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Apr 13, 2007 09:57 PM

What to do with Canned Black Olives?

I recently made and served a tapenade (from Kalamatas) to some folks, one of whom had never experienced tapenade.

As a thank you, she has just gifted me with 12 (twelve) cans of whole black olives, thinking that they were the ingredient that she had enjoyed (..."So you'll always have some on hand"...) This was such a sweet gesture that I did not explain about Kalamatas versus canned.

So now the gauntlet has been dropped in the form of twelve cans of Jumbos and Smalls. I'd like to hear about some ways to use them that highlight their relative blandness and buttery texture, and also ways that perk them up. Would I have preferred a gift of brined and oil cured from the olive bar at the Italian market?.... Sure. But this is a gift of Karma, and I am up for the challenge. But I need help. The expiration date is in less than a year, so we gotta move fast.

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  1. Muffaletta? Topping for pizza? Nachos? Mixed with cream cheese?

    I like canned black olives, but this was a good idea ... marinating them with minced garil, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a splash of scotch.

    Using that idea, you could probably think of lots of great maridanes.

    I also read that roasting canned olives will change their taste and texture ... I mean what do you have to lose ... you got the olives, so give it a try

    Roast a can of black olives drizzeld with olive oil in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and mix with garlic cloves before putting in the oven.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      Growing up, my dad always kept a jar in the back of the fridge that was filled with a drained can of these, roughly chopped garlic, salt (perhaps a dash of msg) and lemon juice. It was his snack when he go home from work and the go to tapa when someone stopped by.

    2. Labor intense I know but, how about stuffing some with a squirt of smoked salmon and creme fraiche/or Philly's smoked salmon cream cheese. Then mix in a few your favs and throw atop a dish of arugula, call it an olive salad. (Assuming they're pitted).

      Also, you can chop some and add to a pasta sauce, red or white (alfredo). :)KQ

      1. My late mother in law, a woman of varied and refined tastes, loved chopped canned black olives mixed with cream cheese and served on baguette slices or crackers. Myself, I would add a crushed clove of garlic to that, or perhaps a big pinch of cayenne.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          I make chopped black olives, toasted pecans and cream cheese for a sandwich filling. More nuts and olives than cream cheese.

        2. Just an honest answer--I think they ruin anything they are put into. I can pick them out of enchiladas, but chopped into cream cheese would really waste it. I think they taste a bit of the can. I'd save them for 'relish trays' when children or old people are over. I think kids like them because the blandness suits the sensitive palate.

          1. They don't have the tang and texture of kalamata, but they can be good. Sometimes when I make burrito filling (ground beef/chicken/turkey with jalapeno/serrano/habenero and onion), I add some sliced black olives to the meat while cooking, plus my favorite spices, and whatever veggies I may want (such as corn, bell peppers, etc.). When it's all rolled in a tortilla with guac, cheese, salsa, sourcream, or whatever, the olives add a texture that works very well.