Monday, April 4, 2011

By Request: My Olive Dip.

I started this post a while back, then ADHD took over, and apparently, I got distracted. But well? Here you go!

I don't currently have any of this on hand, and damn, I wish I did. This is really fabulous dip. It's also really simple to make, as it only has a few ingredients.

To do this the way I do, you'll have to shell out a little, but I'm telling you, it's worth it. There is one olive in particular that stands above the others and works best in this recipe. Nocellara del Belice, or Castelvetrano. These are very distinctive because of their bright green colour. And the flavour is also quite different from other olives. It is less bitter/briny, and more subtle. It also has a much fresher, cleaner taste than other olives.

Please. Do yourself a favour and listen to me here... OK?

Also? Kalamata olives; while tasty on their own, make this dip taste like creamed... tires. The texture is nice, but your dip will not be palatable in the least. Nothing fixes this, either. I have tried. Don't go there. Just... no. Tahini needs to be coddled... with subtlety. It needs to be dressed in something soft and gentle like a silk dress. Then? It needs to be treated like a lady. Don't expect her to bounce her healthy breasts on your Italian leather sofa. No, no. Adding Kalamata to Tahini is akin to taking a refined lady to a monster truck rally; forcing her to listen to Molly Hatchet on the way to and from said event.

No one involved is going to be comfortable with that situation.

OK. I've rambled long enough, and I'm sure you are asking yourself where the hell the recipe is at this point. Fine. It's coming. I... promise. It... is.

Mise en place:

Food processor

1 C Castelvetrano olives
1/2 jar Arrowhead mills Tahini (This is my favourite. Very smooth.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 tb purified water


Add tahini, water, oil, and lemon to food processor, and pulse until mostly incorporated. This should emulsify beautifully and become creamy.

Run on high until smooth.

Add olives and garlic, and pulse until mostly smooth, and aerated.

Add the lemon zest at the last minute. You don't want to do this too soon, or it may become kind of bitter... or at least more bitter than what you are going for. You should expect brightness, not bitterness! Pulse for less time if you prefer it to still have some recognizable olive pulp.

Scoop out and serve with a little more olive oil on top... in something classier than an army helmet. Or if you are going for kitsch, why not use one?


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