Tag: black olives

Sicilian Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

The past mornings have been rather cloudy and grey and to make it even worse, they pulled my beloved wild vine off the wall opposite my kitchen window, which I used to call my vertical garden – the poor thing damaged the bricks. My little garden is gone. So the mood hasn’t been very uplifting. And as I sat at the table in my kitchen, chewing over a new exciting meet in your kitchen feature that I’ve been working on over the past few days and that I’m eager to share with you, I had to decide to postpone it. The feature was supposed to be up on the blog this week, but unfortunately, my guest from afar – Australia – is opening his second restaurant and so busy that we couldn’t finish the interview yet. I felt a bit sad, or rather frustrated, because I adore his work and I’m so curious to read his answers and to get to know him a bit better. In these moments, I can be like a little child, impatient and not willing to accept reality – in this case: having to wait.

Food is the best cure for disappointment, at least in my case, so I looked around my kitchen to see what I could use to throw together for a quick and uplifting lunch. As I spotted a bunch of ripe blood oranges, I remembered a Sicilian salad made with the sweet citrus fruits, olives, and red onions. I added some rucola, olive oil, flaky sea salt, and crushed peppercorns and enjoyed the colourful plate in front of me just as much as the fresh taste of this delicious composition. Needless to say, my mood was much better after the first bite. The sweetness of the oranges merges perfectly with the spicy rucola and onions and the dark and oily depth of the olives. And it’s put together in just a few minutes – it’s a keeper!

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

 

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad with Rucola

Serves 2-4

fresh rucola leaves, 2 handfuls
small blood oranges, peeled (outer skin and white pith), cut into rounds, 4
small red onion, cut into slim rings, 1-2
black olives with pit 12-16
olive oil
flaky sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Divide the rucola between plates. Lay the blood oranges, onion, and olives on top. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with flaky sea salt and crushed pepper to taste. Serve immediately, preferably with soft ciabatta.

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

 

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

 

Blood Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad

 

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About helping and sharing – and a Provençal Artichoke Quiche

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

Everybody’s life can be a feast and a tragedy at times, it can be calm and peaceful in one second and rocky and rough in the next. In these moments, all of us need a helping hand or someone who listens. I believe, I know, that there’s no one out there who wasn’t ever in need of help. It starts when we’re born, when our mothers are there for us, giving without asking for anything in return. That’s love. And all along the way, we meet so many people who are there for us and reach out when in need. Shouldn’t we all be willing to do so? Why is it so hard for some to show compassion and be there for the ones in need of help? Why can’t we – as those who are much better off and on more stable ground – be there for the ones who are hurt, exiled and persecuted? I believe we should treat others as we would want to be treated. If we refuse to help why should we expect help when we are in a difficult situation?

My grandmother decided to leave East Germany when the wall – die Mauer – was being built, she had to flee with 6 children. They went to West Germany with literally nothing, they left their farm and land behind to escape a regime that she and her husband didn’t want their children to grow up in. They we’re refugees in what was once their own country. But they weren’t alone, many people helped them to build up their future, many shared the little they had and my family managed to get back on their feet. 40 years later, East Germany was in need of help, the people of the West gave a share of what they had, out of solidarity, to rebuild a part of the country that had suffered for decades. The people in the East received help. That’s compassion. Today, hundred thousands of people are willing to risk their lives and leave their homes to seek help in Europe and other wealthy parts of the world, to escape political systems that are also no longer safe to live in. Wouldn’t we all do the same? Didn’t we do the same throughout the history of human kind?

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

Paul from the Einfach-Lecker-Essen blog started the Blogger für Flüchtlinge (Bloggers for Refugees) initiative with a few of his friends to call for support and collect donations for refugee camps, first only in Berlin, and now all over Germany. The movement is growing quickly and more and more stand up every day to give a helping hand to the ones in need. Please spread the word if you write a blog (#BloggerFuerFluechtlinge), you can support the initiative with a donation here.

Today’s recipe is a dish that is practically made to be shared – a fragrant golden quiche. A quiche is like a friend, it always makes me feel good and at home wherever I am, it’s down to earth comfort food. Add some preserved artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, thyme and aromatic Gruyère cheese to the filling and you have a late summer Provençal picnic tart. And when we sit there in peace, enjoying the food together with the ones we love, a scene that’s so normal for most of us, we shouldn’t forget that this is what everybody aspires to. Nothing more and nothing less.

