I haven’t bought a can of black olives in a long time so when I received two free cans from the good folks at California Ripe Olives I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Well I popped open a can and munched one, and what do you know I do still like black olives! I’d been caught up in all the olive bar type olives for so long I forgot about my first love affair with olives. Yes I was just a tot when I became fond of black olives right out of the can. Then came black olives on pizza, and it was good. Then came black olives in iceberg lettuce type salads and that was good. Somewhere along the line I started eating stuffed green olives. kalamata olives, oil cured olives, jalapeno stuffed olives,etc. there was hardly a new olive that I didn’t like, but my first love sat neglected on the grocery store shelf for many years. What fun it is to explore the possibilities of black olives in my kitchen and blog about it. These tasty California black olives had a long trip to get to my home in Baltimore. I didn’t know that California produces 95% of the ripe olives in the US, with more than 1,000 multigenerational families taking part in the process. That’s a lot of homegrown expertise. For my entry into the black olive competition I wanted something original, and something using an ingredient from my garden. I love fresh herbs and thought that fresh oregano would be a fun choice for an olive appetizer on a toasted baguette slice. I wanted some color so from the fridge came the roasted red bell peppers I made last week. For the fat content I chose garlic infused olive oil to brush on the baguette slices. For the topping I grabbed some Parmigiano Reggiano to shred on top using my new Oxo Good Grips medium grater. It was a fun project and I tasted several of the treats. The only thing I might do different is put a slice of roasted garlic on each toast slice for a bit more oomph. I was happy that the olive flavor was not drowned out by the other ingredients and took the whole tray to my favorite Vet clinic to have them taste test it.Apparently they scarfed them down quickly indicating a good vote in the first round. With any luck I have a winner for the competition at the upcoming Eat, Write, Retreat food bloggers event in Philly. For all you you that might want to give this a try at home I include the recipe. I think you will find it fairly easy and tasty. Don’t forget your favorite white or red wine to go with it. I would recommend a good, crisp California Sauvignon Blanc. Please leave a comment on what you think of this recipe on my blog. Bon appetit!
California Ripe Black Olives on Toasted Baguette Rounds with Fresh Oregano
1 can of CaliforniaRipe Black Olives, drained and sliced in half lengthwise
1 baguette sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
1 package of fresh oregano
2-3 ounces roasted red bell pepper, in 1 inch slices
2 ounces fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano chese
Brush baguette rounds with garlic infused oil on one side only and toast under broiler until lightly browned. Remove from oven and repeat broiling on other side. Let cool. Pluck the leaves of the oregano for placement on top of the baguette rounds when they are cool. Use just enough to cover about 1/3 of the surface of the rounds, reserving the rest to mince and sprinkle on top at the end. Put on slice of roasted red bell pepper on each round, and two pieces of black olives. Grate parmigiano reggiano over toast rounds. Put minced oregano on top and serve with a Sauvignon Blanc if you like white wines best, or a Zinfandel if red wine is your favorite.