Thursday, 11 September 2014

Olé, olé, olives!

These days we are more conscious about the origins of the foods we consume. Reading the stories of the products makes them more special. I have a soft spot for olives, and typically have a couple of jars in the pantry, as well as some plastic containers with olives in the fridge. Fragata offers a wide selection of Spanish olives and other Mediterranean products.
Fragata was founded in 1897 by Don Santiago Camacho Roman in Seville. Since then, Fragata has conquered the hearts and stomachs of the Spanish and has remained a family favourite for more than a hundred years. Their products are now sold across the world, and are widely available in the UK as well.

Olives are such a versatile ingredient in cooking, from snacks to soups, from salads to stews. Pick your preferred choice of olives and ready, steady, cook. A plain chicken and potato soup will be much improved by an addition of a handful of pitted green olives.

Pitted Green Olives are a staple food in Spain. They are eaten both in cold and hot tapas and are a great ingredient for many Mediterranean dishes, not just the Spanish cuisine. I am happy to dig in the cold jar of olives straight from the fridge.

They are lovely in easy and quick chicken dishes like this tomato and sweet pepper chicken recipe. Just pan fry mini chicken fillets in the olive oil, with the sliced sweet pepper, a few tomatoes, finely sliced garlic. Add one tin of chopped tomatoes or a jar of plain tomato and herb sauce, a good handful of olives, and cook on low until the chicken is done. Colourful and bursting with flavours, it is an easy dish for a midweek dinner.

Garlic stuffed olives are lovely on their own, and equally fab in cooking. I used them in a chicken bake, with the olive oil, carrots, celery, herbs and lemon zest. These juicy flavourful olives will enhance many a meat dish, and will work well in lots of salads.

Another suggestion for using green olives is to bake them in a focaccia (buy a focaccia bread mix, just follow the instructions, then add a good amount of olives on top, sprinkle with herbs like rosemary and thyme and bake). Absolutely delicious!

Fragata Pimiento Piquillo are sweet Spanish peppers. If you manage not to eat the whole lot straight from a jar, make a super-sandwich with cream cheese and pimiento piquillo.
I have mentioned these lush sweet peppers earlier in summer, when I posted a recipe for Mediterranean Salad.

I have seen on Fragata site that they suggest stuffing the peppers with prawns, cucumber and onions and roasting for an authentic Spanish tapas dish. Sounds very exciting, and I must try this recipe soon.

Anchovies are like Marmite, love them or hate them. While I enjoy eating anchovies, all my guys don't like them, and there is no convincing them in how tasty they are. I tried and failed.
Spanish olives stuffed with anchovies are Manzanilla olives, stuffed with anchovy puree. They make a lovely snack on their own. For a slightly more sophisticated twist you can also serve them drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with freshly grated lemon or orange zest.
If my family showed some enthusiasm, I would have added them to the homemade focaccia or ciabatta bread, or topped a pizza with. Alas, they don't share my passion for anchovies, so I eat them in salads made just for myself.

A simple bean salad makes a lovely lunch or dinner, just assemble the ingredients together, pour the dressing and enjoy. Just the other day I made a big plate of bean salad with 70g rocket leaves, one thinly sliced apple, a handful of baby tomatoes from our garden, a handful of olives stuffed with anchovies and dressing made of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add some parmesan shavings on top. For a budget version, buy an economy supermarket own tin of mixed beans, and rinse it well.

Four products which I mentioned today are just a few of Fragata range of foods which is more varied (apart from a wide selection of olives you will find capers and pickled garlic).

For more Fragata news and recipe suggestions, visit Fragata on Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a selection of Fragata products for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.

1 comment:

  1. I would have never thought you could add olives to soup. Must give that a go