Hot Olives – A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, Guateng. The City of Gold has plenty of interesting foodie places well worth seeking out…Some colleagues and I ended up in a very interesting restaurant that serves both gossip and glitter to the well-heeled of Parkhurst and surrounds. We ordered a few small starters to share and one of them was hot olives with baguette. Never in my life would I have thought of heating olives in olive oil – isn’t that kind of like smuggling sand in the desert? Well, just so you know, this little starter tapas was so delicious. Heating the olives gives this stone fruit an undeniably new dimension. Dipping the fresh baked bread into the fragrant hot oil just seems to forge with the olives… leaving a most tantalizing taste….wash this down with some chilled wine and you could swear that you were sipping wines with the gods of ancient Greece!
It is just one of those really simple dishes you can make on the run or when guests come knocking unannounced…simple yet oh so sophisticatedly #hot-and-happening.
hot olives + baguette
- 150 ml Virgin olive oil
- 1t Fresh rosemary (not chopped)
- 1t Parsley - roughly chopped
- 2 Red chillies chopped (I like it hot but you can leave the chillie out of the recipe if you are not fond of the fiery stuff)
- 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
- 200g Kalamata olives
- 1 Spring onion – chop the stalks and leaves
- 1 Fresh baguette
- Heat the olive oil, rosemary, chillies, parsely and garlic slowly in a pan for a 5 minutes minutes. Just to infuse the flavours with the oil.
- Add the olives and heat through for about 2 minutes.
- Add the spring onion at the end, give it a good stir + serve with baguette.
Fish – I just love fresh fish. But… I am a “no fuss fish” person – I am not one for these complicated fish recipes…the simpler, the better. Just baked or grilled or with the some subtle flavourings of lemon and herbs or just cooked whole over the coals – that’s my preference.
My most memorable meal consisted of fish. I recall so vividly the time I spent in Istanbul, Turkey…I had the most dreadful case of bronchitis and was feeling significantly sorry for myself. I was ambling along the Bosphorus River when I smelt this amazing aroma…. A local fishing boat was tied up alongside the pier and the fishermen were selling freshly grilled fish on ciabatta bread, with just a squeeze of lemon juice. A bite … and at that moment I felt so much better and I knew someone loved me.
I buy my fish from Julie Carter from Ocean Jewels in Cape Town (http://www.oceanjewels.co.za/ 083 582 0829) – if you don’t know Julie – go to her website and subscribe to her mailer. She is such a wonderful woman with the most beautiful smile and is always there to deliver ONLY the freshest of fresh fish to you! You simply cannot get better than that.
This past Saturday, down at the market, Julie recommended that I sample two little Pangas (Pterogymnus Laniarius its Latin name and it’s also on the sustainable green list). I decided to combine the fish with real Mediterranean flavours of olives, origanum, tomatoes and lemon. This dish reminds me of Turkey – and all the wondrous colours, sights, sounds and smell of the Mediterranean. It makes me feel loved and happy.
Enjoy its delicious!
whole baked fish + origanum + lemon + olives + tomatoes = mediterranean feast
- 2 Small whole fish - I used Panga +-500g each
- 2 Cloves garlic sliced
- Olive oil for drizzling over the fish and at the bottom of the baking tin
- ¼ t Dried origanum
- 1 Lemon, sliced
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 Bunch of spring onions
- Olive oil
- 250g Cherry tomatoes
- 100g Calamata olives
- White pepper for seasoning (I love white pepper with fish)
- Salt for seasoning
- Preheat oven to 200 °C.
- Pat fish dry with kitchen towel.
- Make small incisions into fish, placing the sliced garlic in the slits + fill the tummy of the fishes with olives, spring onions and sliced lemon.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with origanum, salt and pepper.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes with foil on or closed.
- Turn the oven onto grill, remove the foil + squeeze the lemon juice over and grill for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with a fresh salad and bread.
- Enjoy its delicious.