Olives, the Ingredient
Marty Martindale

Olives are wonderful, salty accents. They are a fruit which is composed of 20% oil. olivesThey are black, or they are many shades of green, they come with pits, they come without pits, they grow large and they also grow to be small. See DeLallo’s Olive Encyclopedia. We deep-fry them, stuff them, squeeze them for their oil, chop into tapenade, float them in ‘tinis or pierce ‘em with toothpicks and just chomp on them. However, thanks to Middle Eastern recipes, we now see more olives worked in as an ingredient into delicious savory dishes.  

Olives, a Mediterranean food, appeared in history as far back as 8,000 years ago. Their trees can produce when they are 2,000 years old.

Olives are also considered native to Africa and Asia. The early Spaniards are credited with introducing olives into the New World probably into Mexico, then up into California where they are also grown.

All olives are rich in iron, copper and fiber.

Olives must be cured after picking in lye or a salty brine. Some green olives are green, because they are picked before ripeness; others are a specie which starts and remains green.  

While whole olives are very common, you may also find ones that have been pitted, as well as olives that have been stuffed with either peppers, garlic or almonds. If you purchase olives in bulk, make sure the olive cart is clean and the olives presented are moist,  in sufficient liquid, firm and not mushy.

Store opened jars of olives in the refrigerator.  


When adding olives to a cooked dish, add them at the end of cooking to prevent their taste from becoming bitter.

Chopped as garnish
Meat and poultry
Pasta sauce
Sandwich spread
Stir fry

Foodsites with olive recipes:





Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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