Olive-It! with Omar Allibhoy:
I was lucky enough to be invited to Olive It this month, with top Spanish chef, and all round top man, Omar Allibhoy.
Olive It is an EU funded project which aims at promoting and celebrating olives; their versatility and how easy it is to incorporate olives into everyday meals. The cooking event was hosted at Food at 52 in Islington, which is a perfect venue, in its own right.
Omar kicked off the event showing us how to make marinades for plain olives out of tins. One marinade was with ginger, garlic and kaffir lime leaf, the other garlic, bay and dried herbs. Both were added to the olives, stirred and the olives were ready to eat. Obviously the longer you leave them to marinade, the stronger the flavour, but even after just a few minutes they had taken on sufficient flavour to make them a tasty treat.
Next, Omar proceeded to demonstrate candied pitted olives and cherries in a goats cheese cream. You don’t normally associate olives with desserts but they were remarkably good. The cream and the goats cheese melding to make a rather savoury, not too cheesy, creamy custard. Omar walked through the process of making this unique dessert, and we split into 4 teams of 4 and then made our versions of the dessert.
Once our desserts were made and carefully put in the fridge to set we were off to our main course: Queen olive-stuffed meatballs with tomato and olive sauce. This dish was an eye opener for me; I’m almost an expert in making meatballs, but I loved the method of stuffing the olives inside the meatballs alongside adding the meatballs to the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this, whilst I nibbled on some our beautifully marinated olives.
The food we cooked, all contain olives and everything was delicious. I can’t wait to try out more olive based recipes like this at home. There are so many recipes to try and chose why not have a look at the associated Olive IT Cookbook – “Olive – IT”
Website : http://oliveit.eu/