A wonderful condiment to have on hand, perfect with the roast lamb, this relish can also enhance grilled fish or roast chicken, or liven up a sandwich or a pizza. Well covered, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Serve with a roast lamb shoulder and tender flageolet beans for an easy spring dinner party meal.
- 1 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives, pitted
- 1 cup Niçoise olives, pitted
- 2 teaspoons capers, well rinsed
- 2 small garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
- Finely chopped zest from half a small lemon
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 2 anchovy fillets, well rinsed and chopped (optional)
- About ¾ cup olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
Put the olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, anchovies, if using, and ½ cup olive oil in a blender or food processor and grind to a paste. Make the texture of the relish to your preference — rough or smooth. Pulsing the ingredients makes it rough; for a smoother texture, let the machine run for a few minutes. (For a more rustic version, hand-chop the ingredients.)
Scrape the olive relish into a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding pepper — or a little cayenne or red pepper flakes — as desired and salt if necessary. Thin with a little more olive oil to loosen the paste.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Pistachio-Olive RelishPhoto by Grace Parisi
The bright, fresh flavors in this simple and versatile fish topper (briny olives, nutty pistachios, sweet-spicy Peppadew peppers, and piney rosemary) work on all species, but we especially love it on salmon. Because coho is relatively lean (as are keta and sockeye) compared to king salmon, it works well with this relish.
Active time: 30 min
Total time: 30 min
Appetizer Recipe: Pomegranate Olive Relish
In the usual order of things, one decides to have a party, and then figures out which dishes to serve. But in this case, it was a stellar pomegranate and olive relish that got the ball rolling. “We have to throw a holiday party so people can taste this!” exclaimed my partner, and pretty soon we were discussing the guest list between bites.
Inspired by Persian and Turkish salads, this company-worthy relish combines jewel-like pomegranate seeds with green olives and roasted pistachios, dressed up with good olive oil and pomegranate molasses. The combination is fruity and tangy with a delightful play of textures. (Walnuts are perhaps the most traditional accompaniment to pomegranates and olives, and you could substitute those if you wish. I’m allergic to walnuts and found that pistachios worked beautifully.)
For myself and other friends on gluten-free and vegan diets, I’m serving the relish on socca crackers. For everyone else, the plan is spoon the relish atop goat cheese crostini – the pairing that made Gregory do a little dance of joy before making party plans.
Halibut with Red Bell Pepper and Olive Relish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and thyme. Sauté until bell pepper is soft, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in olives, vinegar, and tomato paste. Season relish to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Place fish on prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon enough relish over each fillet to cover. Reserve remaining relish. Bake fish until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Transfer fish to serving platter. Garnish with thyme sprigs serve with reserved relish.
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- 3 pounds boneless pork loin
- 1 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1 (10 ounce) can large, pitted black olives, drained and chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) jar Spanish olives, drained and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¼ white onion, chopped
- 10 pepperoncini peppers, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- cracked black pepper to taste
Place pork in a shallow dish and coat with Italian dressing. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
For the relish, stir the black olives, green olives, garlic, onion, and peppers together in a bowl stir in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
When pork has finished marinating, preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Slice the pork loin down the center lengthwise, cutting about 3/4 of the way through to the other side. Stuff full with the olive relish. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for about 2 hours, or until internal temperature has reached 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
- 2 1/2 C (345g) Mixed Pitted Olives such as Black, Kalamata, Green, drained
- 2 Tbs Capers drained
- 2 Tbs Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes drained
- 1 Tbs Garlic chopped
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- 4 Tbs Fresh Parsley Leaves chopped, or 1 Tbs dried
- 1 Tbs Fresh Basil Leaves chopped, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice about 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 C (50g) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A few grinds of black pepper
Combine prunes and 1 cup very hot water in a small bowl let stand 20 minutes to soften.
Meanwhile, bring lemon zest, Armagnac, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes for alcohol to cook off. Drain prunes and add to saucepan along with a pinch of salt. Return to a simmer and cook until prunes are plumped, 12–15 minutes let cool. Drain. Quarter prunes.
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Cook shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Combine with prunes, olives, vinegar, and remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl season with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD: Relish can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool cover and chill.
