I've always loved olives. I was one of those kids who, upon finding a dish of olives at a party, would immediately stick one on each finger and become an Olive Monster. A rather cannibalistic one, now that I reflect on it, since I immediately went about eating my own olive monster fingers.
So I jumped at the chance to try a couple of varieties of olives from Olives From Spain, and used them to develop some fabulous Mediterranean recipes showcasing these briny delights.
I was sent two classic styles of Spanish olives to try: ripe black olives, and pimento stuffed green olives. I immediately knew that I wanted to incorporate the mild black olives into one of my favorite recipes for grilled flat bread.
Olive and Herb Grilled Flat Bread Recipe:
- 9 ounces water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 8 ounces of black olives, drained
- fresh herbs (your choice), chopped
I make bread dough the super easy way, by tossing the ingredients in my bread machine and hitting the dough cycle. My machine finally conked out after 17 years (and actually, the machine part was still just fine, it was the gasket at the bottom of the bread pan that gave). I was able to buy exactly the same one to replace it! Don't mess with a good thing, right?
Alternately, you can mix the water, oil, sugar, flour, salt, and yeast together and knead using the dough hook of a Kitchenaid mixer. Knead for about 15 minutes, then knead in the olives toward the end so they don't get too smashed up. Turn out into an oiled, covered bowl to rise until doubled, about one hour.
Oil your work surface, and divide the dough into four parts. Using oiled hands, pat the dough into four rough disk shapes (sort of like pita bread, or pizza dough).
Sprinkle both sides of the oil-coated dough with kosher salt, and sprinkle one side with fresh herbs. Press the ehrbs into the dough a bit so that they stick.
Grill for approximately two minutes on the first side, then flip and grill about two more minutes.
The bread is heaven just like this. I've made this grilled bread for years without adding the olives, and it's fabulous that way, too. You know what it tastes like, now that I think about it? It tastes a LOT like an Auntie Annie's pretzel from the mall. Hot and salty and buttery and a little bit sweet. Mmmmm. The delicate flavor of the ripe black olives goes absolutely perfectly with the bread.
This bread doesn't need anything to top it to be delicious, but that didn't stop me! I've been intrigued by the idea of a whipped feta spread ever since I saw it (a new item) at Trader Joe's recently, and I decided to make some for myself.
Creamy Whipped Feta Spread Recipe:
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- olive oil, to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons)
Can't go wrong with these ingredients, right?
Toss the feta and the lemon juice in a food processor, and give it a good whirl. That'll just turn it into fine crumbles. But the magic happens when you slowly drizzle in a bit of olive oil while continuing to run the Cuisinart. It hardly takes any oil--I used two teaspoons, max--and suddenly, the feta turns into a smooth, creamy spread.
How easy is that?
Smear it on the hot bread...heaven!
Add a few more olives on top...bliss! Salty, happy-mouthed bliss!
Compensation was provided by Olives from Spain via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Olives from Spain or Momtrends.