Christmas is almost here. We can smell fireplaces smoke in the air and see the lights all across the streets. It is that time of the year when we spend most of our time surrounded by family and friends. These meetings usually take place around the table and it is true that we all like to surprise our guests when they visit us. So, what a better surprise than a great starter with olives? Easy but tasty.
1.Grilled Olives with Manchego
Level of difficulty: Low Servings: 8 people Preparation time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 24 pitted Queen olives, 100 grams Manchego cheese, 2 garlic cloves, 1 shallot, minced rosemary, thyme, extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar.
Start by draining the Queen olives using a paper towel. Meanwhile, cut the Manchego cheese into small pieces of 2.5 cm and stuff every olive with these pieces.
In a bowl combine the garlic, shallots, herbs, sugar, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Then skew the Manchego stuffed olives on to a skewer (three to a piece). Cover them in the marinade and sit for 4-8 hours so that flavours mix well.
Once marinated, grill the olives over high heat until they start to soften and the Manchego cheese starts to melt slightly inside. Finally, serve them along with some good crusty bread that’s been grilled alongside the olives.
2.Maize cakes with tomato oil and anchovies
Level of difficulty: Low Servings: 3 people Preparation time: 25 minutes
Ingredients for the olives: 10 pitted black olives, 1 grated tomato, anchovies, fresh basil or oregano, virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Ingredients for the cakes: 75g of maize flour, 25g of wheat flour, virgin olive oil.
How to prepare the cakes:
Mix the maize, the wheat flour and the salt and add a little water. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to the hands and can be pressed with a finger without breaking apart. Make it rest. Mass into little balls and flatten with fingertips, passing from one to another. Cook in a frying pan with a little olive oil and set aside.
Mix the grated tomato with the oil, oregano or basil, salt and pepper and we recommend to soak the anchovies in water for a few minutes to reduce the saltiness. Serve the cakes with an anchovy on top or a teaspoonful of tomato oil and a few slices of olive. Garnish with chives.
A unique way to surprise your guests!
3.Green Olives tapenade
Level of difficulty: Low Servings: 4 people Preparation time: <10 minutes
Ingredients: 150 grams pitted Manzanilla green olives, 70 grams goat cheese, 70 grams fresh cheese, 1 garlic clove, olive oil, thyme and salt.
First, mince the 2 types of cheese and add a peeled and well-chopped garlic clove, the thyme, oil and salt. Blend until getting a cheese cream and then chop the olives into small pieces and mix them with the cheese. Keep it into the fridge until serving time. Easy as that!
4. Lollipop with marinated octopus and Gordal Olives from Spain
Level of difficulty: Medium Servings: 4 people Preparation time: 3,15 hours
Ingredients: 1 cup green pitted Gordal olives, 1 small octopus, 1 chopped red onion, 2 bay leaves, 6 piquillo peppers, red onion finely diced, cup capers, juice of 2 lemons, sea salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350ºC. Place the octopus, along with the onion and bay leaves in a pan and roast it for 3 hours. Once the octopus is cooked, cut its tentacles and the piquillo peppers into small pieces. In a bowl, mix the piquillo peppers and octopus tentacles with the finely diced red onion and capers. Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, cut the Gordal olives into halves and, on small skewers slide on a halved Gordal olive, a piece of octopus and another halved Gordal olive.
5. Devilled eggs with Olives from Spain
Level of difficulty: Low Servings: 3 people Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: 45 grams Hojiblanca Olives, 20 grams Manzanilla Olives, 2 sliced Gordal Olives with pepper, 6 drops of Tabasco, 3 drops of Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 small tender onion, 3 boiled eggs, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.
Boil the 3 eggs in water with a splash of vinegar. On the other hand, chop and slice the three types of Olives from Spain. Divide the eggs into two parts and remove the egg yolk. Combine in a bowl the egg yolks, the olives, the chopped onion, Tabasco and fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Put the mayonnaise and stir well. Stuff the eggs with the mixture and serve with some sliced Olives from Spain on top. Yummy!
These five recipes are just an example of infinite possibilities. Olives from Spain allow you a countless number of dishes to be made. Enjoy!