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Posts Tagged ‘@Great_Olives’

Olive Soup Recipe

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Olive Soup Recipe

Traveling in Eastern Europe, I became quite a fan of hearty soups, especially in Poland, where my one of my favorites became “Dill Pickle Soup.” I was thinking about it the other day, and thought, “hey, why not, olive soup?” So I gave it a try and it’s wonderful.

Ingredients

  • 1 T Penna Crema Verde Olive Spread
  • 2 T Penna Crema Negra Olive Spread
  • 6 T EVOO
  • 1 C pitted, unstuffed, diced,  chopped olives (I used home brine cured fresh Penna greens)
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Qt chicken stock
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 6 T flour
  • Seasonings to taste, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

 

Olive Soup Recipe

Sweating veggies

Make a roux with 6 T flour and 3 T oil, cooked and stirred until it’s a dark paste.

Soak your diced olives in water for an hour to remove some of the salt, if desired.

Add 3 T oil, garlic, onion, and 2/3rds of the olives to a skillet, saute while stirring until the onions are sweated.

Take the skillet contents, along with 1 C of stock and puree in your food processor.

Place mix with balance of stock in sauce pan, simmer for 15 minutes, add cream. 

Olive Soup Recipe

Starting a Roux

Continue to simmer while adding the roux, stirring constantly until the soup thickens.

Add seasoning to taste, and garnish with remaining chopped olives.

(OK, garnishing with chopped olives didn’t work – they sunk!)  This is a delicious soup on its own, but it might also be great if you use it as a base, adding rough chopped vegetables or salad shrimp!

Dig in!

Olive Soup Recipe

Soup!

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Home Curing Olives

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Home curing olives

Sevillano Tree

I have extensively documented my love of all things olive, and my experience curing fresh olives at home.  It’s a project that takes a couple months of love and dedication, but will provide you with a year of enjoyment.  (And great holiday gifts to give out).

My personal exclusive supplier of fresh olives is a California grower, Penna, who harvest and also process their own in a variety of flavors, available to the public from their website.

The fresh (uncured) olives are only available once per year, with greens coming in September, and blacks in October or November.   I only purchase Sevillano olives, part of the family of “Mission” olives, which were initially cultivated by the Spanish missions in California during the 1700s.  The Mission olives are native to California, and are thought to be an offshoot of Moroccan olives, brought originally to Mexico by Spanish explorers.

The Sevillanos  are available in several sizes of the greens, the blacks are larger, this year, some as large as small plums (see pic below).

This year I am doing black ones for the first time, since they have been on the tree longer, they are a little less bitter than raw green ones, but still need to have their bitterness leeched out of them.

Sevillano blacks are especially suited to one of the easiest cures of all, drying them in pickling salt for a month, they shrink and wrinkle and take on a nutty flavor.  Great for snacks, salads, or bread recipes.

I’m hoping to nail the art this season, as I have olive trees on my new condiment ranch, and am looking forward to curing my own.  The trees can grow quite tall, but have to be trimmed down to 12-15′ feet, as that’s about the highest height that the olives can be harvested safely by hand, with a ladder.

Home curing olives

Fresh greens

 

Home curing olives

Fresh blacks

 

Home curing olives

Olives in brine

 

Home curing olives

Blacks in salt cure

 

 

Home curing olives

 

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Do You Have Creative Ideas for Penna Olives?

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Penna Olives I’m among a lucky group of folks asked by Penna Olives to play with some products and come up with some new ideas and recipes.   One of the premier olive growers and processors in Northern California, Penna sells all types of cured and stuffed olives, along with other related products.   Direct to customers as well as wholesale.  They sell ripe olives, right off the tree, for people who want to try curing and flavoring olives at home.   It’s easy and fun, I do about 20 pounds each year and they are popular holiday gifts, and the rest keep me for an entire year.  There are lots of tips on curing on the Penna site, and I’ve documented my experiences in the past.

The various sizes of green olives are the first to be harvested each year, in September, and they go fast, so you have to start checking the fresh olive page on the Penna website in late August to be sure you don’t miss out.

