Thursday, March 24, 2011

spring olives

flowers are one of the few simple pleasures that i can't live without. any fella's out there who don't buy their ladies flowers, should really start. with their vibrant colors and scents, it's no wonder that flowers can be so uplifting, mood-altering, and the key to instant happiness.
flowers in grand marais aren't always at our fingertips. we can grow our own, during the un-snow season, and we can buy them at the local flower shop. i have taken to finding flower replacements. today, it is olives. I just received some castelvetrano olives. they are produced and packed in sicily, and they are at the top of my favorites list. talk about vibrant, these neon green olives resemble the first sprouts that peak out of the soil during the growing season. they almost appear unnatural with their bright color, but they are all natural. their flavor is buttery, a bit citrus-y, and there is a slight tang at the finish. for those of you who swoon over olives, i think they resemble lucque olives.
come and get yer own package of pick-me-up olives today!! i'm already visioning a beautiful bowl of olives on my dinning room table. i'm also visioning an olive tapenade. here's a recipe that would make beautiful green olive tapenade that would be absolutely fantastic slathered on....well, on most things.

2 1/2 cups castelvetrano olives, pitted
1 Tbl minced garlic cloves
2 Tbl capers
1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor. with the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. i like to do all of this fairly quickly, as to make a more rustic and chunkier version of this, but you can make the texture to your liking- as smooth or chunky as you want. i also think a few turns of fresh cracked pepper would be great, or a small pinch of chili flakes. you could also add some fresh citrus zest. i would go for meyer lemon or maybe white grapefruit. play around with your new key to happiness, and tell the fella's that a nice bowl of olives will do....