For sure by now most of us already know the great benefits of using olive oil but did you know that eating olive fruits are also widely enjoyed by many? Actually it is an important part of the Mediterranean diet because of its health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is a well know heart-healthy eating plan and olives are great part of it because these fruits are sugar-free and contains monounsaturated fats which lowers cholesterol level and reduces risk of heart attack and stroke. It also promotes weight loss, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, rich in fiber and even iron. That’s why we should all add olives more in our diet and best part is we can incorporate it in our cooking.
Spain has such a rich history that is linked to olives – with trees for table olives growing in the country since the 1st century. There is a wide range of varieties, types and forms of presentation. Spain is the leader in table olive production and exports, with the most modern industry in the world leading to the highest food safety and quality standards. Olives from Spain are a more versatile than olives from any other region – get creative, and find out why they can add life to any party.
I love eating healthy and knowing how good olives are I try my best to find and create recipes using olives. I’m sharing with you two of my most favorite recipes, the Olive Salad and Chicken Marbella.
Olive Salad Recipe
2 cups green olives with pimento
2 cups black olives
1 cup giardiniera
1/2 cup pepperoncini
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbsp oregano
2Tbsp finely minced garlic
1 1/2 cups olive oil
Chop olives, giardiniera, and pepperoncini. Mix together in a large bowl. Add parsley, oregano, and garlic. Stir well. Add pepper to taste. Stir in olive oil. Allow to chill for 24 hrs before serving. Mixture can be packed into glass jars and refrigerated.
Once you have olive salad, you can make several other dishes. It is often used on traditional muffaletta sandwiches. I made two appetizers. I scooped some of the olive salad onto a piece of salami and then rolled it up to make muffaletta meat roll ups.
I also took some of the olive salad and mixed in cubed pancetta and feta cheese. I put the new mix on bread rounds to make muffaletta bruschetta.
Chicken Marbella Recipe
1/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup prunes
1/3 cup pitted green olives
4 small chicken legs and 4 thighs (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Place the chicken in the pan or slowcooker and add the rest of the ingredients on top. The chicken should be cooked until it reaches 165 degrees it usually takes 5-7 minutes over medium heat to achieve this. You can also cook this dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes with basting in between.
This also can be adapted for the slow cooker just place it in the slowcooker on low for 8-10 hours.