Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
Books have been written about olives that can't do justice to the topic. Consider this the condensed version of the Reader's Digest condensed version….
Green olives (also known as Spanish olives) are olives that are picked before they are fully ripe and treated to lessen their bitter flavor. They are then fermented in brine for up to a year. These are the olives that are often pitted and stuffed with pimentos, almonds, anchovies, etc.
For the most part the recipes in this book call for ripe olives. Ripe olives can be either green or black. Lesser quality ripe olives are picked unripe and treated in a similar fashion as unripe olives by soaking them in a lye solution to reduce bitterness. This faster industrial process leeches much of the flavor from the fruit.
Higher quality ripe olives use water or brine to reduce the bitterness and are brined and then cured in olive oil or vinegar or a combination of the two.
The amount of fat and salt in olives varies by how it is cured. The information below is based on brine-cured olives.
1 ounce olives = 23 calories, 2g fat, <1g sat fat, 1.5g mono fat, <1g protein, 1.5g carbohydrates, 255mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol