Makes 1-1/2 cups
For this caviar-rich spread, you will need brined Kalamata (Greek) or ripe Mediterranean olives with intense fruity flavor. Many specialty food shops sell them pitted, but you can't assume that they're totally pitless. To make sure, I press each olive firmly with the palm of my hand on several thicknesses of paper toweling, replenishing the toweling as needed. This also forces out excess brine so the olivada is neither too salty nor too soupy. Ten minutes should do the job.
3 cups (about 1 pound) pitted, brined Kalamata
or other ripe Mediterranean olives, drained well
and pressed dry on paper toweling
2 large whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves or
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Churn all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade 1 minute, scrape down the work bowl sides, and churn 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer to form a smooth, thick paste.
2. Spoon into a small bowl, press plastic food wrap gently on top, and let stand about 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Serve as a spread for crackers or chewy chunks of country bread. Also delicious as a dip for raw sticks of celery or fennel, even raw cauliflower or broccoli florets. Stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, olivada will keep as long as 10 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
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by Jean Anderson
Hardcover, 304 pages
Price: $27.50; $41.50 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created March 2003