Olive Relish Recipe

Olive Relish Recipe
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

A wonderful condiment to have on hand, perfect with the roast lamb, this relish can also enhance grilled fish or roast chicken, or liven up a sandwich or a pizza. Well covered, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

Serve with a roast lamb shoulder and tender flageolet beans for an easy spring dinner party meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives, pitted
  • 1 cup Niçoise olives, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons capers, well rinsed
  • 2 small garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • Finely chopped zest from half a small lemon 
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 anchovy fillets, well rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • About ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Put the olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, anchovies, if using, and ½ cup olive oil in a blender or food processor and grind to a paste. Make the texture of the relish to your preference — rough or smooth. Pulsing the ingredients makes it rough; for a smoother texture, let the machine run for a few minutes. (For a more rustic version, hand-chop the ingredients.)

Scrape the olive relish into a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding pepper — or a little cayenne or red pepper flakes — as desired and salt if necessary. Thin with a little more olive oil to loosen the paste.

Olive Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Olive Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.