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Recipes, Uncategorized

Middle Eastern recipes: spicy olives

My grandmother makes the most deliciously spicy olive mix, and for some reason over the past few weeks it has become my newest culinary addiction. What I love most about it is the contrast in textures; from the rich and fleshy olives, to the softened but still crunchy walnuts, and of course the spicy chili peppers, which add just the right amount of savory punch. Here is a suggested recipe, but the amount of each ingredient you ultimately put into the mix is definitely subject to personal taste.

You will need:

  • 2 cups pitted and chopped green olives
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp thinly chopped red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp thinly chopped green chili pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced dried mint
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix everything together in an air-tight jar. This will keep for quite a while if stored in a cool, dry place. If you like your olives really spicy, keep some of the chili seeds in the mix as they contain the most heat; otherwise, scrape seeds out before chopping and just used the flesh.

Note: my favorite way to eat this is to serve next to a dollop of labaneh for a relatively light but yummy dinner. Labaneh (also known as Labneh in Lebanese Arabic) is a type of savory thickened yoghurt very popular across the Arab world, with a consistency very similar to sour cream. You can definitely find it in specialty food stores, but it is also commonly sold in major supermarkets as Greek yoghurt. It is also very easy to make at home: place about 2 cups of regular yoghurt in a cheese cloth, then place the cheese cloth inside a sieve and let drip over the sink for about 30 minutes. The yoghurt will thicken as it loses moisture. Add a pinch of salt (up to 1 tsp, to taste) and mix well to incorporate.

In good health,




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June 2012
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