Olive all'Ascolana

By • February 12, 2010 • 70 Comments



Author Notes: I am an olive fiend, and for me, this dish is the ultimate snack food. Olives, stuffed with a savory goat cheese, breaded and fried until crisp, and topped with a shaving of sharp cheese, lemon zest, and a spritz of lemon. I do hope you like them! - arielleclementinearielleclementine

Food52 Review: This high-low snack can work just as easily for a movie snack as it can for a dinner party hors d'oeuvres. These crunchy little flavor bombs come out of the hot oil looking like hedgehogs with a shaggy brown coating of panko. Inside is a layer of tangy olive and then rosemary-and-dried chile scented goat cheese. They hold up well, so you can fry them up to an hour in advance; just keep them warm in a low oven. And chill some prosecco. - A&MA&M

Serves 2 dozen

  • 24 large green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or panko)
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, or similar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • parmigiano reggiano, for sprinkling
  • zest and juice from one lemon, for sprinkling
  1. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese, mustard seed, rosemary, chile flakes, and garlic. Stuff the olives with the cheese mixture (I like to use my fingers, but you could also use a piping bag if you're really classy). Put the stuffed olives on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes, to let the cheese firm up.
  2. While the olives are chilling, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan to 375 degrees.
  3. Set up three plates for your breading station. Put the flour on one plate, the beaten egg on the next, and mix the bread crumbs and cheese on the last plate.
  4. When the olives have chilled, roll half of them in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs and carefully drop them into the heated oil. Fry until golden brown, about one minute per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and repeat with the remaining olives.
  5. Pile on a plate and finish with a shower of freshly grated cheese and lemon zest and a spritz of lemon.
Jump to Comments (70)

Tags: cheesy, deep-fried, green olives, savory

Comments (70) Questions (0)

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2 months ago nancy essig

Please Arielle, I made these last night and though very delicious, only about 1/2 of the olive was breaded and the rest bald. How in the world do you get the breading to hold. Do you leave on the packing oil before the flour? Do you score the slippery surface? Please let me know as this is something I want to master

Stringio

5 months ago Dwayne Johnston Foor

I just made these and my husband and I love them! Goes wonderful with a martini! Thank you!

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5 months ago Kitspy

I ate these almost every day during my time in Ascoli Piceno. Bought from Migliori's and served in a paper cone, I savored them outside in the warm summer air. While these are a bit different with the goat cheese filling, I'm looking forward to having a taste of that summer again.

Stringio

8 months ago Pam Darshan

Yum!!

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11 months ago cucina di mammina

Love this recipe! Thanks so much for showing me how to recreate this at home for my famiglia which I will be doing very soon.

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over 1 year ago rederin

Made these for a New Year's Eve party. Yum! Everyone wanted to help fry them, so it was fun to cook, too. Even my husband loved them, and he isn't an olive guy. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as yours, but they sure tasted great. I had a hard time getting them breaded uniformly.

Avocados

over 2 years ago betty888

I made these for a dinner party last night and my guests LOVED them (also made the creamy stuffed mushrooms). I made over 30 olives and I still had a little filling left over - which will be great on crackers. I used a pastry bag to pipe in the filing. I am not experienced at frying - the first few olives fell apart so I increased the heat and did not touch them until they were really brown on one side before flipping. Perfection. Per other posters, you can make these ahead of time and throw them in a low oven to keep warm - they actually held all evening. I put the remaining (3) olives in the fridge and had them for breakfast. Even without re-heating the breading held. Will definitely make again - the only change might be to make the holes in the olives larger (per another poster's suggestion) to accommodate more filling.

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

thanks betty888! thrilled you liked them, and thanks so much for your helpful suggestions!

Avocados

over 2 years ago betty888

I made these a second time last night, this time for a vegetarian crowd. A huge hit yet again! Big fan. :)

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

so sweet of you, betty888- i'm thrilled that you and your friends enjoyed them!

Me_cooking

over 2 years ago Adam E

I served these yesterday at my Christmas party, and they were a hit. Still delicious at room temperature, and the lemon zest at the end really makes the dish. Thanks for a great recipe!

