Olives! Olive tarts, Olive Bread, Olives Direct


Olives
It's funny how your tastes can change.
I remember strongly not liking olives as a child, just as I remember my mother saying, "Just wait until your older, you'll love them."
And you know what? She was so right.
I love olives now. I love them in salads, on a pizza, with cheese and crackers, baked in breads and muffins, so many ways and real olives are that zing of flavour that makes certain recipes burst with flavour in your mouth.


You can almost feel warm Mediterranean sun on your skin as you enjoy their rich flavour.

Olives - Olea Europaea were always one of my favourite plants, long before I liked their fruit.
They are hardy and strikingly beautiful.
Their thin, hard silver grey/green leaves are a beautiful contrast in landscaping.
They make great feature trees, hedges, wind breaks and topiaries as well as being a food source.
A small growing tree that can also be grown in large tubs they originate from the Mediterranean and are also said to be traced back to the Middle East and also Africa.



Throughout history olive branches are said to represent abundance, glory and peace and olives are referenced and symbolic in many cultures.
They even found olive branches in Tutankahmun's tomb.

It is said to be one of the oldest of all cultivated trees and it is a species that can live for thousands of years, while tolerating drought, salt spray, storms and even poor soils.

Olives were popular throughout history for good reason, they taste wonderful but have many health benefits too and olive oil rich diets, such as those from the Mediterranean are said to be amongst the healthiest in the world with places like Crete having the highest rate of olive oil consumption per person and  also having the lowest rate of all heart related diseases.
I was truly fascinated recently to visit a local olive producer, where I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, called Olives Direct - The Olive Drop. I first discovered the company when creating a recipe suitable for Christmas time around their dried balsamic olives for the Maleny Supa IGA and their local product local recipe - recipe cards.

As we pulled up the (very steep) driveway you were transported by the sensational smells of just baked olives.
It smelt warm and delicious all at the same time.
We got to see the mouth watering just cooked olives ( and we got to taste some!) as they were being put into the jars and talk to the cook.
We met the lovely owner and heard about the family behind the business, the family history that is so entwined with this gorgeous, real and tasty business and all about the wonderful traditional recipes, techniques and knowledge about olives.


One of the things I love most about eating and supporting local food is discovering the families and the stories behind these entrepreneurs. Hearing where they started and what inspired them to start.

Olives Direct also got behind the Edible Sunshine Coast events and participants got to taste test these gorgeous olives and some lucky people even got to win some!

What impressed me greatly was the ranges they produced.
Not just what you first think of when someone sais olives, they had olives preserved in many different ways and using their traditional names too, not just green,black and blonde.
You see they not only create these beautiful products but they also love to share their knowledge and expertise.

They produce olives but also olive oil, flavour infused olive oils, glazes and more.
As a foodie your imagination runs wild with ideas and recipes.
These gorgeous little olive and goats cheese tartlets are part of the recipe collection for the Maleny Supa IGA's local product local recipe cards which if your on the Sunshine Coast or visit here you can pick up in store. You can all find all the gorgeous Olives Direct products in their gourmet section in store.

Olive and Goats Cheese Miniature Tartlets
With beautiful Olive Drop dried olives in aged balsamic glaze, fresh herbs and goats cheese these Hors d'oeuvres are perfect for entertaining and special occasions like Christmas day, your next dinner party or just a really tasty snack at home.
Makes approximately 12 miniature tartlets 

Ingredients
100g The Olive Drop, dried olives in aged balsamic glaze
100g Billy goat cheese, cut into cubes
¼ cup Kenilworth mild cheddar cheese, grated
6 Essensual Tastes semi dried tomatoes, chopped
2 Rawganix free range eggs
½ cup Maleny Dairies cream
8 fresh basil leaves
3 stems of fresh chives
1 stalk spring onion, sliced thinly
1 cup Maleny IGA plain flour
75g chilled butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons soy or Maleny Dairies milk
¼ teaspoon Karom Himalayan salt
Black pepper to taste
Miniature muffin or tart baking tray

Method 
Using a food processor combine flour, butter and salt, until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add in milk and process until it comes together.
Kneed into a ball.  Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180’c.
Grease miniature muffin or tart tray.
In a bowl whisk eggs lightly, add in cream and then cheddar cheese. Season with black pepper to taste.
Cut olive flesh from the dried olives in pieces, removing the pips as you go.
Roll out pastry onto a floured bench with a lightly floured rolling pin.
Cut out pastry circles with a biscuit cutter or by tracing around the outside of a small glass. Ensure you make them slightly bigger than the size of the muffin/tart holes.
Place pastry circles into the greased or lined muffin/tart tray.
Place a cube of goats cheese and a couple of small pieces of olive in each one
In the base of each one put a piece of torn basil leaf, sundried tomato, a cube of the goats cheese, a bit of olive and a little spring onion.
Carefully cover each one with some of the egg mixture, careful not to overfill.
Top with a piece of dried olive and a small amount of freshly chopped chives. Bake for 15 minutes of or until filling is firm.

