Plate to Plate: Moroccan Olives

The sixth Plate to Plate challenge features deliciously spiced olives from Morocco. Let me tell you something: this time the recipe was a real challenge. I was in favor of making something savory, something which could be made as a gift to give, and something that wasn’t difficult to make. Marinated olives sounded like a good idea. But the first recipe I tried was a disaster so I went with another one I had wanted to make for quite some time. They turned out delicious, but photographing them was hard. I had to toss a lot of photos before finally coming up with something which I could show.
Jillian (photos on the left) went with the Christmas/gift theme, while I concentrated on just getting a good photo!

As mentioned, these olives are very easy to make and are perfect for accompanying a cheese and meat platter. And they are great as a last-minute gift or stocking stuffer.

This recipe is taken from “Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous” by Ghillie Basan, a book I highly recommend if you like tagines. The first time I made these, I only mad half a recipe. The second time, I made the whole batch and used green and black olives. Be sure to use olives you like to eat plain. Be careful with the Harissa and taste it before using. Some brands aren’t very spicy and others are.

Be sure to check out Jillian’s blog post about the olives, and the recipes she posted for Christmas week. The Caramel Macadamia Cheesecake may be my favorite!

Cracked Olives with Cardamom and Harissa

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1-2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 4-6 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 Tbs olive oil
  • freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  • 1-2 tsp Harissa
  • 350g/12oz cracked olives

Dry roast the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds with the black peppercorns in a skillet, until they emit a nutty aroma. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the roasted spices to a coarse powder. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and add the Harissa.

Put the olives in into a serving bowl and spoon the spice mixture over them. Toss well and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

The olives will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Serves 4-6.

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