Henrykiss

over 2 years ago arielleclementine

oh thank you! so happy you liked them! i agree about the lemon zest- it helps perk everything up :)

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about 3 years ago micook

I'm back with another report because I am making these regularly. We had quite a few left over the other night and I tossed them into a baggie and reheated them in a warm toaster oven the next day. Frankly, they weren't noticeably different than after being held in a warming oven for an hour. In other words, the coating held well, they weren't greasy . . . we downed them pretty easily!

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over 3 years ago micook

I made these for friends last month and did let them sit in a warm (165 degrees) oven for probably close to an hour and they were fine. In fact, I'm going to make them for Easter and plan to do the same. Actually, I had leftover ones on the counter and they were still very tasty the next day at room temperature, so I don't think you have to worry.

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

thanks for your kind feedback!

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over 3 years ago mjlandry

Great! Thanks I look forward to making, eating & sharing. Can't think of a better combo.

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over 3 years ago mjlandry

I want to make these to bring as an appetizer to an Easter party on Sunday. Will they get soggy if I fry them and then wait about an hour to serve? They look so yummy I can't wait to try!

Henrykiss

over 3 years ago arielleclementine

i second micook's experience- i've happily eaten these an hour or more after cooking them. i hope you like them!

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over 3 years ago aricooks

oh.my.yum! I am happy to report that I will be making this recipe from Israel, where the goat cheese and olives are abundant, delicious and (relatively) inexpensive. Thank you!

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over 4 years ago Amber

My husband's family is from this region in Italy (don't ask me to spell it), so making the fried olives is a family tradition. They would be surprised by a goat cheese stuffing (since they are usually made with ground meat or fish), but this sounds delicious... and easier without the corkscrewing.

To simplify Wolfert's technique a little, we buy pitted large olives. Then you corkscrew the olive to maximize the amount of filling you can squeeze in. We usually use a combination of ground pork with garlic, sage and parmesan for stuffing. Then I bread them in fresh breadcrumbs, because I find panko is more likely to fall off when you deep fry them.

Food52_photo

over 4 years ago ENunn

yes! Congrats. Olives were our friends. Now, they are our very good friends.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! so cute! anything fried is definitely my friend.

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Be careful what you wish for. Here in Arizona where I'm woefully stationed, they will deep fry anything including your hotel room pillow. And then they'll put sliced jalapenos on it with queso fresco. Thankfully they haven't figured out IED's yet.

Ha-0010

over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

What the what?!? I thought I had this one in the bag!!! I was ROBBED!!! My victory was supposed to taste like BACON!!!! Sorest. Loser. EVER. Family rift starts now.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

are you going to stab a fork in my forehead?

Ha-0010

over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

sleep with one eye open.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

i guess i will, girl-with-keys-to-my-house...

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

uh-boy. She sounds like trouble. Arielleclementine, you'd better send Helen some bacon right quick, to appease the monster.

Hib_kitchen

over 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

My son was just visiting from overseas and will back for good in August. He made me promise to make these for him when he gets back. I think the comment of "deep fried goodness" that sealed the deal for him. Congrats. Obviously your family cooks like ours.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh wow! how kind- thank you for sharing that with me! happy travels to your son- i hope you both like the olives :)

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

It really was a tough choice this week between the two of you! They are both great snacks - the olives ultimately won me over and I'm sending you a huge well-deserved congrats!!! Both you and your sister turned out great snacks for us to enjoy all week. Very fun for everyone.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much! i'm very lucky to have a sister like her :)

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations! You and your sister are both awesome!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you! helen is truly wonderful :)

Susan_headshot

over 4 years ago Food Blogga

What a fabulous recipe! I can't wait to try it.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh boy! thank you, Food Blogga!!

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over 4 years ago Molly Bacon

Sister face off was perhaps one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, but I can't wait to combine the two into even deeper fried goodness!!!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

yeesssss! we must and shall make this union happen.

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over 4 years ago NakedBeet

These look absolutely sinful. I'm afraid if I made them for a movie snack and not a dinner party I would never share my plate!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thanks, Naked Beet! i'm a notoriously terrible food-sharer, so you'll get no judgment from me!

