Disclosure: As an Eat Write Retreat registrant, I received samples of California Ripe Olives and a variety of OXO tools. With creating and posting this recipe, I am eligible to win prizes via the Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge. All thoughts and opinons are my own.
My mother will tell you that I’ve been in pursuit of olives almost since the day I was born.

Every time she went to make a salad, I’d be right there next to her, begging her to let me stick my fingers into their holes so that I could terrorize my brother with my olive hands for a bit and then eat them, one by one, finger by finger.  I just loved how salty and juicy they were and if it were up to me, I probably would have stuck them on my toes as well because TWENTY OLIVES?! As good as gold.

And when she said no, which was more often than not, I’d just pilfer them from the salad once it had been tossed. No one would miss a few dozen, after all.


I would like to say that this is a phase I’ve grown out of now that I’m older, wiser, and have some sort of self control.

But the truth is that now that I’m older and wiser, all it means is that I can buy my own can of olives, stick them on my fingers in the privacy of my own home, and eat the whole can in one sitting without my mother having even a single ounce of say in the matter.

Obviously not much has changed.


Anyways, now that you understand the extend of my olive devotion, you can imagine how excited I was when I was sent TWO cans of California Ripe Olives (along with some fun OXO kitchen tools!) to use in the Eat.Write.Retreat Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge!  For this contest, each of the Eat.Write.Retreat attendees who registered before a certain date were sent a surprise ingredient to incorporate into an original appetizer recipe.

I was kind of at a loss for what to make that would do justice to my beloved olives, especially after I found out that the recipe used today for curing ripe olives has been around since the late 1800s!! That’s a long tradition to mess with by serving them any way other than straight up (or, you know. As finger decorations as per my personal tradition.)


Then, I came across a post by a fellow blogger about black olive gougeres and I was instantly sold.  While mine are a bit different than hers, both in shape and in ingredients used, the idea is the same. Bites of cheesy buttery choux pastry fluff that you won’t be able to stop popping in your mouth, either plain or dipped into the smoky red lentil dip that I paired them with, which has a hint of sweetness from a roasted sweet potato that is blended into it, making for the perfect bite.

I have a feeling that these would be perfect for any parties you may or may be not be hosting this weekend to celebrate a certain maternal figure in your life. But I can tell you from experience that they’re also great for lunch. Or a midmorning snack. Or a midafternoon snack. Or any time when an olive craving strikes.  Which, for some of us, may or may not be constantly.


One year ago…Rhubarb Streusel Tart, Butternut, Carrot and Goat Cheese Tartlets
Two years ago…Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper and Ramp Burritos, Goat Cheese, Strawberry and Basil Salad, Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Three years ago…Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Rabe, Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Muffins
Four years ago…Crunchy Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Beef and Gorgonzola Burgers, Chickpea Pumpkin Burgers

Black Olive Gougeres
Makes about 18 gougeres, adapted from Around My French Table


  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (6 oz) California Ripe olives, chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Stir in the flour all at once and then lower the heat to medium-low. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together but keep stirring for another minute or two to dry the dough, which should be very smooth.
  3. Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running, add in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the cheese and olives.
  4. Using about 1 tbsp of dough for each gougeres, drop the dough onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each mound of dough.
  5. Put the baking sheet in the oven and turn it down to 375. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 12-15 minutes.

Smoky Red Lentil Dip
Serves 4-8, adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely diced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 sweet potato, baked
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and a pinch of salt, and saute for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the lentils, paprika, cumin, and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Peel the baked sweet potato and add it to the pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is smooth but still has some texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half of cilantro and the Meyer lemon juice.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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77 Responses to Black Olive Gougeres and Smoky Red Lentil Dip

  1. I have learned that only good olives are worth eating… otherwise it is just salt… but that dip has been on my hit list, too. Looks delicious and filled with all good things. 🙂

  2. That smoky red lentil dip sounds amazing! Love what you did with those olives!

  3. As an olive obsessed man, I can undertand why you were so into them. Eric is weird about certain things with olives (doesn’t like them cooked… boo hiss!) so I sometimes have to be sneaky with how I use them. These gougeres are just lovely. Can’t wait to try them out (and maybe Eric will be ok with them).

  4. So often you make dishes that I’ve never heard of – your blog is so educational, I love it! Never head of gougeres but now I want to try these ones! 🙂

  5. I love making gougeres! We made them for a dinner party last weekend and they FLEW. I can only imagine how amazing the addition of olives must be. And a smokey red lentil dip?! Forget about it!

  6. Those Black Olive Gougeres look like half baked choc chip cookies. You can fool your friends and have a good laugh.

  7. Foodycat says:

    What a lovely idea! I’ve made olive biscuits (i.e cookies) before that were a bit sweet and a bit salty and just delicious. It’s a Susan Loomis recipe

  8. What a fantastic combination. I love red lentils and gougere of any kind, so you have sold me on this, Joanne.Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  9. Haha, I used to do the same thing with olives when I was a kid. Olive fingers were totally a thing 🙂 Gougeres are one of my faves, I need to make them soon!