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

For a 30cm / 12″ tart pan or baking dish you need

For the short crust base

plain flour 260g / 2 cups
salt 1 teaspoon
butter, cold 130g / 4 1/2 ounces
organic egg 1

For the filling

organic eggs 4
heavy cream 125ml / 1/2 cup
sour cream 175g / 3/4 cup
fresh thyme leaves 3 tablespoons plus a few sprigs for the topping
salt 1 teaspoon
ground pepper
nutmeg, freshly grated, a generous amount
large preserved artichoke hearts, cut in half (lengthwise), 3
black olives (preferably Kalamata) 10
cherry tomatoes, cut in half, 10
Gruyère cheese (or any other aromatic hard cheese), grated, 2-3 tablespoons

For the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and rub the butter into the flour until combined. Add the egg and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 12 minutes.

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (top/ bottom heat).

Roll out the dough between cling film and line the baking dish with the flat pastry. Prick it with a fork and blind-bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden.

Take the baking dish out of the oven and set the temperature down to 180°C / 355°F.

Whisk  the eggs with the heavy cream, sour cream, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Arrange the artichoke hearts, olives and tomatoes on top of the pre-baked pastry base, pour in the egg-cream mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake the quiche in the oven for about 55 minutes or until golden brown, the top should be firm. Let it cool for a few minutes and garnish with the thyme sprigs. Serve cold or warm.

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

 

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

 

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

 

Provençal Artichoke Quiche

 

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Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

Many summers ago, I spent a few wonderful weeks at the Côte d’Azur with my aunt, uncle and cousins. We stayed at a beautiful house in the middle of the green hills around Grasse, a picturesque town which is also called the world’s capital of perfume. I think I wrote about this trip last year but after almost 500 posts I’m losing track! Never mind, I often sat with the girls of the family, my aunt and two cousins, at the pool in the garden. It was a little French paradise with all kinds of flowers, lavender, jasmine and roses turned this place into the most fragrant oasis. We had our girl chats, chilled, swam and ate, a perfect holiday!

Although I won’t go to the French Riviera next month but to Malta (which I look forward to with growing excitement!), I had our peaceful Grasse garden scene in mind when I came up with today’s sandwich. Imagine sitting on the fresh grass, feeling the warm morning air on your skin and the smell of a million flowers around you. You wear a summery dress and enjoy the quiet peace of the early hours of the day which is only interrupted when you take a big bite of this crunchy grilled baguette sandwich topped with chèvre, cherry tomatoes, olives, garlic, thyme and pecorino (I’m sorry, I had no French substitute at hand). Doesn’t this sound just right?

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

As a lunch for two you need

rustic French baguette (around 25cm / 10″), cut in half, 1
olive oil 2 tablespoons
chèvre (preferably Sainte-Maure de Touraine), very thinly sliced, 70g / 2 1/2oz
cherry tomatoes, cut in half, about 6
black olives 6
garlic, thinly sliced, 1 clove
fresh thyme leaves, from a small handful of sprigs
pecorino (or any other aromatic hard cheese), freshly grated, 2 generous tablespoons
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Set the oven to 220°C / 430°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the bottom half of the baguette on the lined tray, brush the bread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread the chèvre and then the tomatoes and olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil, thyme, garlic, pepper and pecorino. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes are soft. You can also bake the top half of the baguette for the last few minutes. When it’s done, sprinkle with a little fresh thyme, season with salt (if necessary) and enjoy!

