Marinades for Christmas with Olives from Spain:
A fabulous hamper of goodies arrived from the lovely people at Olives from Spain the other day. Now, you may remember, I’ve already tried a few of their recipes for marinaded olives and to be honest I would happily have carried on working my way through the selection created for them by Omar Alhiboy. But, the challenge was to create my own marinades. And the hamper had all sorts of intriguing ingredients – from cloves and star anise to a bottle of Cava (I don’t think they REALLY believed I’d put that in the marinade…)
Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed making Omar’s recipes and I am always up for a challenge. So, first my very Christmassy Chocolate Orange Olives, made with Mexican smoked chilli, 100% cocoa and a little orange zest. I HAVE tried black olive truffles – made by Omar and also at Simon Fernandez’s supper club Ferdie’s Food Lab. And they worked, so why shouldn’t these? I have to admit, I was just a little nervous about adding in the chocolate and I divided the olive mix in half to see if it really worked.
A bit like Mexican Mole, this marinade is smokey, deep and robust. I’d eat the olives with cheese after a meal rather than as an apperitif.
For my second recipe I thought it might be a good idea to chose something a little lighter. I love the combination of sage and lemon and so a sage and lemon marinade seemed like a perfect idea. But, when I’d finished, the result was just a little sharp. I have some wonderful fennel pollen that was sent to me by Global Harvest to experiment with and I added just a pinch…a lovely sweet, aniseed taste that perfectly complimented the existing marinade and finished the dish.
I’ve loved this particular challenge. It’s probably because there isn’t any real cooking, but the end result is interesting, unique and something I think I could and would do again. Of my two recipes, I really do like the black olives with chocolate and orange. I was suprised it worked and I am not sure, if I served them to other people, that I’d ever admit the ingredients until they had been tasted because it just sounds a little implausible.
Many thanks to Olives from Spain for inviting me to take part and for sending me a great selection of ingredients to use.