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Strange But Good: Olive or None

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Meaty, briny, and the hottest thing to add to your—well, maybe anything.


Olives are so often one of the mystery jars in my refrigerator—pickley and slimy and a little eyeball-like in their murky solution. And, like their brined brethren the pickle, they're good—and so funky—in everything from salads and sandwiches to cocktails. We asked the Hotline: How do you put your olives (and their brine) to good use? Here's what the community said:

  • Chop them up and add them to a grain salad.
  • Stuff pitted olives with blue cheese (or feta, or meat)! And deep-fry them if you dare.
  • PieceOfLayerCake often chops them up and puts them into breads and scones. Her favorite combination: a black olive, rosemary, and feta whole wheat scone.
  • Warm them in oil and spices and serve alongside a glass of wine and/or some chorizo.
  • Inpatskitchen folds chopped olives right into ground chuck for burgers—and then tops them with more olives.
  • Blitz olives into a punchy tapenade and serve in a spread of tapas.
  • And bigpan says that you can add sun-dried black olives to anything that involves tomato sauce. Amysarah said that pasta puttanesca is the way to go.
  • Amysarah also said that egg salad (or, says caninechef, chicken or tuna salad) with black olives and anchovies is heaven—especially with a fat slice of tomato.
  • Lindsay-Jean said that Lauren Kelley made her love black olive-and-mayonnaise sandwiches, but that her heart belongs to green olive-and-cream cheese sandwiches (a favorite of my father's; he'd argue it would have to be on a toasted English muffin).
  • Or make a simple Genius panino with lemon and black olives.
  • Chop them into a salad—no leafy greens needed.
  • Braise meats, like chicken or duck, with olives right in the pan.
  • WileyP could eat a cheesy olive bread every day, for every meal.

Photo by James Ransom

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Olive, Appetizer, Pickle & Preserve, Community, Lists