Olive Paste

We serve this delicious spread with crusty french bread, as an appetizer, and it goes quickly — especially if Gina is around! We always grind it by hand with the pestle instead of using the food processor method, since working hard for your food makes you appreciate it more. =) — Abbi

Olive Paste

Pounding or grinding pitted meaty black brine-cured olives reduces them to a thick paste, an olive pesto really. At once sweet, salty, and piquant, it goes a long way. It is indispensable for quickly transforming simple ingredients: Spread it on slabs of grilled polenta, on crusty bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, fennel, or sweet peppers. Add it to boiled, baked, or even mashed potatoes. Stir into risotto, bowls of boiled grains, beans, or pasta, mayonnaise, or aioli. It will keep for at least 6 weeks.

  • 1 1/4 cups pitted meaty ripe black olives, such as Kalamata
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh minced basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make the paste in a food processor, combine all ingredients except olive oil in the work bowl and process for several minutes, scraping the sides down frequently, With the mortar running, drizzle in olive oil. Alternately, for a slightly coarser texture, pound the olives to a paste with a pestle. Add the remaining ingredients and continue pounding and mashing to a coarse paste. Pack the olive paste into jars and refrigerate. (Makes 1 cup.)

From: A New Way to Cook

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