Spicy Blistered Green Olives

The humble green olive, you gotta love them!  Olives and eating them have been around for thousands of years.  Evidence of its cultivation and consumption dates back almost 6000 years to the Levant area in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Crete.  Olive oil has been traded since pre-Christian times.  And I believe olives have been cooked and eaten in some way or another since then.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they made Spicy Blistered Green Olives in a fire pit back in the day!

In fact my husband who was born in the Middle East in what is today known as the West Bank has many childhood memories of eating freshly roasted olives prepared by his grandmother during the olive picking season.  To hear his stories one is led to believe that his grandmother prepared it in the centuries old way of roasting them over an open fire in the yard, the same place she made her flat breads.

Actually today we still eat olives prepared the same way pretty much as they were prepared way back then because you really can’t eat the fruit picked straight from the tree.  Yes, olives are fruit not veggies, but fresh from the tree they are basically inedible.  They’re bitter and have an unappetizing texture.  To make olives edible they must be brined, roasted, or cooked in some way.  Most of us in the US know only the brined or pickled olives that we find in cans and jars in the supermarket, or floating in a martini, rarely do we find fresh olives that we must prepare at home.

We’ve also “discovered” or really “re-discovered” that olives are healthy for us.  A fact which was known thousands of years ago.  Olives are packed with nutrients that have many benefits.  Olives are heart healthy and has been shown to prevent heart disease; studies have shown that green olives can prevent osteoporosis; olives contain large amounts of antioxidants which help prevent certain types of cancers; they can help reduce Arthritis inflammation and pain; and they are believed to be natural treatments for ulcers.  The list actually goes on so I think it’s safe to say that including olives and olive oil in your diet has positive health benefits.

Having said all that I know that not everyone is overly found of olives and I doubt there’ll be a mad rush to buy barrels of brined olives.  So here’s a recipe inspired by my husband’s stories about his grandma’s roasted olives that might help you like olives enough to include them in your diet.  I call them Spicy Blistered Green Olives, but unlike the grandma I cook them on my stove and not outside in an open fire; although if you have a fire pit you might want to give it a go!

Spicy Blistered Green Olives are delicious!  You can eat them hot or cold, they make awesome appetizers, and terrific snacks.  I usually leave a bowl of Spicy Blistered Green Olives on the table and everyone who walks by can’t help but pop an olive or two in his mouth each time they walk by.

Aside from the fact that they’re simply yummy and have positive health benefits these Spicy Blistered Green Olives are super easy to make.  They are a healthier alternative to chips, cookies, and other carbohydrate laden snacks out there.  So here’s the recipe!

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Spicy Blistered Green Olives

Ingredients:

1  10oz. Jar of Garlic Stuffed Green Olives

2 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Tbs Minced Garlic

1 Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper

1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

Heat olive oil in sauté pan

Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil

Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles

Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown

Add salt and peppers and mix well

Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all

Toss a bit and serve

 


Spicy Blistered Green Olives
Print Recipe
Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
Spicy Blistered Green Olives
Print Recipe
Tasty green olives that are a great healthy alternative to carb laden snacks.
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan
  2. Drain Olives and add contents of jar including garlic pieces to the hot oil
  3. Cook until all sides start to turn brown and the olive sort of starts to get wrinkles
  4. Add minced garlic and cook until it starts to brown
  5. Add salt and peppers and mix well
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle lemon juice over all
  7. Toss a bit and serve
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Blistered Peppers Tapas

Blistered Peppers Tapas

Tapas some of my favorites things when visiting Spain.  Tapas are appetizers or snacks that are generally eaten in the evenings before dinner.  We usually enjoy them with a  pitcher of Sangria.

Tapas are usually smaller servings of Spanish favorites and are a great way to sample a variety of dishes.   They can be hot or cold and range from olives to small bowls of scampi style shrimp.  One of our favorites are Blistered Peppers, they go great with Blistered Olives which can be green or black olives.

In Spain this particular tapa is made with Padron or Shishito peppers.  Those peppers are about 10 times milder than a jalapeno pepper; blistered peppers are generally on the sweet peppery side not the spicy side like jalapeno or habanero peppers.

