Spanish Olives ~ Olé!
A Duet of Tuneful Olive Marinades with Lemons, Oranges, Herbs & Ginger
Oh I DO love an olive! Well, let’s be truthful, I like OLIVES in the plural – and, apart from dipping and dunking my crusty bread into a bowl of luscious, glistening olives at parties, lunch on the terrace, picnics, nocturnal snacks by the fridge, buffets and other such culinary feasts. I also eat olives straight out of the jar when I am dieting, as they are VERY low in calories and are also full of healthy essential oils, apart from the fact that they taste good. It can be said that I am a bit of an olive monster, I can inhale a bowl of olives from fifty paces and then come back for the mores and more.
Olive expert and chef, Omar Allibhoy has created some fantastic marinade recipes for ‘Olives from Spain’, just in time for the party season as it happens, and I was lucky enough to be part of several food bloggers that were sent some of his delectable looking recipe cards in a hamper, which was full of delicious Spanish ingredients that included olives, olive oil, Manchego cheese (my favourite), chorizo (another favourite!) and a selection of citrus fruits, chillies, sparkling wine (my MOST favourite) dates and herbs, all designed to give us inspiration for our mission. And the mission? I must create some marinade recipes for olives………
……..what a FABULOUS task and I took to it with gusto after a swig of the lovely pink Cava that was included in my hamper, that gave me LOTS of ideas! I wanted to create two marinades, one for green olives and one for black olives, and I also wanted to make them fun, festive, colourful as well as drop-dead-gorgeous tasting. The large piece of root ginger in the hamper gave me my first idea – I LOVE ginger with goat’s cheese and olive oil and have a wonderful recipe for marinated goat’s cheese here: Marinated English Goat’s Cheese with Wild Garlic, Stem Ginger and Herbs…….
……based on that idea my first marinade recipe was born – a festive and colourful Bay, Ginger and Orange Marinade for Olives. I was DELIGHTED with the result; the marinade was full of citrus orange flavours and the stem ginger added a very festive taste to the olives, along with the bay leaves. Pungent but warm garlic added a more classic taste combination and these olives were enjoyed the other evening with a bottle of wine and some crusty bread for very greedy dipping and dunking. Not only did the marinade look as pretty as a picture, but it tasted like a sunny olive and orange grove…….full of sunshine colours and flavours, it was to put in mildly, a huge hit with my husband and two friends who volunteered to be guinea pigs!
The recipe for my Bay, Ginger and Orange Marinade for Olives is below and I have made three jars of these olives up now to give as gifts to friends this Christmas. The bay leaves make this marinade very festive, and I used the zest from two clementines for a Christmas inspired look and flavour. I would eat these olives with salad, bread, crackers, cheese and charcuterie, plus lots of napkins for oil on chins and fingers. As this marinade contains fresh garlic and orange zest, it needs to be stored in a fridge for up to a week or a little longer.
Next on my oily list for a special marinade was an idea for green olives; I drew on my years of living in Cyprus for this recipe and remember eating fresh green olives with lemon and crushed coriander seeds. So marinade number two was created, a zingy little number, Coriander, Lemon and Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade for Olives, perfect for green olives and using sun-dried tomatoes as the mystery guest. Along with the sun-dried tomatoes, I added some crushed coriander seeds, lemon zest and a handful of mixed peppercorns for an extra dimension, and for the tongue and the eye.
This marinade was just as delightful as the other marinade for black olives, and the consensus of opinion was that the marinade was a sheep in lamb’s clothing, insofar as the peppercorns crept up on you after a few dunks with the bread! All my guinea pigs loved the peppery taste in this marinade and the bowl was mopped dry……the sun-dried tomatoes add an almost smoky flavour and the lemon picks it all up and throws it up in the air for a fresh taste.
This marinade and the olives would be stunning drizzled and scattered over a seasonal salad with soft cheese…….or, they would make a GREAT accompaniment for a Moroccan tagine or a Spanish Basque chicken recipe……I may work on that idea over the Christmas holidays. Again, just like the black olives, these olives and their marinade jacket are beautiful to look at, as well as dancing over the tongue in a zesty pirouette of spiced delight……..they were PROPER lush!
The recipe for my Coriander, Lemon and Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade for Olives is below, and both marinades are really at their sparkling best if the olives are added at least 24 hours before serving. For more Spanish olives ideas and recipes, please do visit the Olives from Spain website; they also have a Facebook page ‘Taste of Spain’ for more information and recipes and you can also follow them via @Taste_of_Spain on Twitter too….with thanks to the LOVELY people over at Taste of Spain for my hamper of goodness, and I have to tell you that these two marinade recipes are part of a fun competition…..if they like my marinades, I may have both recipes published on their website! Olé! See you tomorrow…….have a great Saturday and NO Flamenco dancing just yet! Karen
I was sent a hamper of ingredients to inspire me to create marinade recipes; I was not paid for this post and I was not asked to promote Taste of Spain.
Karen S Burns-Booth