This isn’t really a recipe, but is what I did last weekend for an international dinner/wine tasting. Out of a hat, we picked Greece.
With guests in town, we were unable to attend the feast but brought a few appetizers and Italian wine (couldn’t find Greek on short notice). I bought frozen spanakopita (sorry) and made my olives, and some sliced tomatoes with oil from the olives and fresh oregano.
I bought a large container of pitted Kalamata olives at the “olive bar, ” drained them of brine, and placed them in a quart measuring cup with several smashed cloves of garlic, hot pepper flakes, bruised rosemary and oregano sprigs and covered them with extra-virgin olive oil, for 24 hours at room temp (covered).
My m-i-l tasted an olive right out of the brine, then 24 hours later after the “Dee Treatment” and it mellowed them just the right amount. After draining them into a bowl, I used some of the oil to drizzle on the tomato appetizer, then saved the rest to use in and on homemade pizza dough the following evening.
Yes, my Boy Scout nephew was the pizza chef that night, and I was his sous-chef. It’s always a challenge to cook for guests, especially picky children like my nephew. He’s a garnish-phobe. Cereal, no fruit. hamburger, no cheese. I have to gain his trust before trying the old favorite Auntie L trick: you must taste it before you ask the ingredients.
It worked for me. For one thing, I found out I LOVE bleu cheese, and now that my palate has expanded I’m a serious fan of Gorgonzola dolce.
As for the olives, I use anything I have that’s appropriate. I might put in some lemon peel or whatever I have on hand. I particularly love garlic, oregano and rosemary. Whatever you do, when you strain it, keep the oil! It’s delicious to baste a roast chicken or whatever, and will keep in the frig for a bit. Cheers! Dee