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.
As an artist, I'm at my happiest when painting "all things French." I think I have a French soul. How this happened, I do not know. I only know it's what I love.
I believe that a dazzling artist inhabits each and every one of us.
I celebrate the artist in you!