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Stuffed olives

In Food on December 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Albert and I invited everyone over for an aperitivo in honor of my birthday. (Yes, I know my birthday was at the beginning of the month; let’s just say this post spent a long time “gestating” before it finally became reality.)  The event in itself worked out splendidly–it’s wonderful how we’ve managed to make so many great friends in such a short time. Yes, in just under two months, we managed to make 10 friends who joined us to celebrate my birthday.

Our menu featured some classic hors d’oeuvres that are staples in our repertoire: baba ghanoush with fresh sliced vegetables and grissini for dipping; pa amb tomàquet and assorted toppings: 2 kinds of cheese (for the veggie-friendly) and 2 kinds of embotits (for the non-vegetarians out there!); and focaccia (a recipe for the perfect focaccia will grace the pages of this blog in the near future, as soon as we’ve nailed it perfectly!). Of course, the drink of the evening was the spritz. And the night also saw two new dishes: a delicious sweet tahini dip and some stuffed olives.

I’ve been dreaming about stuffing my own olives for a while now. Every time I walk by them in the store, I salivate over them, but stuffed olives are just SO darn expensive that they’re by necessity a luxury item, even in Europe where olives are much more accessibly priced than in the States. Recently, however, I discovered some really delicious pitted olives in the grocery store: lightly marinated in oil, oregano, and herbs, they are delicious on their own or chopped up into a salad or on top of a focaccia. They’re also big enough to stuff, so in honor of my birthday, stuffed they were.

Stuffing olives is certainly a time-intensive task, and it’s a bit on the oily side too, so be prepared! However, it’s also a lot of fun. I imagine that this could be a great way to keep the kids busy and entertained while cooking up the rest of the meal. So get ready to get oily, and prepare for a great hors d’oeuvre!

 

Stuffing olives: you can see the block of feta, feta matchsticks, herbs spread over the work surface, pitted green olives, oregano, and the first few olives I've stuffed in this picture.

Feta stuffed olives

Ingredients:

  • Good quality pitted green olives, marinated in oil, oregano, and herbs
  • Block of feta cheese (approx. 100 grams should be sufficient for 30+ olives, but this will depend on the size of your olives)
  • Your choice of dried herbs: I used oregano, red pepper flakes, and basil
  1. Cut the feta cheese into matchsticks small enough to stuff into your olives.
  2. Sprinkle herbs on a plate, and roll the cheese matchsticks into the herbs, coating them on all sides.
  3. Stuff herb-covered cheese into your olives. It helps to squeeze the olives slightly at the center when you are smushing the cheese into them. If you need more cheese, add more; if you have too much, feel free not to put it all in your olives.
  4. Clean off any cheese that has smeared on the outside of the olives.

That’s it. They’re that easy! And boy, were they delicious.