Monday, April 08, 2013

Not For The Faint Of Palate ...

A friend came by for dinner last night. His wife is out of town and we hadn't seen each other in a while, so he popped by and we had a casual meal. Well, as casual as a meal can be when it's accompanied by a bottle of Champagne. But we once enjoyed Champagne with Chinese food, and really, there's no food that doesn't pair well with Champagne. So there we were.

This friend – I'll call him Dave, because his name is Dave – and I share a fondness for an olive nosh which his wife would rather not enjoy. So, since she was unable to make last night's festivities, Dave and I olived it up.

I made it up many years ago, if "made up" applies to throwing a few ingredients into a bowl that everyone in the world would think to pair together. But in my little corner of the world, at least, no one had, so for the purposes of that first occasion of serving it, it was new.

In fact, folks have told me I should sell this particular concoction, but I don't think it would have a pleasant life on a shelf, even in vacuum-sealed jars. I think it's best made fresh, just a little bit in advance, to allow the flavors to meld.

If you'd like to try it, this is what you do:

1. Buy a jar of pitted kalamata olives. I buy Peloponnese because, well, that's what I buy. I buy them pitted because I don't like spitting olive pits into my hand and dropping them onto my plate. Also, I like not having to remember to tell folks that the olives they're about to eat contain pits and I like not having to think about them possibly cracking a tooth. So buy pitted olives. Or don't. But you've been warned.

2. Drain the brine and dump the olives into a bowl.

3. Give 'em a good douse with extra-virgin olive oil. Yes, I know it seems weird to pour olive oil onto olives. Just work with me here.

4. Peel a few – or more – cloves of garlic and put 'em through a garlic press and into the bowl with the olives and oil.

5. Dump some dried thyme into the palm of one hand and use the palm of your other hand to rub the thyme and dump it into the bowl with the olives and oil and garlic.

6. Stir it all together, cover it, and let it sit around for a while until your guests arrive. If that's in the near future, just leave the bowl on the counter. If that's a way away, put the bowl in the fridge and then pull it out enough in advance to let the mixture come up to room temp before serving. The flavor is better that way.



Oh, and speaking of strong flavors, if I've never mentioned, I carry packets of Grey Poupon in my purse. Yes, really. You'd be surprised how many restaurants don't carry it. Which is pathetic. Because, really, how much can a box of Poupon packets cost?




2 Comments:

Blogger angelo said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyes! I LOVE olives and I especially love what's going on here.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yes, do mix up a batch sometime, when you have friends coming by or you're feeling particularly noshy for a whole jar of olives.

5:13 AM  

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