In the first pack that Penna sent out to play with are four products, Dirty Martini Mix, Olivesecca (dried, pitted olives), Sicilian Spiced Pitted, and Spicy Green Beans.  I have some ideas for each of these, and Mrs. Burgerdogboy loves the Martini mix in her adult beverages of the ‘dirty’ variety – she has to hide it from me or I’d just chug it.

How about you? Have some ideas for us to try out?  Let us know, and follow the results here and on Penna’s Facebook page!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penna Olives

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Last Step in Fresh Olives Home Cure

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I put up the last few jars of fresh green olives today.  These have been in a brine “rinse” for 30+ days, washed, and canned in mason jars.  I make a simple “final” brine for the canning of 4 c water, 1/4 c kosher salt, 1/4 c vinegar.  Olives are packed in the jars with the (cooked) brine, a splash of olive oil goes on the top of the jar before processing.

I make various “flavors” as well as plain.  The favorite at our house is “Italian-style”, which means – in the jar goes a sliced clove of garlic, some oregano, parsley, and basil.

I’ve made “Mexican”, and “Indian Curry” ones as well.

This year I also made some salt-cured olives, which involves placing some cheesecloth in a box, putting the olives on the cheesecloth, and sprinkling kosher salt over the fruit every couple days.  Liquids get absorbed and drained by the salt, and after about 2 weeks, they are ready to rinse and eat.   (This process begins AFTER the initial rinse process described earlier, of course).

Although flavors are absorbed quickly, I prefer to let the olives age for about a month before eating. They last about a year.  (Well, considerably less at our house, we love them!).

I’m not an expert, I’ve had success in the manner I’ve described above, although there are those that say you must process in a pressure cooker, I’ve always just used the boiling water method.

There are a lot of recipes and methods described on line, and on Penna’s website .  The fresh green crop is gone for this year, but there is still time to order black olives to cure.

Get email updates from Penna for next year’s crop!

Penna Fresh Olives



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Home Cured Olives, Day 28

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Curing fresh olives at homeI have a slightly different method of home curing olives with water and/or brine.  Many recipes suggest a ten day period of leeching the bitterness out of the olives, changing fresh water daily before seasoning your olives for further curing and storage.

I use a brine method that generally takes a month, changing the water weekly.  I have found this works best for me, and preps the olives for further seasoning and actually hot water bath canning in mason jars.  You can store the olives longer, and of course, we label them for gifts to give to friends and family for the holidays.

Some methods suggest you MUST use a pressure cooker for canning to avoid the growth of bacteria.  I can’t say whether that’s true or not.

I am nearly at the one month benchmark for the first batch that Penna sent me, and yesterday, I received a second order of ten pounds of mammoth Sevillano olives.  “Mammoth” in the US run to the smaller range, if you want very large, opt for the “Colossal” – see the size comparisons here. Sevillano are large, meaty, and ideal for curing in a “Sicilian” style, which is my personal preference.

Manzanilla olives, which are sometimes called “Spanish” are the type of fruit you often use for garnish and sandwiches.  Fresh Manzanillas are now available to order from Penna.

So I put my second order in the “drink” yesterday; I thoroughly rinsed the olives,  and then hand-sliced each and every one of the thousand olives that arrived.  This hand-slicing (or cracking with a rubber mallet) is necessary to allow the bitterness of the olives to come out during the washing process.  Slicing as opposed to the hammer method makes a neater appearance, preferred by some.

Every week I will change the brine (1/4 C kosher salt per gallon of water), washing the olives at each change and using a clean jar.

At the end of the month (or when the bitterness of the fruit is gone to my personal satisfaction), I will begin the process of flavoring and canning.

In the photo, on the right hand side, you can see part of the first batch, and how they have darkened in the wash over time.



(Ed note: This sponsorship is brought to you by Penna Gourmet Foods who we have partnered with for this promotion.)

 

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Home Cured Olives, Day 12

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Well, I have been dutifully changing the water on my olives.  The plain water was gets changed daily, the brine, weekly.  The olives are starting to acquire the “woodsy” smell that I favor so much in fresh olives, but they are still a little bitter!   More time in the drink and they will be ready for seasoning and canning!