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 

Grilled Tomato, Chèvre and Thyme Baguette Sandwich

 

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Sainte-Maure Chèvre, Rosemary Oil and Olive Sandwich

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

When I picked up another amazing sourdough bread from Malin’s kitchen of The Bread Exchange  –  this time with fragrant rosemary –  I had a clear scene in my head. Imagine a relaxed evening in late August, the air is already a little bit crisp and damp as autumn is nearing and you’re sitting outside in your garden or close to the open kitchen window. The sky is glowing in all shades of purple and pink, you’re cosy, wrapped in a cardigan, thinking about all your wonderful holiday memories. You have a glass of wine in front of you on the table and a pretty little snack which reminds you of all the wonderful flavours of summer. Think of a sandwich made with woody rosemary, fragrant olive oil, black olives and aromatic French goat cheese, like the fine Sainte-Maure de Touraine Chèvre, and some sweet cherry tomatoes on the side! It’s so easy to feel good with the right food and the right mood and it’s so easy to create this kind of treat, all you need are excellent ingredients!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

When we started our eat in my kitchen x The Bread Exchange sandwich series last month, I mentioned how extraordinarily good Malin’s bread is, its taste, texture and smell offers all you could possibly ask for in a sourdough bread. For my last sandwich creation I got a turmeric loaf from her, this time she pulled an aromatic rosemary bread out of her oven. It was so tempting, I stood in her kitchen together with Simone, another trader (I mentioned that Malin doesn’t sell her bread, you have to trade with her) and I had this warm bread in my hands. The air was filled with the woody smell of rosemary and I couldn’t have a single bite of it, I had to wait to make my Wednesday sandwich first. I had to go home, prepare everything and take the pictures, I had to be patient and I didn’t feel like waiting at all! I think Simone felt sorry for me, she pulled out her loaf of bread from its brown paper bag and offered me a slice. Simone loves good food, design and photography and shares it with the world on her beautiful Instagram account (instagram.com/fraeuleinsonntag)!

If you would like to trade with Malin, just leave a comment here and she will get in touch with you! You can pre-order a signed special edition of Malin’s beautiful and inspiring book The Bread Exchange here (release date is the 1st November 2014)!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

Sainte-Maure Chèvre, Rosemary Oil  and Olive Sandwich

For 4 sandwiches you need

the best loaf of sourdough bread you can get, cut into thick slices
Sainte-Maure de Touraine Chèvre (or another soft, aromatic goat cheese), around 120g / 4.5 ounces
olive oil 2 tablespoons
rosemary, finely chopped, 2 tablespoons
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
black olives (preferably Kalamata olives), pitted and thinly sliced, 10

Mix the olive oil, rosemary, salt and sugar. Spread slices of goat cheese on the bread and sprinkle with rosemary oil and olives – enjoy!

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

 

Chevre and Rosemary Oil Sandwich with Olives

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto with Capers, Anchovies and Lemon

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

This pesto is so rich in unbeatably strong aromas, velvety black olives, fresh parsley, salty capers and anchovies, spicy onions and garlic and some lemon juice and mustard to finish it off! It resembles the Provençal tapenade but the parsley and onions give it a lighter and fresher touch, it makes this dish feel Italian. It’s great with pasta but also as a spread on crunchy grilled bruschetta. Although I’m not the biggest fan of raw onions I must say that they make sense in this recipe, they add more of a sharp spiciness than an overpowering taste of onions which is quite often the case when this uncooked vegetable is involved.

This is another one of those convenient pantry/ fridge/ balcony dishes, made with ingredients that I always find in these three places! My mother used to make a similar pesto with pasta, I played around with it over the years, added a few flavours until it became this recipe. You could also add some sun-dried tomatoes, chop in some fresh tomatoes or replace the parsley with basil. That’s what I love about pesto, it can follow your mood and kitchen stock!

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

 

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto with Capers, Anchovies and Lemon

For 3-4 people you need

linguine or spaghetti, cooked al dente, 300-400g / 10.5-14 ounces
black (preferably Kalamata) olives 15
parsley, the leaves of a medium sized bunch, leave out a few leaves, roughly chopped, for the topping
anchovies, rinsed and dried, 2
capers 1 tablespoon
shallot 15g / 1/2 ounce
garlic, 2 cloves
pine nuts 15g / 1/2 ounce
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon plus more to taste
mustard 1/8 teaspoon plus more to taste
olive oil 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar for the topping

Mix the ingredients in a food processor, it should be a smooth paste. Season with lemon juice and mustard to taste.

Serve the pasta with the pesto on warm, big plates, sprinkled with black pepper and parsley.

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

 

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

 

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto

 

Black Olive and Parsley Pesto