Olives (Recipe: Moroccan cucumber salad with herbs and olives)
They say you can't change a man.
Call me crazy, but I'm going to try.
My friend Bob doesn't like olives, and I hope to change his mind.
Bob and his wife are part of the group of friends who taste-test the recipes I share with you. (You didn't know I have tasters?) Whenever I make something with olives, I watch him very quietly move them all to the edge of his plate. I don't take it as a rejection of my cooking, but It breaks my heart because I know that olives make everything taste better.
What would you tell Bob to convince him to give olives another chance? That they symbolize peace? That they're full of heart healthiness? That they are, in more ways than one, the food of the gods?
That you can taste the cuisines of all of the countries that border the Mediterranean with every bite of an olive?
Please tell me why you love olives, or share your favorite dish with olives. Help me change this man into an olive lover.
What are olives?
Fruits of the Olea europaea tree.
How/where to store:
Submerged in their brine, at room temperature in a covered container, but I usually store them in the refrigerator, for 2-3 months.
More facts about olives, and ingredient photos, on The Perfect Pantry:
Olives (Recipe: chicken with preserved lemon tagine)
Moroccan cucumber salad with herbs and olives
Adapted from Paula Wolfert’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Seedless cucumbers are a must. If you're Bob, you can omit the olives; everyone else, please include them! I buy Kalamata olives that already have the pits removed, from the salad bar at my local supermarket. Serves 6-8 as part of a tagine menu.
2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt + extra
1/4 tsp za’atar (sumac), or marjoram, thyme or oregano, or a mixture of two or three
Handful of cured black olives, pits removed, rinsed and cut in half
Lightly salt the cucumbers and let them sit in a colander set over a bowl, for 15-20 minutes. Rinse and dry, and place in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients except olives. Mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Add olives just before serving.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Spaghetti with basil pesto, tomatoes and olives
Fattoush (salad of pita bread, tomato and cucumber)
Broccoli, basil and pasta salad
Empanadas filled with chicken picadillo
Other recipes that use olives:
Olive crostini, from Simply Recipes
Arugula salad with hearts of palm, kalamata olives, and gorgonzola, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Caramelized chicken with green olives and prunes, from Chocolate & Zucchini
Healthy Swiss chard tuna salad with scallions and kalamata olives, from Farmgirl Fare
Quinoa salad with yellow tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil and mint, from Gluten-Free Goddess