Monday, February 15, 2010

Les Olives!

Certified International Garden of Olives 5-Piece Pasta SetsOlive del Diavolo 1 lb.

I have a love affair with olives.  These petites delicacies make many grand appearances in my culinary life.   There are about 20 varieties of olives cultivated in France and I've set myself on a quest to try them all.  Four popular varieties (as described in Stephanie Curtis' excellent article: Provencal Olives) are Picholine, Salonenque, Luque and Nicoise.  Ms. Curtis gives a recipe for Olive Cake (oui: cake!) and Tapenade.  One of my favorite uses of Tapenade is to drop a dollap onto salad greens and toss.  It makes a wonderful salad dressing all by itself.  Another way I enjoy olives is to bake my signature Olive Pesto Pizza....Take a pizza shell, spread a layer of basil pesto on top, then sprinkle a layer of Parmesan and Mozzerella. For extra zing, I sometimes use Pepper Jack. On top of that, toss a generous handful of slivered olives.  (I use a variety of olives).  Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes or so..until cheese is bubbly and edges are browned a bit.  Je te promis: délicieux!   One of the best accounts I've read about life on an Olive Farm is Carol Drinkwater's Olive Trilogy.  I highly recommend this great read. 

    The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil The Olive Season: Amour, a New Life and Olives Too The Olive Harvest: A Memoir of Love, Old Trees, and Olive Oil


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