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over 4 years ago panache

This was a tough call, but our lives were threatened after all....Thanx for the recipes, but most especially for the laughs.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! you're awesome- thanks :)

Kay_at_lake

over 4 years ago Kayb

A bar in Memphis, unfortunately no longer extant, did deep-fried olives, but they involved minced olives (green and black) mixed with other ingredients, formed into olive-sized croquettes and fried. I can only imagine these would be even better. Gets my vote!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

what a cool bar snack! thanks for the vote :)

Girl_dog

over 4 years ago agamom

This would be a perfect treat to try making with the Seal Cove Farm goat cheese that is in the Shop. Olives and goat cheese are two of my favorite before dinner indulgences, and I can not wait to try this tonight, as all of these ingredients live in my cupboards. You have my vote and good luck!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh fun! i hope you like them! i think they'll be great with that goat cheese. thanks so much for your vote!

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

From the food history standpoint this dish comes from Ascoli Piceno in the Marches. The way they do it involves a delicate spiral cut with a small sharp knife on the olive to remove the pit. Paula Wolfert will tell you that this is easy. It's not.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Found this youtube video demonstrating the olive cutting method. http://www.youtube.com... Looks simple, but I'm sure I'd slaughter the poor olive.

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Just kibbitzing now because I love fried olives whether you pit them or slice them. Personally I prefer to use fine unseasoned bread crumbs as opposed to panko. I also would like to try them filled with "nduja", a spicy, semi-soft Calabrian sausage I buy from Boccalone in San Francisco. Unfortunately at the moment, I'm stuck in Fort Stinking Desert, AZ, 400 miles from my own kitchen.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

I haven't heard of that sausage before- I'll have to check it out!

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over 4 years ago Janneke Verheij

this week it is especially hard to choose, two winners if you ask me....

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much :)

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over 4 years ago seemeredithcook

Don't hate me HTN, but I am also an olive fiend. It's a weakness that is just beyond my control. Congrats to both for two awesome recipes!

(And if you meet up in Austin, do you think you could send a doggy bag via courier to Dallas? It would be much appreciated.)

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray! thanks, ICP! absolutely, we'll arrange a doggy-bag! you're definitely an honorary austinite!

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over 4 years ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

I've had bacon wrapped, (goat) cheese stuffed jalepenos (at the Matador here in Seattle!) but I've never had these little goodies, so in the end, hard as the decision was... the olives get my vote!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh man, that sounds tasty! i'll be in seattle this summer and will have to check that out! thanks for the vote!!

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over 4 years ago josie

you kids make me laugh. good luck to you both. i had to go olives for this one.

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh boy! thanks, josie!

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Two sisters as finalists! How fun! I'll try both of these recipes for happy hour tomorrow before I decide. They both look great!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, nannydeb! we're in talks with aargersi about having an austin food52 meet up- could you bring your lovely cake? oh boy!

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over 4 years ago jridolfi

I think the fried olives are from the Marche region in Italy. Morandi (Keith McNally's restaurant in the West Village) serves fried olives but I think they are stuffed with pork....delicious.....Can't wait to try your recipe with the goat cheese!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

yes, I've seen recipes for salami-stuffed fried olives, and those sound fantastic to me too- I'm just awfully fond of goat cheese, and use it whenever possible :) thank you!

My_catering_(2)

over 4 years ago Aliwaks

The Chef in the restaurant I work in is from Le Marche, we have Olive All'ascolana stuffed with meat (ground pork lamb beef) and Pesce Fritte ( stuffed with ground shrimp, calamari & monkfish). I love the idea of goat cheese stuffed!

Ha-0010

over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

YAHOO!!!! MY VOTE IS FOR YOU SISTER!!!! Also, these are really really delicious and you deserve to have these in a cookbook for sure!!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

your plan for sabotage has been thwarted, dubya! i voted for you! your hatchbacks would be a lovely addition to any cookbook!

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Good luck. This is a fairly arcane recipe from Ascoli Piceno in Italy. I know it well. There they would use a mixed meat filling for the olives. And it's tricky to cut them properly. Nice to see something unique pop up here. Excellent idea!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you! yes, i'm surprised you don't see these more often here in the states, given our penchant for all things fried :)

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

If you are in NYC go visit Perbacco on E. 3rd Street near Avenue B. This is one of their specialties. Again, a great idea.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I love your tag line - deep-fried goodness!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thank you!