Healthy fats are an important part of a good food plan and olives play a big role in mine. In addition to using olive oil in cooking I like to snack on them including Olives from Spain. The fiber and fat makes them very filling.
Did you know?…
- Spain is the world leader in production and export of table olives – supplying more than 155 million lbs. into the U.S
- Olives are naturally sugar-free and contain monounsaturated fats, which can improve cholesterol levels and reduce heart attack/stroke risk
- 95% of stuffed pimiento olives consumed by Americans come from Spain
- During harvest in September and October, olives are picked one by one to avoid damaging the fruit.
- Spain’s sunny weather, temperate winters and rich, fertile soil are idyllic for growing the perfect olive
I had the opportunity to interview Chef Annie Sibonney recently and learned ways to incorporate olives into recipes and why they’re good for you. Chef Sibonney is a Cooking Network star and Spanish cuisine expert on all things entertaining and olives.
Below is the recipe for one of the dishes in the video.
GORDAL OLIVES STUFFED WITH PIQUILLO PEPPERS AND MARCONA ALMONDS WITH BLUE CHEESE
Gordal is a large green olive from Spain that has a beautiful rich flavor and is perfect for stuffing because of it’s size. Stuffed olives are so simple to prepare, yet impressive and can make any weeknight or get together with family and friends extra special.
- 24 Gordal Olives from Spain
- 3 Spanish Piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and cut lengthwise into about 8 thin strips
- 24 salted roasted whole Marcona almonds
- 3 tablespoons quality extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (vinagre de Jerez)
- 1/4 teaspoon of honey
- 1 whole sprig thyme, left intact
- 1/4- 1/2 loosely packed cup of crumbled Spanish blue cheese like Cabrales, or your favorite blue cheese.
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, Sherry vinegar, thyme, and honey. Give it a stir and gently press onthe thyme sprig with the back of the spoon to release the oils. Set aside until ready to use.
If olives are not pitted, remove pits by using the side of a large knife and apply gentle pressure, to loosen the flesh from the pit. Make a length-wise slit and very gently remove the pit. The olives should remain intact. Place the olives on a flat surface like a wooden cutting board with the length-wise slit facing up.
Stuff 1 whole almond, followed by a Piquillo pepper strip which should lay flush with the slit that was made on each olive. Trim the edges of the Piquillo pepper so they match the length of each olive.
Place the stuffed olives on a plate and gently spoon the marinade over each olive. Let the olives stand in their marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Serve by placing the olives on a platter and top with crumbled pieces of Cabrales or your favorite blue cheese.