But Padron and Shishito peppers are not easy to find in the US.  So I had to look for an alternative.  After experimenting with different types of green peppers I can honestly say that you probably won’t be able to find anything equivalent, however you may be able to come close.  I’ve found that the closest substitute are Anaheim Peppers although they will have more heat and are bigger than either Padron or Shishito Peppers.  Another option I’ve used are Serrano Peppers which are easier to find in Hawaii.  Serrano Peppers are about the same size as Padron or Shishito Peppers but have more heat than either pepper and a bit more heat than the Anaheim pepper.

Whichever you ultimately use the process of making Blistered Peppers are the same.  So here’s my recipe.

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Blistered Peppers

Ingredients:

10-12 Fresh Peppers (Padron, Shishito, Anaheim, or Serrano Peppers which ever one you can find or prefer)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:

Wash Peppers leaving the stems on.

Dry peppers on a paper towel.

Heat Olive Oil in small frying pan.

Add peppers and gently cook in hot oil until skin starts to blister and turn sort of white.

Remove from heat and toss in coarse sea salt to taste.

Serve hot or cold.  I like to serve them in small ramekins or mini cast iron skillets


Blistered Peppers Tapas
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Blistered Peppers Tapas
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Create a Tapas Board for Your Next Get Together

Create a Tapas Board for Your Next Get Together

Now that summer is in full swing and 4th. of July Barbecues, Cook-Outs, and Picnics are done it’s time to plan simple adult get togethers.  Sure the hot dogs, burgers, games, and fireworks of last week were great even though at our house it was on a smaller scale than usual (social distancing and all are still practiced at our house); but I for one am ready for something calmer and more sophisticated.

For the rest of the summer, at least until Labor Day, I’m thinking adult time with a few friends are in order.  Under normal times friends and I usually get together for meals at our favorite restaurants, but with the ominous warnings of second and third waves of this virus going around it seems that most of us are avoiding public places that can possibly get crowded.  So small gatherings at our homes are just the thing.

But hosting any type of event no matter how small still calls for some planning.  Basically what to serve, I don’t worry too much about entertainment as my small gatherings are usually “talk story” time as we say on the island.  I focus more on what to serve.  I try to keep it simple, something I can prepare and serve quickly so that I can spend most of the time with friends and not in the kitchen.

Recently “Boards” have become the rage when it comes to at home entertaining.  I’ve seen Cheese Boards, Charcuterie Boards, Snack Boards, Breakfast Boards, French Fry Boards, and more; some of them are quite elaborate. Boards are really just a way to display and serve food based on some sort of theme.  I love it!   I love and embrace the whole Board idea!

After toying with this whole Board idea I decided that a Tapas Board was something I needed to make.  And why not?  I filled it with our favorite hot and cold Tapas.  Well actually I couldn’t think of a neat way to put my favorite Gambas Al Ajillo on it so I had to serve it on the side, but no big deal.  So what’s on my Tapas Board?  I have Patatas Bravas, Torta (Spanish Omelette), Blistered Peppers, Olives, Pickles, and Queso Fresca. I served a basket of breads on the side, mostly for dipping in the Gambas Al Ajillo’s buttery garlic sauce.  Now served with cocktails, wine or a pitcher of Sangria (I love the Cava Sangria made with a sparkling wine) this Tapas Board is amazing!

Here are a few ideas and recipes you can put on your Tapas Board.  Just remember Tapas are really small portions of Spanish food or any other food you prefer. And a Board is basically a display of the food you’re serving creatively placed on a wood or glass cutting board or tray.  So go ahead and create a Tapas Board for your next gathering!

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Patatas Bravas

Click here for the recipe!

Torta

Click here for the recipe!

Blistered Peppers

Click here for the recipe!

Blistered Olives

Click here for the recipe!

Gambas Al Ajillo

Click here for the recipe!

 

 

 

 

You can also add:

Olives

Pickles

Cheeses

Nuts

Crackers

Dried or fresh Fruit slices