Tag: kalamata olives

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

The leaves on the vine in front of my kitchen window are changing their color and start falling as soon as the wind picks up. It’s slowly getting colder in Berlin, my wool sweaters replaced my t-shirts and it hasn’t taken long for cozy dishes to be back on my mind. Stews and pies, roasts and cookies – my cooking and baking is getting ready for the cold season. I bought the first quince for my spice and fruit flavoured brandy that I’ll soon need for all those minced pies and fruit cakes. A pile of small lemons from my kitchen counter has been squeezed into a jar with lots of Mr. Cini’s sea salt to preserve and soften them for aromatic lamb shanks. My mood leaves no doubt that I’m ready for winter to come.

I’ll still wait a few more days before indulging in the bright orange pleasures of pumpkins, for now I’ll enjoy the autumny warmth of sweet potatoes, chopped into chunks and sautéed in fragrant cumin and cinnamon oil. Red onions softened in their velvety juices, plump Kalamata olives stirred in at the end and a few parsley leaves sprinkled on top to wave goodbye to summer. I finished it off with a sweet and tart topping, candied lemon peel tends to stick to your teeth a little but it tastes so good in this composition that I’m willing to compromise.

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

 

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

Serves 2

olive oil
ground cumin 1 teaspoon
ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon
medium sized red onions, cut in half and quartered, 2
sweet potato, peeled, quartered and cut into 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″ slices, 430g (15 ounces)
freshly squeezed orange juice 3 tablespoons
white wine 3 tablespoons
water 6 tablespoons
coarse sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
lemon zest 1 heaped teaspoon
Kalamata olives 6
A few parsley leaves

For the candied lemon peel

long, wide strips of lemon, peeled off the fruit with a vegetable peeler, 5 (without the white pith)
freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tablespoons
water 4 tablespoons
granulated sugar 3 tablespoons

For the candied peel, bring the strips of lemon peel, juice, water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes until golden and soft but not dark. Set aside.

Heat a generous splash of olive oil with the cumin and cinnamon in a heavy pan. When the pan is hot, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat until soft, stir once in a while and mind that they don’t turn dark. Add the sweet potato, stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the orange juice, pour in the wine and water and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the zest and turn the temperature down to a medium-low. Close the pan with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are just soft but still in shape. Stir in the olives and season to taste, take the pan off the heat, cover and let everything sit for a few minutes.

If the candied peel became hard, put the saucepan back on the heat to soften them. Divide the sweet potatoes between the plates, sprinkle with crushed pepper, candied peel and fresh parsley.

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

 

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

 

Cumin Cinnamon Sweet Potato with Candied Lemon and Olives

Green Bean, Artichoke and Grapefruit Salad with Kalamata Olives & Rosemary

Green Bean, Pink Grapefruit and Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives

The change of season is nearing (finally!) and the first spring vegetables are back in my kitchen, green beans! They aren’t locally grown and had to travel a bit to reach my cooker but their crunchy green gave me culinary proof that the end of winter is near!

The recipe is easy, I went for a quick bean salad with bittersweet pink grapefruit and a light rosemary orange dressing. I had a colourful plate in mind with lots of different flavours, antipasta feeling combined with sharp freshness. I pulled out a few pantry treasures to mix with the fruit and vegetable: preserved artichoke hearts and juicy Kalamata olives. A strong composition without a single overpowering ingredient, the perfect salad to get prepared for all the summery, culinary pleasures ahead of us!

Green Bean, Pink Grapefruit and Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives

 

Green Bean, Pink Grapefruit and Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives

Green Bean, Artichoke and Pink Grapefruit Salad with Kalamata Olives and Rosemary

For 2 people you need

green beans, the ends cut off, 300g / 10.5 ounces
pink grapefruit, cut into fillets, 1
preserved artichoke hearts, quartered, 4
Kalamata olives 8
olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 3 tablespoons
fresh rosemary, finely chopped, 1 heaped teaspoon
salt and pepper

Blanche the beans in lots of salted water for 4-5 minutes or until al dente, rinse with cold water for 2 seconds and drain.

Arrange the beans, grapefruit, artichoke and olives in a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil, orange juice, rosemary, salt and pepper and season to taste. Sprinkle the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.

Green Bean, Pink Grapefruit and Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives

 

Green Bean, Pink Grapefruit and Artichoke Salad with Kalamata Olives

Kalamata Olive and Cottage Cheese Sandwich

Kalamata Olive + Cottage Cheese Sandwich

Creamy cottage cheese mixed with dark purple Kalamata olives, garlic, herbs, Balsamico vinegar, that’s what I had in mind when I started my sandwich preparations. My plan changed abruptly as soon as I stirred the chopped olives into the crumbly cottage cheese, I stopped turning the spoon before the oily black mixture blended into the creamy white, the contrast looked so beautiful! I tried some of this puristic spread and I was so impressed by its intensity and simplicity that I dropped everything. This combination is too good, Kalamata olives (to me, they are the best black olives in the world!) plus cottage cheese, no distraction, no further addition, just a few slices of fresh baguette and one parsley leaf on top, that’s all it needs! This is the quickest and most simple recipe I’ve made so far for my Sandwich Wednesday and it’s already one of my favourite sandwiches!

If you’re looking for a quick snack, a picnic treat, an easy dinner or just a nibble with some crackers, pull out some cottage cheese (200g / 7 ounces) and mix briefly with 50g / 2 ounces (or more) of chopped Kalamata olives. You could use other black olives as well but the large Greek fruits from the Peloponnese region have a wonderful aroma, exactly what you need if you mix only two ingredients. I didn’t want to over mix it, I only stirred it twice before I spread the cheese on tiny slices of baguette. The green fleshy parsley leaves on top finished it off and added a fresh taste to this composition. I loved it so much that I ate one slice after the other, it was just enough for 2!

Kalamata Olive + Cottage Cheese Sandwich

 

Kalamata Olive + Cottage Cheese Sandwich

 

Kalamata Olive + Cottage Cheese Sandwich

 

Kalamata Olive + Cottage Cheese Sandwich