Notes
A very tasty entrée that looks great too
Can be served hot or cold

Toddler Tips
These are perfect sized for little hands, making them very appealing to children.
These dried olives have a delicate subtle taste that kids will like and all the flavours combine together well to make for a tasty snack they will love.

Another of my favourite ways to enjoy some of these gorgeous flavoursome olives is also in freshly baked bread like my
 Olive, Onion and Rosemary Bread 
pictured here.


Made with beautiful rich olive oil, kalmata olives, red onion, thyme and fresh rosemary.
Perfect accompaniment for soups, stews picnics and great cheeses.Want the bread recipe too?
Leave me a comment or let me know on Facebook 


Happy cooking!
Rebecca XX
text, recipe and photography (c)RebeccaMugridge2013
(excludes any linked up material  or comments)


Do you have a great Olive or Olive oil recipe?
Join in the Olive love and link it up here for some communal olive loving Xx

29 comments:

  1. All these recipes and products have left my mouth watering for olives! I am a die-hard olive fan. I will often opt for olives, over most other things. Love watching my little 4 year old with the same obsession ~ off to find some olive bread for lunch xx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Josefa!
      Me too - I just love them! You would just love Olives Direct! It is wonderful X

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  2. Olive oil is truly incredible stuff, not just for its edible properties but for its other uses, such as skin relief too.

    That bread looks delicious- Baker's Delight make a riDONKulously addictive olive sourdough bagette that my husband curses me for bringing home each time. Curses, because it never makes it to the dinner table- too good!! #teamIBOT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it amazing!!
      I haven't tried their sourdough - sounds great X

      Delete
  3. Olives and olive oil are staples here!
    Kids love them all...
    I think I need to adapt the bread to Olive, chive and rosemary to suit us. :)
    Thanks for the great recipes!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Carmen!!
      That combo sounds YUM XX

      Delete
  4. Funny how children dislike the taste, yet grow to love olives as adults. I visited the Garden of Gethsemane in Isreal and was awed under the old trees. There's something about them that makes these aged trees special.

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow Francene that would be incredible! Did you take pictures or blog about it?

      Delete
  5. I'd say that olives are an acquired taste and I'll admit that I wasn't keen on them when I was younger. I love them now though, especially with feta cheese! I need to try olive bread.

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  6. Olives and feta are just made for each other!

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  7. My goodness, look at all those different olive oils. I should get some of those to try. I have fallen out of the habit of using it to cook with and need to get back on the wagon.

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    Replies
    1. They are really stunning!
      I love olive oil XX

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  8. Yum! Olives are a huge favourite in this house. Celine loves them too which is weird for a kid lol.

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  9. Can't wait to try this, and many of your other yummy recipes! Love your blog!

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  10. Visiting from the UBC. Glad I found your blog and looking forward to following you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy!
      Thanks so much for coming by the blog X

      Delete
  11. Yes! I'd love that bread recipe! One of my best sellers at farmer's market is a rosemary and olive artisan bread.I'd love to see how you make yours. Fascinating post, Bek. Sounds like quite a wonderful (and tasty!) adventure!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh your bread sound YUM!
      It sure was a tasty and interesting adventure AmyG!
      I will have to get writing up the recipe XX

      Delete
  12. It took me a long time to come to terms with olives. I now love them, stuffed, pitted, queen or klamata. What a fascinating and informative blog. You've made me want to get out of bed and crack open a jar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anita!
      Isn't it funny how you can go from not being a fan to loving them :)

      Delete
  13. Was never a big olive fan, either...but then...one day it all changed. Now I just love them in my salads. Awesome blog post. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And oh me too! Especially with feta in the salad too x

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  14. I adore olives but my hubby doesn't so I'm limited, I usually buy from deli and eat on the way home - YUMMO xx

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    Replies
    1. Even better you don't have to share! Teehee!

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  15. I LOVE olives and these recipes look absolutely delicious! Thanks.

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I love that you found yourself on my blog!
Thank you reading.
Have a gorgeous day!

Rebecca X

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