Olives Recipes

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Olive Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Olive Mashed Potatoes

01.14.11 by Jackie

I came up with the idea of making olive-flavored mashed potatoes (purée de pomme de terre aux olives) while strolling through Parisian open-air markets. Most of them carry the most delicious varieties of olives that are not overly salty. After tasting many varieties, I bought delicious bright green olives that are large, meaty and slightly sweet with a nutty taste to the palate.

Parisian kitchens in general are tiny and contain the bare minimum when it comes to cooking. I mashed the potatoes using the back of a fork, pitted and coarsely chopped the olives and finally mixed them into the purée, adding a little crème fleurette (cream). My husband Lulu loved it and was totally impressed that I was able to pull it off in our tiny kitchen!

Besides visiting museums and monuments in Paris with Lulu, I have to admit that perusing the Parisian open-air markets was my favorite activity! Tasting and seeing the wonderful colors and produce gave me so many ideas and inspirations for new flavor pairings. I’ll be sharing them soon.

Olive Recipe with Picture


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Caramelized Fuyu Persimmons Recipe

Caramelized Fuyu Persimmons

12.13.09 by Jackie

Fuyu persimmons are a nice substitute for Granny Smith apples in side dishes. I love caramelizing persimmons and pairing them with roasted duck breast. I don't think a holiday dinner menu can get much more fancy or decadent. We've just had our first crop of Fuyu persimmons this season in our garden, and I decided to take full advantage.

In case you were wondering, there are 2 main varieties of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. The difference is the texture. For this recipe make sure you use Fuyu persimmons, which have are hard, almost carrot-like texture.


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Wild Rice and Orzo Salad with Maple Vinaigrette Recipe

This dish is really three recipes in one. I combined my wild rice, kidney bean salad and orzo pasta salad recipes together to make a light and healthy meal. The maple vinaigrette helps tie everything together.

I usually make orzo pasta salad for parties and picnics, but we've been having a heat wave here and we all felt like eating something cool. The addition of kidney beans for protein and wild rice for fiber makes the dish more of a complete meal. If you have some leftover roast chicken, you can dice or shred it and add it to the salad as well.


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Mediterranean Mini Pizza with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus Recipe

I made a hummus pizza a few days ago and I felt like recreating a sandwich version of the dish with a bunch of Mediterranean ingredients. The problem was that I only had pita bread at home. I could have created a pocket in the bread and stuffed it, but I decided to place the ingredients on top of the pita bread to create a meal that resembled a pizza.

Following the Mediterranean theme, I made a cannellini bean and roasted red bell pepper hummus-like spread and topped it with Greek feta cheese, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, pickled shallot, black olives and marinated artichoke hearts. For the meat lovers out there, I would add some cubes of lamb kebabs.

I'm sure you've heard of 30-minute meals, but this took me 10 minutes, tops. Try this recipe the next time you're in a hurry. Beat that, Rachael Ray!


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Salad Nicoise  Recipe

Salad Nicoise

09.02.09 by Jackie

If you're ever fortunate enough to go to Paris, you are bound to walk by many sidewalk cafés, brasseries, bistros and the like. As ubiquitous are the chalkboards that guard the entrances to these eateries, calling out the specials of the day. On almost all of them, you will find salade niçoise.

This is not the tuna salad that one traditionally finds in America, slathered in mayonnaise and sweet pickles. Salade niçoise hails from the Côte d'Azur; region of France, and is named after the city of Nice. It is a combination of tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, eggs and canned tuna packed in oil. It is typically topped with anchovies and Dijon vinaigrette.   Like many French dishes, the name may evoke visions of elegance and glamour, but in reality the dish is the result of the vegetables and proteins available in that region of France. Put another way, it's really just a fancy way of describing a tossed salad from Nice.

I personally love this dish, because it is easy to make and perfectly captures the flavors of  the Mediterranean. It won't replace the traditional American-style tuna salad, but instead provide you with a healthier alternative.


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