  10. bellini says:

    You will love Eat, Write, Retreat. I won a trip few years ago and it has been hands down the best conference I have ever attended. I have had aversion to olives but once i tried the Lindsay Olives at the conference I was hooked.

  11. I’m obsessed with olives too. I can’t stop myself from buying any kind of bread with olives in it, so making my own sounds pretty heavenly. Also, that dip? Red lentils + sweet potato +s smokey goodness? Heaven. Right there.

  12. Lynn says:

    I still love ripe olives – and like you, always did. I kind of hate they count as a fat. (At least Jenny Craig considers them one.)

  13. I love evrything about these recipes – saving this one!

  14. Such an easy, elegant recipe for entertaining! Love that look of that delicious dip!

  15. Gosh I haven’t had Gougeres in ages and what a brilliant idea with the red lentil dip. we get those pulses her a lots and they are my favorites, so can’t wait to test your recipe.

  16. Ashley Bee says:

    EEE! I LOVE OLIVES TOO! Do you watch How I Met Your Mother? There’s a theory by the character Lily that if one person likes olives in a relationship and the other does not, then they’re a match made in heaven. So, does your fella like olives?

  17. london bakes says:

    My 7 year old cousin is obsessed with olives and always has been. If you put a bowl in front of her, they disappear within minutes. These? I’m pretty sure she’d love these.

  18. haha, i always had them on my fingers, too 🙂 never toes!

  19. Pam says:

    I always ate olives off of my fingers and now my kids do it too. The gougeres look absolutely amazing and so does the lentil dip.

  20. Jessie says:

    Oh my gosh, you did olive fingers, too?? Looking at the comments, it seems like this was a common childhood trick. I was always fishing black olives out of the can when no one was looking. Now, I can put olives on anything! That’s why these gougeres look crazy good, especially with this protein-packed dip 😉

    Off to put olives on my toes …

  21. These gougeres are amazing. We love black olives!

  22. Have I ever told you how creative your recipes are? Even though I don’t like olives, last time I was in San Fran, I was eating a bread that I thought was blueberry and was housing it. Come to find out it was olive and miraculously it tasted a little different. I kept eating it but I was annoyed haha.

  23. Karen says:

    I know so many people who don’t like black olives… can’t imagine why! Mmm, the red lentil dip sounds wonderful.

  24. Friend!! Olives are my world. I don’t know how we didn’t get to talking about this before, but now it’s known. Another thing we can obsess over together! Love, love, love, that dip too! This whole meal is calling my name!

  25. Ashley says:

    Haha… I used to eat all of the pimentos out of the green olives and put the green part back in the jar. My mom LOVED me for that one 😉

  26. cindspectus says:

    It took me way too long to try (and love) olives, I really missed out. These look amazing, will have to try!

  27. Amy says:

    The only time my mom ever served WHOLE olives was when my grandparents would come up for holidays – go figure), but my sister and cousins and I would all make finger puppets with them. Didn’t everyone do this as a kid? I think it’s the law.

  28. Dixya says:

    i have a weakness for olives too. What is not to love about this salty divine thing..I love this gougeres, could bite into it now..

  29. Hey Joanne you always amaze me – your recipes are always interesting and different. Love them! 🙂

  30. I could definitely dig into these! I am a huge fan of olives and have been known to eat half a jar myself 😀

  31. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I love olives too. They do give everything a lift.
    This dish looks delish and healthy.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  32. Sippity Sup says:

    I think you did the “belvoed” olives justice. Sorry for the typo I have olives on my fingers. GREG

  33. Eileen says:

    Ha! I have friends whose kid (age four) has also been ALL about olives from the earliest possible time–he begs for them in the grocery store & the whole nine yards. He’d eat an entire batch of these gougeres! I would totally make a meal of these with the lentil dip, too. 🙂

  34. Debbie says:

    When my cousin and I were kids we would do the exact same thing with the olives…put one on each finger and enjoy eating them off our fingers….so good! Your recipe sounds delicious too….love that red lentil dip!

  35. Ummm, these just shot right to the top of my to-make list!

  36. I didn’t start liking olives until I was an adult, but now I love them in everything! Putting them in gougeres is genius!

  37. We’re really inspired by lentils lately as well. We just made a lentil & chickpea salad for our blog ( Yum!

  38. OohLookBel says:

    What a fabulous combination of flavours. The olive gougeres sound really tasty. And olive fingers? Gross!

  39. almond milk?
    and they taste ok?
    yeah I skeptic but open-minded since I know you are a true foodie!

  40. Beth says:

    Olive hands? Oh my gosh, Joanne, you are so funny. Thanks for making my day.

