Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things You Can Do With Kalamatas

The other day I was surprised to note that I was going through my kalamata olives at a rather rapid clip. They were turning up more often in recipes that appealed to me, and once you buy a bottle you are caught in a vicious cycle of using it up and then buying more because you are always a few olives short of the next recipe.

Of course, I would never say you were a few olives short of the next recipe.

It turns out that kalamata olives have many uses. Uses you would never suspect of a kalamata, much less a generic black olive. I'm not talking about an appearance on a pizza or a salad. Kalamatas frolic in those playgrounds every day. I'm talking about roasted potatoes. I'm talking about orange zest. I'm talking about hot dogs. I'm talking about buttermilk bread.

You have no idea what I'm talking about because if you've had a kalamata, it was probably in a Greek salad with some feta, a cucumber, and a hefty dose of red onions. That is a perfectly good place to eat a kalamata. But once you're comfortable there, and you agree that the savory little fellow could get out a little more, here's four things you can do with kalamatas that you never knew you could do.

1. Dirty potatoes

Potatoes are dirty when they come out of the ground, and it's only fitting to serve them up dirty once in a while. Make some olive tapenade (blend up kalamatas, olive oil, and lemon juice or buy a bottled version like Trader Joe's) and toss it with roasted potato wedges.

2. Spaghetti with Orange Zest, Basil and Kalamatas

This is an easy weeknight pasta. Saute some chopped garlic in enough olive oil to coat your spaghetti. When the garlic is browned, add chopped kalamata olives and orange zest from 1 orange. Toss the oil mixture with the cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

3. Muffeletta Hot Dogs

From last month's Bon Appetit, an intriguing recipe for hot dogs turns them into a version of a classic New Orleans sandwich, the muffeletta. Make some more olive tapenade but keep it roughly chopped. Top the hot dog with the tapenade and sliced pepperoncini, and/or roasted red peppers.

4 Kalamata Olive Bread (Cooking Light)

The buttermilk in this bread makes it taste buttery throughout, it smells fantastic from the oregano and of course you get to have more kalamata olives. What could be better for a savory bread?
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Set aside.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, and egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in onion, olives, and oregano.

4. Spread batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! Thanks! I'll try the pasta dish this week!