By Naomi Crisanteon 29th Apr 2014 02:26
The humble olive is an ancient fruit that has been associated with longevity, fertility and peace but no other item in your pantry is as versatile or packs such a punch when it comes to flavour.
The difference between green and black olives has to do with when they have been harvested as the green olive is under-ripe and the black olive is left to fully ripen on the tree.
The popular Hojiblanca Spanish green olive is plump, mild and nutty flavoured and often comes pitted and stuffed with pimiento (capsicum) or nuts. Black Spanish olives are fully ripe so become darker and more robust in flavour.
The Greek black Kalamata olive is prized for its glossy purple-black colour, elegant shape and deep, rich flavour.
Look out for the latest varieties in the Green Valley range of green olives stuffed with hazelnuts, harissa, hot pepper, jalapeno or piri piri. Just serve them as is, in a bowl, for starters.
Olives, whether they are green or black, are a must on an antipasto platter, added to a salad or as a topping for bruschetta or hors d’oeuvres. Toss a handful through a pasta dish, use in a stuffing for great flavour or try crumbing and deep frying stuffed green olives to serve with drinks.
And speaking of drinks, let’s not forget that no martini is complete without the characteristic green olive on a toothpick!