Huge thanks to Michelle and Brian over at Thursday Night Smackdown for inviting us over to their Memorial Day smoke-a-thon. I think I must have eaten half my body weight in pork and the other half in beer. I don’t want to steal her thunder, so I’ll let you mosey on over there to read about it, but I will say that if you’re ever lucky enough to get invited over for smoked meat and beer (or anything else for that matter) it’s an experience not to be missed.
These are some olives I roasted to take with me to the bbq. They’re relatively simple to make and the roasting gives them a unique flavor and texture more closely resembling oil-cured olives. The real stars of this dish in my opinion are the almonds and kumquats which both take taste great roasted on their own, but even better when roasted with olives.
I used some brine-cured olives I made last fall, but you could use just about any variety of store bought seed-in olives. My olives had meyer lemons, serrano chiles, garlic and celery that had been pickling along-side the olives so I threw those in as well. The olives straight out of the jar were a bit garlicy for my taste, but the roasting toned down the garlic while intensifying the flavour of the olive itself.
a few pounds of seed-in olives
3/4 C blanched almonds (Marcona almonds work well)
1 C kumquats (large ones sliced in half)
couple sprigs of thyme
fresh ground black pepper
honey for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
In a non-reactive baking sheet, spread an single layer of olives, then scatter the almonds and kumquats. Strip the sprigs of thyme of their leaves and sprinkle on top along with some black pepper. Cover with a good layer of olive oil (I used about half a cup). Then cover the pan loosely with foil.
Roast for 30 minutes then take the foil off and roast uncovered for another 30-40 minutes stirring with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Drizzle honey over everything about 10 minutes before they’re done. You’ll know they’re finished when the kumquats are nice and caramelized, the almonds are golden brown and the skin on the olives is starting to blister.