Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Cherries & Olives !

                                 Olives & cherries are definitely a Michelin-star combination

I have my dear friend, Linda Birnie, to thank for gifting me an exquisite jar of OLIVES & CHERRIES.  The recipe was developed by Michelin-star Spanish chef José Andrés (many of you may know him for his Herculean humanitarian efforts in founding the World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters).  I fell in instant amor with the unusual pairing and immediately made several jars.

I was surprised to learn after a little research that olives and cherries are actually related.  They belong to a botanical group called "drupes."   In this same family are also apricots, mangoes and peaches, as well as almonds, pecans and pistachios.

                                          This tapa came together in only a few minutes

Last night I served the olive & cherry recipe at a Spanish dinner party in our home with goat cheese and a sliced baguette.  It was a big hit.  A couple of weeks ago I used it as a side dish with BBQ chicken & roasted potatoes---magnifico! 

Here's the recipe.   Gracias Linda and a big o to chef José Andrés! 

Cherries & Olives

3 cup pitted cherries 
2 cup pitted olives (e.g. arbequina, manzanilla, or kalamata)
1/2 of an orange peel 

1/2 of a lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf (fresh preferred)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more!)
1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Wash the cherries, remove stems & pits.   With a vegetable peeler, remove half of the outer peel from the orange & lemon. Smash the garlic and remove outer skin. Combine all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.   Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.  (If refrigerated, allow the mix to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavors.)

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