Paula Wolfert's Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon

By • October 27, 2011 9 Comments

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Author Notes: A genius recipe that brings new life to the herbs and greens that linger in the crisper, adapted slightly from The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen (Wiley, 2003) by Paula Wolfert.Genius Recipes

Serves 6; makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 4 large cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 pound baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems discarded
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 oil-cured black olives, pitted, rinsed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Spanish sweet smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Put the garlic cloves in a large steamer basket set over a pan of simmering water and top with the spinach, parsley, celery, and cilantro. Cover and steam until the garlic is soft and the greens are very tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the greens dry, finely chop, and set aside. Using the back of a fork, mash the garlic cloves.
  2. In a medium cazuela set over a flame-tamer or in a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the mashed garlic, olives, paprika, cayenne, and cumin and stir over moderately high heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the greens and cook, mashing and stirring, until soft and dry and somewhat smooth, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Mash in the remaining olive oil. Refrigerate, closely covered, for at least 1 day and up to 4 days.
  4. To serve, return to room temperature. Stir in the lemon juice and, if it seems too thick, thin to a spreadable consistency with water or olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pack in a serving dish and serve with crackers or semolina bread.

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