Special Feature


Olives: Care and Storage

Pasta with Bacon, Tomatoes and Olives
Green Beans with Garlic, Prosciutto and Olives


Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrition experts agree that the key to a healthy diet is the time-tested advice of balance, variety, and moderation. Sensible eating means enjoying a wide variety of foods in moderate portions, without eating too many calories, or too much of any one nutrient or any single food.

Dietary guidelines recommended by leading health organizations refer to your overall eating habits. They are not targets for individual foods. If one meal contains more than 30% of calories from fat, that's okay. Just balance out your day with lower-fat foods for the rest of the day. These concepts are basic to good nutrition and are flexible enough to meet individual needs and tastes.

Sodium Update

The most recent nutritional analysis shows that the olive industry has successfully reduced the sodium in ripe olives by changing the type of solution in which olives are stored before being processed. Sodium levels have dropped by over 200 mg per 100 grams.

Soaking ripe olives for 2 minutes in cold water and draining before serving will reduce sodium by 5-6 percent.

Care and Storage

Ripe olives are packed in a light brine solution, not only to bring out the flavor of the fruit, but also to protect them in transportation. The recommended shelf life for unopened cans is 36 to 48 months. They may be stored at room temperature.

Once opened, store unused ripe olives in their original brine in the open can and cover with plastic wrap to allow oxygen to permeate. Do not store ripe olives in an ail tight container to eliminate development of harmful toxins. If the original brine has been discarded, replace with a solution of one cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in order to keep the olives wet and free from external odors. Partially used cans of ripe olives may be held in the refrigerator for up to ten days.


Pasta with Bacon, Tomatoes & Olives

  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon each dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 pound dried penne or ziti
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large (1 lb) tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup whole pitted ripe olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Beat to blend molasses, mustard, Worcestershire and rosemary; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, combine bacon and onion in non stick frying pan. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir molasses mixture and add to pan with tomatoes and olives. Cook stirring gently, until tomatoes are soft and olive are hot, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Spoon tomato mixture over pasta and add parsley; mix gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. if desired. Offer red pepper flakes to add to taste.

Makes 6 servings.
Cooking time: about 25 minutes
Total preparation time: about 15 minutes


Green Beans with Garlic, Prosciutto and Olives

Green Beans with Garlic, Prosciutto and Olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce prosciutto or bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound slender green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 3/4 cup ripe olives, wedged
  • Pepper

Add prosciutto and garlic to hot oil in frying pan. Cook, stirring, just until prosciutto is crisp (do not scorch), about 2 minutes. Quickly remove prosciutto and garlic from pan with slotted spoon and set aside. Add beans, 1/3 cup water, and rosemary to pan. Cover and cook until beans are just tender to bite, about 5 minutes. Gently mix in olives. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bean mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with prosciutto and garlic. Offer pepper to add to taste.

Makes about 6 cups; 4 to 6 servings.
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Total preparation time: about 10 minutes


Provided by California Olive Industry


About Olives and Olive Oils

Articles About Olives (with Recipes)

Olive Oil Recipes

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified February 2007

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