Quick olive hummus -

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Quick olive hummus

A stunning dip
3 serves

(3-1/2 cups) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and skins removed

½ cup tahini paste

½ cup water

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp white vinegar

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife

¾ tsp salt

⅓ cup chopped spanish black olives

¼ cup chopped spanish green olives


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Place all the ingredients except for the olives in the bowl of your food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Stop the motor to scrape the sides, as needed. Also, feel free to add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, until your hummus reaches the desired consistency.

Add the chopped olives and process on pulse until they are well incorporated; 5-6 short pulses should do the trick.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving; garnish with a splash of olive oil, more chopped olives and a pinch of chopped parsley at the moment of serving, if desired.

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Spanish Manzanilla Olive Croquetas

Tradition meets elegance
2 serves

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated

3 ounces Spanish Manzanilla olives, chopped


2 eggs

1 cup fine dried bread crumbs


Preparation time: 60 minutes

Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square dish.

In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour and, using a wooden spoon or whisk, mix well. Continue to stir or whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the flour is well blended.

Add 1/2 cup of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the remaining cup of milk. Cook, stirring constantly with the spoon or whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Add the olives, season lightly with salt (remember, the olives are already salty), and stir until evenly distributed. Cook for 1 minute longer and then pour the contents of the pan into the prepared dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Let cool down for a bit and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight to allow the mixture to set.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly until blended. Spread the bread crumbs on a dinner plate. With 2 spoons, shape the béchamel-olive mixture into walnut-sized croquettes. Roll each croquette in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs, and then dip into the beaten egg. Lift each croquette from the egg and roll it again in the bread crumbs, coating it evenly. Lay the croquettes in a single layer on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying.

Pour the olive oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a wide, deep, heavy pot and heat over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, slip 5 or 6 croquettes into the oil, pressing on them gently with a slotted spoon to submerge them, and fry, turning them gently, for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden on all sides. Using the slotted spoon, lift out the croquettes, holding them briefly over the pot to allow the excess oil to drain, and transfer to an ovenproof platter lined with paper towels to drain further. Keep the croquettes warm in a low oven. Fry the rest of the croquettes in the same way, always making sure the oil is very hot before adding more croquettes.

When all the croquettes are fried, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

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Spanish Olive Empanada with Olive Crust

Turn anyone into an instant Mediterranean believer
4 serves

1 teaspoon dry active yeast

2/3 cup warm water

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup olive oil

1 egg, beaten

1 pinch saffron

3 1/2 all-purpose flour

1/4 cup minced Spanish black olives

Salt and pepper to taste


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped fresh tomato 
2 cups chopped red bell pepper

3 cups chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Spanish black olives, chopped

1 cup Spanish Gordal olives, chopped

1 cup Spanish Manzanilla olives, chopped

1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika

2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar


Preparation time: 60 minutes

For the Sofrito

In a large skillet, sauté onion in olive oil. Add red bell pepper after 10 minutes and continue to sauté. Add tomato and garlic and sauté until soft.  Cool mixture and then add Olives from Spain, paprika, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the Dough

Put yeast and warm water in a large bowl and stir to mix. When foamy, about 20 minutes, whisk in butter, oil, egg, saffron, minced Spanish black olives, and salt. Add flour and knead till smooth.  Cut in two and place in a greased bowl, covered, and then set aside.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet. Roll out half the dough and line the baking sheet, covering over the edges. Place cooled filling inside. Roll out remaining dough and cover top of empanada, crimping the sides. Wash with 1 egg over top and bake for 40 minutes at 350⁰.

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Cherry tomato olives goat cheese

deliciously simple
2 serves

16-18 black olives

400 g of cherry tomatoes

200 g of mild goats cheese

Virgin olive oil


Black pepper

½ litres of water

Spring of basil


Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes. Dice the cheese. Place in a salad bowl with the olives; season with salt-and-pepper.

Drizzle with oil and garnish with the chopped basil.

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Olives, Piquillo peppers and Manchego cheese croquetas

4 serves

50 g butter

½ small Spanish onion, finely chopped

100g of pitted green olives

50g of Manchego cheese

6 piquillo peppers

800 ml full-fat milk

60 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 tb sp salt

pinch of ground white pepper (ground black pepper will also do)

2 eggs

50 g breadcrumbs

vegetable oil for deep-frying


Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onion. Cook for a few minutes until the onion turns translucent but not coloured. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, bring the milk almost to boiling point and then set aside.

Add the flour to the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until the flour has toasted a bit. Add the hot milk little by little, whisking all the time, to make a thick roux. Keep going until you have added all the milk and you have a smooth and silky béchamel. When it comes back to the boil reduce the heat to low and add the whole peppers, the olives, the Manchego cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Briefly blix using a hand blender but making sure all the ingredients still a bit coarse and don’t become a smooth puree. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, whisking to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Line the bottom of a baking tray with baking parchment and then pour the béchamel into the baking tray. Spread it out and let it cool for a few minutes and then place a layer of clingfilm directly on top, making sure the clingflim is touching the surface of the béchamel as this will stop a skin from form. Transfer to the fridge to chill completely.

After 2 hours the béchamel should be firm enough to handle. Turn the béchamel out on to a floured surface and carefully peel away the baking parchment. Sprinkle with a little more flour and use a knife to cut the béchamel into strips and then small squares, about 4 cm square. Dust your hands with flour and roll these little squares into balls between your hands.

Beat the egg in a bowl and spread the breadcrumbs out on a plate. Dip each ball in the egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs before placing on a clean plate. You can chill these in the fridge at this point, if you want to cook them later.

Heat the oil in a large deep pan until it reaches 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can check if the oil is ready by dropping a small square of bread into the oil – it should turn golden in about 30 seconds. Fry the croquetas in small batches until they are golden and crisp (this should take about 1½ minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest.

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Olive bread

Crispy and tempting
4 serves

2/3 cup (92g) green olives, pitted - drained and chopped

2/3 cup black olives, pitted - drained and chopped

4 cups (500g) bread flour

1 tsp (5g) salt

1/2 tsp (2g) garlic powder

1 tsp (1g) rosemary

1 1/2 tsp (3g) chili flakes

Fresh thyme leaves

25g fresh yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast)

1 1/2 cups (360ml) water


Preparation time: 1 hour

In a large bowl mix flour with salt, garlic powder, rosemary, chilli flakes and fresh thyme leaves.

Dissolve the fresh yeast in ½ cup (120ml) water and add to the flour mixture. Add the rest of 1 cup (240ml) water and start kneading the dough until pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Add olives and knead a bit more until incorporated. Grease with olive oil a clean bowl, transfer the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 2.5 hours at room temperature until tripled in size.

On a floured surface flatten the dough into an oval shape and start rolling one edge inward it. Roll and turn upside down and shape it into a ball.  Sprinkle flour and cornmeal over a clean towel, add the dough and cover. Let rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile turn the oven to 470F (240C) and add a 9 inch (23cm) round iron cast pan inside without the lid. Leave it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes until the dough rise in the towel.

Remove the iron cast pan from the oven, turn the dough into the pan and put the lid on. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 470F (240C) with the lid on to create steam.

Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes at 440F (230C) to let the bread get some crispy golden brown crust.

Let it cool completely before cutting the bread.