Food and Drink

   

In Season: Olives

Posted by Ellen Fraser

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Technically, anything that comes in a jar is always in season. So, when stuck in the seasonal limbo that is winter/spring (too cold for outdoorsy brunch, too warm for films & wine), it’s as good a time as any to lounge about and eat things you find perhaps also lounging about in brine in the back of your cupboard.

The discerning olive selector has none of the standard tools of inspection your everyday suburban fruit expert might have at hand. There will be no squeezing of items, nor prodding or sniffing. Your briney guys are tucked away in a glass prison until post-purchase. So, if you want the best, go for an Italian certified DOP labelled variety, essentially the wagyu of the briney fruit family.

Olives have helped us while away the cold winter nights, perhaps pre-dinner in a dry martini, or thrown in at the end of a slow cooked rabbit or chicken scenario. Moving into spring, try them in a breadcrumb crust for barramundi, or in the cured trout recipe below.

Moroccan-cured Ocean Trout with DOP Olives & Cauliflower

The trout is crazy easy to cure if you have the energy/foresight to start it the day before.

Throw a big handful of salt and the same amount of castor sugar into a bowl. Add herbs and spices or whatever – we used about a tablespoon each of ras el hanout, lemon zest and fennel seeds.

Stick your fish in it, fridge it overnight. Ocean trout works, or salmon, or tuna.

Wake up super excited for the results of your salty cured fish magic. Brush off all the curing mix, rinse quickly if you must. Pat dry. Finely slice and lay onto a plate.

Take some cauliflower bits, dust in regular flour and salt/pepper/more ras.

Deep fry, crisp up and drop into trout territory.

Chop up some fancy green & black olives, mix with olive oil and parsley or whatever. Sprinkle the oily little guys over the plate.

Whisk up some lemon juice & crème fraiche, then MasterChef it up with a quenelle, or maybe just whack onto the plate.

Boom. Impressive looking seasonal limbo dish that has you looking like a hero and everyone else looking bad for not bringing anything to your fancy brunch.


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