Our favourite pizza place, Vespa Pizza, not only does the tastiest wood-fired gluten-free vegan pizza I’ve ever tasted (guys, it has hummus on it, need I say more?), but their starter menu is pretty damn rad as well. It features smashed kipfler potatoes, a delicious tomato salad, and marinated olives. This is my take on those olives, using rosemary, garlic, coriander seeds and blood orange peel.
Winter, in Brisbane, passes in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful. A few weeks of cool weather (by cool, I mean 20C/68F), and then it’s over, really. One of the ways I really notice winter is at the markets, and a few weeks ago the blood oranges had come in. I bought a massive bagful and came home plotting how to use them. A good deal of them went into making braised red cabbage but knowing that I didn’t want to waste the delicious and beautiful peel, I removed it from two of the oranges, and have them nicely tucked away in the freezer. For occasions when just a little something more is needed.
I’ve solely used these nutty, green Sicilian olives in this version, though it works great with a combination of olives (Vespa does Sicilian, large green olives, and tiny Kalamatas). It’s excellent dinner-party food, and can be made in advance (up to two days, maybe?), then reheated when you’re ready. They’re also perfect as part of a tapas-style spread, and that’s how I enjoy them most, with lots of other little dishes. Good practice for a long summer of lighter, easy eating ahead.
In other news, as the days get longer and warmer, I can feel the pace of the year picking up at a scary rate. Adam and I are both in marking mode at the moment, with exams and essays piled around our study. There’s still a lot to be squeezed out of this year (four papers to present, two chapters to write), and I’m almost counting the days until our commitments wind up and we can enjoy a month or two of a slower pace. Keeping this space helps me retain a piece of my sanity, and keeps the things that matter most to me in sight. Thanks for being here and sharing with me.
Blood Orange, Garlic and Coriander Marinated Olives
makes about 1.5 cups
- If you don’t have blood oranges lying around, you could easily substitute regular orange peel, or lemon peel, quite happily.
- As I mentioned above, these can be made well in advance and reheated whenever you need them.
- Don’t throw out the flavoured oil once you’re done guzzling the olives! Keep it in a jar and use for delicious dressings, or use it to roast vegetables.
- 150 g olives (I used Sicilian)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed slightly with the back of your knife
- 3 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 strips blood orange zest
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Heat over medium-low for 15-20 minutes. You want everything to be warm and sizzling a little bit, but you don’t want the garlic or rosemary to burn.
If not using immediately, transfer to a storage container and store in the fridge. For the most flavourful results, storing them for 24 hours is ideal, but they’ll still be great straight away. Reheat over medium when required, and serve warm.