Basic Olive Paste with Oregano
1 cup pitted black olives, 2 cloves garlic (pressed), 1 tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Put the ingredients in a food processor to make the paste. Empty into a bowl and leave at least 2 hours, so flavours can infuse. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
Tapenade (makes 2 cups)
225g black olives (pitted), 4 garlic cloves (pressed), 6 anchovy fillets (packed in oil and drained), 1 tbsp Dijon-style mustard, 125ml extra virgin olive oil
Combine the olives, garlic, anchovies and mustard in a food processor container and pulse until the mixture is a dense puree. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Is excellent as a spread on crusty bread or even tossed with hot linguine, cherry tomatoes and chopped basil.
Scented Olives with Rosemary
2 cups olives, 1 clove garlic (minced), 2 hot peppers (optional), 1 lemon (sliced), 1 tbsp rosemary, 2 tbsps white wine vinegar, 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix olives with garlic, hot peppers (if using), lemon and rosemary in a bowl. Beat the olive oil with the vinegar and pour over the olive mixture making sure they are covered. These can be kept in a jar in the fridge for a while but make sure it stands at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.
Pan-fried Broccoli and Olives (serves 4)
400g broccoli (cut into medium florets), 12 cherry tomatoes (roasted in olive oil and salt at 150 degrees C for 1 hour), 10 black olives (stones removed and chopped), 12 capers, 1 garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste
Boil broccoli for 3-4 minutes and drain thoroughly. Sauté a garlic clove in a generous splash of olive for a minute and remove garlic. Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan, then the olives and capers and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove mixture with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Return the pan to the heat and add the broccoli and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry until the broccoli is heated through. Return the tomatoes, olives and capers to the pan, sprinkle over the parsley and cook for a further 2 minutes.