Small Pleasures: Grilled Olives
When an expat friend living in Europe texted me about the joys of grilled olives, we pulled out our Grill Pan. A not-uncommon snack in the Mediterranean and Middle East, it was new one to us!
The heat from the grill causes the olives to soften and develop a deeper, more complex flavor profile with a smoky element. Jarred or fresh olives will work, but fresh have a firmer texture after grilling.
Preparation couldn't be easier. Simply turn the heat up to high and let your grill pan come to temperature. Char the olives against the grill ridges, rolling them over as each side shows char marks, about five minutes. The longer they stay on the heat, the more concentrated their salty brininess will become. (If doing this on a grill, instead of a Grill Pan, you'll need to skewer the olives to prevent them from skittering in between the grates.)
We like to snack on them in the backyard with drinks, but here are some other ideas:
A level-ed up charcuterie board Serve your grilled olives along with other antipasti bites such as shrimp, grilled halloumi (pictured above), marinated artichokes, and slices of crusty bread.
A salad accent The contrast of the grilled, smoky olives with crisp greens and other fresh ingredients creates a good contrast of flavors and textures.
- An briny garnish Mix with toasted nuts, parsley, lemon and olive oil for a light accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.
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Related: Dutch oven popcorn, file under snacks