Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cooking olives in a Frying Pan

Olives Cooked in the Frying Pan (Olive in Padella)
     Part of introducing a new app, such as Olive Oil IQ, is seeing what people think. We got a great review at  Luxury Travel Advisor. Another reviewer described the app as “Too much fun. Whether you’re seeking the proper bottle at the grocery, perfecting a recipe, traveling in Italy, or interested in the culture or history behind the oil and its cultivation, this is THE app.” We are thrilled to have received both.

     The other benefit of promoting a new app is that once they know you're interested in the subject, people start telling you things. We were in the piazza in San Terenziano on Tuesday, the local market day. There were two young guys from Puglia who had set up a stand to sell fresh produce. It's a very long drive from the heel of Italy's boot, far to the south, all the way to central Umbria.  We bought some mandarini (mandarin oranges) and then my eye fell on a big crate of fat black ripe olives from Puglia, which most years produces more olives than anywhere else in Italy. Thinking that we certainly had enough olives in Umbria without adding any more from outside the region, I asked why they were selling them here. 

Salesman from Puglia

       In response, they introduced me to the Puglian recipe for Olive in Padella, olives cooked in a frying pan. Since our olives have all ended up as EVOO, I bought a kilo. The young men explained what to do and when I went home, I gave it a try. (There are other similar recipes online, but we kept it simple).
The finished olives
        Wash the olives and take away any errant stems. Saute chopped garlic and pancetta in olive oil in a frying pan. When the garlic starts to brown, throw in the fresh olives and some coarse salt (the Puglian olive vendor called it sisinella). Stir often until the olives begin to soften and a sauce begins to form. Taste and add salt to combat bitterness. Serve hot with drinks or as a meat substitute.
         Olives -- they are really little black and green miracles of nature.


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