Thursday, October 4, 2012

Warm Olives with Garlic and Parsley


When I was in Greece years ago, my best friend never ate a single olive the entire trip.  "But why?" I kept pestering her.  "You don't understand!"  I pleaded with her while pointing directly at the trees.  "You've never had olives like this before."  To which she responded, "I only like the sliced ones that come in a can."  My heart broke a little that day.  While I was busy dunking bread into glugs of olive oil down at the Plaka, she was busy hunting down black eyeliner to replace the one she lost during the flight.  Fashion is her thing and food is mine.  I care a lot less about what goes on my body and a lot more about where my next meal will be.  We get that about each other.

My love for olives increased tenfold during my time in Greece.  I've mentioned this trip before, but I can't write about olives without mentioning Greece.  Kalamata olives are a favorite but I'll take them any way I can get them; green, black, Nicosia, Sicilian, Manzanilla, you name it.  Olive tapenade?  Slather it on.  I remember walking around the markets in Athens, in awe of the endless bowls of olives and homemade bottled olive oil.  I dug up this photo, taken with my old point and shoot, to give you a visual.  I've been buying Greek olive oil and lathering up with olive oil soap ever since.  I'm still waiting to turn into a Greek goddess.  I know it will happen someday.  You just wait.  



If you've never had olives warmed before, prepare to fall in love a little more.  I like to quickly pan fry the olives along with parsley sprigs and garlic.  The olives become slick and the lightly browned garlic latch onto them.  At first bite, they melt in your mouth.  Something about eating them warm, as opposed to snacking on them cold, really brings out their whole, robust flavor.  It's quite possibly the easiest appetizer known to man, or god, or goddess.  I used Kalamata because I'm very fond of them, but any will do.  A combination of black and green make a particularly nice contrast.  It takes all of five minutes to throw this together from start to finish.  It's fancy enough to put out as an appetizer for a few guests, but easy enough to devour on the couch, spitting pits onto a plate and making a spectacle of yourself.  



~Warm Olives with Garlic and Parsley Recipe~

1 cup olives, your choice, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sprigs fresh parsley, stems in tact
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a cast iron or skillet pan over medium heat.  Be sure the oil is nice and warm and toss in the parsley.  Allow it to crisp up in the oil for a few seconds.  Add in garlic and give it a stir, taking care not to burn.  Toss in the olives, moving the pan around.  It will take only a few seconds to warm them through.  Remove the olives, parsley, and garlic with a slotted spoon.  Serves 4 as an appetizer.  

8 comments:

tess said...

These are beautiful! And what a great idea - Mr. and I are both big fans of olives...and garlic...and parsley...

This is a must for us!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Tess! I'm glad to hear it. We're big fans of olives over here too! Garlic and parsley never hurt anyone either. :)

Eileen said...

Ooh, I've never had warmed olives before! Seasoned, yes; warmed, no. Can't wait to put it all together!

Barbara said...

Olives are a favorite around here too. I am planning a get-together this weekend and will be trying this!!

Amy said...

This is so cool! I love olives, and I loved walking around the wednesday market in Arles and seeing big tubs of all different types of olives. Mediterranean food is so good, isn't it? I am terrible though and hardly ever eat (real, good) olives. This should become a regular snack for me.

Clair said...

I've never had olives warm...now I'm wondering why...

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love this, Stephanie, this is just the kind of thing I like to serve at parties. So easy and so elegant. That olive bar is astounding, wish I had it at my neighborhood grocery store!

Stephanie said...

Hey Eileen-let me know what you think! Barbara, glad to hear it! Amy, I agree...Mediterranean food is pretty amazing. I'm going to say you need some 'real' good olives in your life! Clair, I wondered why I never had them warmed too! I had something like this as an appetizer at a restaurant and I thought, this is so simple. Why have I never thought to warm them? Thanks Sue. I wish I had that olive bar at the moment too!