It’s always bewildering to me that I could taste a sweet, juicy strawberry and then try another which is totally devoid of any touch of sweetness and it’s cottony to boot. The wide variances in flavor among the same food I suppose is the way one learns about quality versus mediocrity. Another food that seems to have a pendulum of quality is olives. Especially having tasted olives from all over the world.
My most recent adventure into Israel taught me that olives need not be salty and that rich buttery flavor was what I should seek. Well, finding those same quality olives in a regular market here in the US is quite the challenge. Short of going to a farmers market or a fancy olive bar, was I just to accept that a bottled olive like from the land of milk and honey was to be without my grasp?
Luckily, on my hunt for the best products this week, I found Ritrovo Selections Lingurian Olives, an olive so sublime I was afraid I would just eat the entire jar before I could create this black olive paste for you. Reminiscent of the olives I had in the Middle East, these are from Italy and for a jarred olive that’s available right here in the good old USA has definitely taught me that mediocre olives need never grace my table.
BLACK OLIVE CROSTINI
1 ( 6.35 ounce) jar Ritrovo Selections Ligurian Olives
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp capers
½ small onion, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice ½ lemon
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
halved cherry tomatoes for garnish
chiffonade of fresh basil
1. Combine all the ingredients except the baguette, tomatoes and basil in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
2. Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice the baguette into slices and place on a baking sheet. Toast the bread for a few minutes. Spread with the olive mixture and top with a halved cherry tomato and basil.