty. A little out of focus, but check out the depth of field on that ratty dish towel!
All the better to wipe your warm, drippy, tasty fingers on.

23 comments:

Joy said...

Awwww!

cookiecrumb said...

Joy: How the heck did you get here so fast? Is that what motherhood does to you? Baby-dar.
Best wishes to your newly enlarged family.

tammy said...

That sounds positively phenomenal. But waiting is so hard.

peter said...

Hey, FYI- I hear that orange zest is really good on artichokes, too.

Sam said...

woot - that's so cute. I had an olive urge today and so I went to Wholefoods (a rare excursion for me) but they only had foreign olives. The whole bar full of foreign olives. Dang. I bought some little french ones anyway and they got on with the locals in the kitchen so i won't give them too much of an hard time.

kudzu said...

Ooooh. Let's get together on combos (though I do the orange/garlic often). These might be another nomination for the Feb. 14 You-Know-What list.

Bri said...

Yum! These look so good. A tasty well seasoned olive is a joyous thing indeed. Especially with orange zest...as I hear, are artichokes ;)

Linda said...

What a great idea. What temperature do you cook them at? It looks like a great appetizer.

Anna Haight said...

I've always wondered how to DIY these! Look great!

Peggasus said...

I don't eat olives AT ALL. You know how some people have that anti-cilantro gene? I have an anti-olive gene. Also an anti-mushroom one. But you actually made that you made that sound good to me, it's such a great description.

I wouldn't eat them, mind you, but still.

Heather said...

I would end up completely blistered with impatience. I bet those would be good with some grilled octopus.

Mansi Desai said...

my husband is on a trader joe's olive eating spree these days!!

cookiecrumb said...

Tammy: Oh, forgot to say we added a little bit of minced rosemary. Anyway, try it. You don't have to wait long.

Peter: I'm *thisclose* to putting orange zest on rice, on tofu, on seven-layer dip, dammit! We got a lot of oranges.

Sam: I would have caved in and bought the foreign ones, too. Our regular olive vendor was missing from the market; probably already sold out. I'm planning on getting to know my neighbors next year; they have a tree they don't harvest.

Kudzu: Help yourself!

Bri: Your nickname obviously stands for "brilliant."
:D

Linda: I think the oven was at 375ยบ. Very flexible on time and temperature; just check on them now and then.

Anna: Really nothing to it at all. We just made it up.

Peggasus: You are cute. I am aware of the anti-olive faction. Some people don't care for them, but some others WON'T eat them. (More for the rest of us!)

Heather: It's important not to blister your tongue, so you can enjoy the octopus, ohgod that sounds so good.

Mansi Desai: It must be a seasonal thing. Well, no. I love them in warm weather, too.
Try doctoring the TJ's olives for some flavor fun.

Stacie said...

ok, I drooled!

cook eat FRET said...

wow.
i am making some this weekend. with fennel. gotta have some. great idea...

cookiecrumb said...

Stacie: I think I'm even going to try this with the inferior brittle olives. They need a serious kick in the heinie.

ceF: Yeah, you've been rocking with the fennel action lately. Sounds good.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Need I even mention how well a good olive goes with a dry martini?

Barbara said...

I've never had roasted olives. I shall try your method this week.

The Forge Village Farmer said...

Great blog! And very cool idea--I've done a lot with lemons and olives, but never oranges. We've got a drawer full of clemontines and a big jar of picholines...hmmm...

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: Need not!!

Barbara: Take liberties. Season them your own way. Let us know how you liked them.

Farmer: Fusion! As I said to Barbara, take liberties, but get those picholines flavored.

katiez said...

In Andorra, and Spain as soon as you sit at a table, anywhere, a bowl of olives appears... I love it. They never bother with anyplace to put the pits, though...

cook eat FRET said...

i said i was gonna make these and i lied. i apologize. BUT. i am making them for monday - a big dinner party. can i make em a day ahead, no prob? 375 in the oven with rosemary and fresh fennel slices, orange zest, hot peppers, olive oil, green olives - pits in and garlic.

yes?

cookiecrumb said...

Claudia: A day ahead, no prob. Your ingredient list is yummy (heh), and you only need to roast them until they collapse just a little here and there. Even 350 is probably fine.
Might want to reheat them the next day for your party.