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
- Heat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.