  41. I just made a dish with olives for dinner tonight! I used kalamata although I’m partial to black olives like you 😉 These gougeres sound so so good. Hope your co-habitating is going well! 🙂

  42. G’day! LOVE the combination of flavors and your photo too!
    LOVE olives of any kind and might have to put this on my list to do! 🙂
    What’s On The List

  43. These look amazingly delicious – can’t wait to try them! I was assigned olives as well for the Amazing Apps challenge and was thrilled about it 🙂 Look forward to meeting you at EWR!

  44. very creative recipe like it

  45. Juliana says:

    I love the black olive gougeres…look delicious! And yes, nice with the lentil soup…perfect meal Joanne 🙂
    Hope you are having a lovely week!

  46. That’s too funny about the olive fingers and that you even liked olives as a kid! I hated them until just a couple years ago and now I love adding them to everything. These gougeres look great!

  47. Kari says:

    I hope you won’t hate me if I confess I didn’t like olives until my adult years, and am still a little wary of them. However, I do now appreciate their flavour and am pretty sure I’d love them cooked in to biscuits like these!

  48. That Girl says:

    I just threw a bunch of olives in tomorrow night’s dinner!

  49. I remember doing that with donuts, as my Mom didn’t cook with olives. So the only food I can stick my fingers in when I was little was donuts. Hee hee… The gougeres and the lentil dip looks absolutely delicious! 🙂

  50. Johanna GGG says:

    I go hot and cold on olives but when I have some good ones with a platter of food I wonder why I don’t eat them so often. I did taste my first uncured olive this week because we walked past a tree by the road that had lots of olives – goodness it was bitter. Your gougeres sound lovely.

  51. This is such an interesting recipe, never made anything quite like it. I love lentils too.

  52. Pam says:

    I’m with you on the olives. Love, love, love them.

  53. Sara says:

    Such a cool recipe! I love gougeres, and adding in olives is genius!

  54. Honey says:

    Joanne, first thanks for stopping by. I love your blog. This is such a unique recipe, and love the story too. Very few “kids” love olives, I love them too. NEver seen Olive Cookies. Very cool.

  55. marie says:

    Yup,we were the same way, my mom eventually wised up and had to double up on her olives because she knew we were going to eat them. Same with avocados. We’d go to eat the salad at dinner and it would have no avocados. Oops.

  56. When I was younger, my friends and I used to go to Olive Garden all of the time. We fought over the olives in the salad. We used to ask for “extra, extra, EXTRA” (emphasis on extra) olives in our salad. We totally would have been happy with just olives in that big ol’ salad bowl.

    Also, I am totally happy imagining these in my mouth. Now.

  57. I love olives…the gougeres look so yum. Perfect to serve with red lentil dip.

  58. Hahah…My brother used to chase me around the house with olive fingers, it was so annoying! This appetizer looks delightful and so creative.

  59. I never met an olive I didn’t like. I even put olives in my omelettes. Sadly, I never even thought about olive fingers when I was younger. I missed out!

    These olive gougeres sound wonderful! What a unique twist on something I already love.

  60. Ahh olives! I love! And yes to the lentil dip, please. I’ve been putting smoked paprika in almost everything for the past 3 weeks, and lentil dip sounds like another great way to use it. Thanks for the fantastic idea!

  61. Natalie says:

    I did NOT grow up loving olives (or lentils, for that matter), but can’t get enough now!! Love the sound of these gougeres!

  62. i’m so intrigued by that smoky lentil dip – sounds fabulous, especially with those gougeres!

  63. Reeni Pisano says:

    That describes me exactly except I don’t have a brother! What an inventive way to cook up olives! I’m in complete LOVE.

  64. Gloria Baker says:

    Look delicious and I love the lentils color!!

  65. Blond Duck says:

    My MIL gets grossed out when I eat lentils straight from the jar!

  66. Monet says:

    I wish I could do olives…but I just can’t stand them. Ryan, however, LOVES olives. And we both love lentils. So I think we’ll be trying this soon 🙂

  67. P says:

    These seriously look like lightly baked chocolate chip cookies! Haha, I guess in a way they’re sort of like a savory cookies. They look so delicious paired with that soup!

  68. Count me as another foodie who ate black olives off the tips of my little fingers. Looks like a great original recipe. Good job!

  69. Lora says:

    I was an olive pilferer too as a child. Still am when I can get away with it. Love both these recipes.!

  70. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This red lentil dip looks amazing! I can’t wait to make some of my own 🙂

  71. These loom great! I am totally with you on the whole olives on the fingers thing – a ritual going 30+ years (and I foresee happening till I’m 90, lol!) Good luck in the challenge and I look forward to meeting you at EWR!

  72. This looks wonderful, I love your combination! Looking forward to meeting you at EWR!

  73. What a great idea to sneak some olives into these gougeres. They look perfectly light and fluffy!

  74. The gougeres look good, but I’m too distracted by that smoky red lentil dip. Yum! Look forward to seeing you in Philly!

  75. Laura says:

    Love gougeres and love the dip! Hope you had fun at EWR!

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