Toast juniper berries and coriander seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in spice mill along with bay leaf, peppercorns, and allspice. Transfer spice mixture to a small bowl and mix in cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
Using a knife, score around the end of each duck leg bone, then prick skin all over with a knife. Sprinkle with spice mixture cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 250°. Rinse duck legs, pat dry, and arrange, skin side down, in a large roasting pan. Add thyme, garlic, and ½ cup water. Cover with foil and cook until rendered fat submerges duck, about 2 hours. Turn duck skin side up, cover, and continue to bake until meat is very tender, 2–2½ hours longer.
DO AHEAD: Duck can be brined 12 hours before baking keep chilled. It can be cooked 5 days ahead. Let cool in fat cover and chill.
Sauce verte and assembly
Increase oven temperature to 400°. Bring brown sugar, Sherry vinegar, and pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat simmer until sugar dissolves and mixture is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
Remove duck legs from fat, scraping off excess, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until skin is browned and crisp, 20–30 minutes. Lightly brush duck with vinegar mixture and roast, brush- ing with vinegar mixture halfway through, until glaze is bubbling, 8–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine shallot, white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl let stand 5 minutes. Stir in oil, parsley, chives, and mint.
Serve duck over Parsnip Purée topped with sauce verte and relish.
DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and keep room temperature.
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Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe
In the movie, “Swingers,” Trent attempts to charm a woman by bragging that his buddy is “the guy… behind the guy… behind the guy.” Applied to the iconic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich, the olive salad is most certainly “the guy… behind the guy… behind the guy.” It’s the integral piece of puzzle. Or… as long as I’m quoting movies… it’s the rug that “really ties the room together.” Here’s an inspired-by Central Grocery olive salad recipe.
Invented by Salvatore Lupo in 1906, the muffuletta (muff-uh-LOT-ah) is a popular Italian sandwich from New Orleans. The signature muffuletta bread and cold cuts combination is tasty enough, by themselves, but it’s the olive salad dressing that escalates the sandwich to something otherworldly.
Although certainly the perfect (and necessary) complement to a muffuletta sandwich, the olive salad is so fantastic on its own that you’d be hard-pressed not to find a way to enjoy it. Whether serving it as a tapenade with bruschetta or using it to top other delicacies (Nola Cuisine has a great chargrilled pizza and olive salad recipe), the biggest challenge to this olive salad is simply keeping it in supply.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult at all to make. This is one of those recipes that looks overwhelming because of the quantity of ingredients, but involves nothing more than combining everything together. Plus the ingredients are all easy to source.
Once you’ve got all the ingredients ready, simply combine them into a large container, stir together, and let it sit for a few hours at room temperature. Then, stick in the fridge for a week, stirring once or twice a day. The olive oil fats will most likely solidify, leading to a sticky mess that gives the perception that you’ve made a terrible mistake. But I promise: once you pull it out of the fridge and let it sit for a couple hours, it’ll return to its magical glory.
Personally, I find the ingredients to be a little too chunky as-is, so I prefer to roughly chop everything down a bit. That helps to prevent you from getting, say, an entire pepperocini in your sandwich or a mouthful of capers. Texture is subjective, so do what makes sense to you. I’ve put everything into a food processor and chopped down to a fine tapenade before (and, if we’re being honest, I might actually prefer it). But if you want to be faithful to the Central Grocery’s olive salad, you’ll wanna keep it at a rough chop.
Whole Roasted Branzino with Castelvetrano Olive Relish
Cooking a whole fish looks hard. It’s not. The key is preheating the sheet pan and roasting it fast and hot.
2 whole branzinos, gutted, scaled, and fins removed
1 bulb fennel, sliced into ¼-inch wedges
2 leeks, cleaned and cut into ½-inch rounds
2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds
extra lemon wedges, for serving
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup roughly chopped Castelvetrano olives
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 475°F and set a rack on the top (beneath the broiler) and another on the bottom. Once hot, add a half sheet pan to the oven to preheat.
2. Rub the branzinos with olive oil all over and season generously on the skin and in the cavity. Toss the fennel, leeks, and lemons with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
3. Carefully remove the preheated sheet pan from the oven and place both branzinos diagonally in the center of the sheet pan (they will sizzle), then scatter the fennel mixture around the fish and place the sheet pan on the bottom rack. Cook for about 15 minutes.
4. While that cooks, combine the relish ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
5. After the first 15 minutes, turn the oven to broil and put the fish on the top rack under the broiler. Watch closely and rotate as needed to make sure everything is getting nicely browned. The fish skin should be getting very crispy and some of the outer edges of the leeks, fennel, and lemons should get a little char. This should take about 5 minutes.