Olive all'Ascolana

By arielleclementine
February 12, 2010
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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&MThe Editors

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.

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