Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Roasted Olives

Sometimes I feel so out of the culinary mainstream I could cry. On our recent trip to the east coast I had my first taste ever of roasted kalamata olives. Damn they were good. Thinking I'd made a new discovery, I made myself a note to Google them when I returned home. In doing so I found that chefs have been roasting olives for quite some time. Michael Chiarello prepares Lucca-style roasted olives in a recipe from 2 years ago. Food and Wine Mag has one that goes back to 2003. There's a low carb recipe with feta cheese that dates to 2004. And here's another from What's Cooking America dot Com. Where have I been, under a rock?

When we arrived home from our trip, I didn't do the Googling right away. Instead, Ms. Smarty-pants put some kalamata and nicoise olives on a baking sheet and placed them in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until they seemed to be the "right" consistency. Which was fairly dry and crinkled, like one of those dogs that have impossibly wrinkled faces. Despite their appearance, they were quite delicious - dry with very concentrated salt - and were eagerly consumed at our last beach night. Now that I've got that out of my system, I'll give those other recipes a try. Anyone heard of roasting olives so dry that you can grind them to a powder? If you have, I'd like to know.