Penna, Supplier of Fresh and Cured Olives

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Home Cured Olives, continued….

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I’m not sure when my fascination with olives started, though it was certainly rooted in childhood – growing up, if olives were on the table, it meant it was a holiday – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.    Those were the only dates we’d see olives at our house.

If a holiday fete was hosted at a relatives?  No problem, olives were there too.  I had one aunt who talked about finding pits behind the couch for months after our visit.

Later in life, as I lived and traveled the world, I came to appreciate olives as a quick snack food, whether at a farmer’s market in Switzerland, or in a quick take-out bag in Turkey.  These days, olives are everywhere, in our culture, cuisine, stores.

Once the bitterness is leeched out of the fruit, they take easily to flavoring, whether you are curing at home, or purchase one or more of the endless varieties from a grower/processor like Penna of Orland, CA.  Maybe you like them with pimento, or stuffed with garlic?  Nuts or blue cheese?   Italian style or a hint of citrus?  Olive purveyors these days can please any taste buds.

I’m in the “boring stage” of the home cure – the bitterness leeching process which can take from 10-40 days, depending on your own taste buds.   This is the process where each day we dump the water the olives are sitting in, and replace it with fresh water.   This is for the plain water cure.  With a brine method, I change the water weekly.

After a suitable amount of time (tasting one weekly will tell you when it’s time), then the flavoring and canning can start.   You can hot pack them like any canned vegetable, or cold pack them and simply keep them in the frig.  I usually make a variety of flavors, ranging from “Italian Herb” to “Mexican”, and I have even made curry olives.

Curing olives at home is fun, easy, and the initial stage (cracking the olives with a mallet) can be a great activity to share with your children, as well!



(Ed. note – This sponsorship is brought to you by Penna Gourmet Foods who we have partnered with for this promotion.).

 

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Curing Olives at Home – Day 1

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Olives arrived from the nice folks at Penna.   Wonder as many times as  I have stopped in the adjacent city to them, to purchase “finished” olives, I haven’t stopped in to see the Pennas?  I’ll have to correct that next trip down I-5!

Years ago, living in Los Angeles, I had an olive tree in the back yard, and all it meant to me at the time (even tho I have loved olives since I was a sprout), was one big mess in the yard every fall.  I never even thought of trying to cure them at home until a couple years ago, had a notion, ordered 10 lbs from Penna, and away we went.  Problem?  10 lbs wasn’t nearly enough, people would have them  at our dinner parties and demand to take them home – so we gave a lot away.

I think probably 20-30 lbs is the right amount for an olive loving household.

Olives off the tree are inedible.  Very bitter.  Rumor has it, one day a fair maiden was walking along the sea, and noticed that a bunch of olives had fallen into a tide pool.  Desperately hungry, she nibbled a few – and they were delicious!

And thus (so the story goes) olive curing began.  Today, large commercial operations cure olive with a lye solution, in order to speed up the process of leaching out the bitterness, but at home, I used the old-timey way, with either a fresh water bath for a couple of weeks, or a brine solution for a month or more.

One cracks the flesh of the fruit with a hammer or knife, to expedite the bitterness exiting during the bath/brine process.

Then into the drink they go.  Penna has some curing methods online you might try.

I’ll keep you posted here, on how my process goes.  I know this – with only 2 1/2 pounds in the drink, they won’t last long at our house!

Here’s a short video of the start of the process, and some fotos follow below.

 

Curing Olives at Home

 

Cracking the flesh of the fresh olives



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Time to Home Cure Olives!

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The nice folks at Penna have sent a box of fresh (raw) olives, so I can write about how easy it is to cure them at home.   It is!  I’ve done this before, and you can, too!   You’ll be delighted with the results.

They sell out fast, so if you want to try curing some olives at home, order from Penna!  They will be available in a few short days, here!

Not into curing your own?  Penna has a wide variety of flavored and stuffed olives available, something to please everyone.  Order here.

Penna Olives @Great_Olives

 

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