Let’s get a party started!
Well, not a party. Ted gets nervous around the “P” word. Drinks. A gathering. A little festivity perhaps. Or I am particularly fond of a soirée. Very fancy. Anyhow, this week is a week of birthdays and most importantly mine. Being a good Capricorn I have organised a Collective Celebration under the Royal “we” but maintained as much control as possible! Somehow, drinks with a few friends has grown to dinner for 30, so this post will be brief, because I am in the process of making the house spick and span as well as creating endless lists of ingredients, things to do and schedules to do it (yes, yes I am a control freak!) So it’s good to have a few things that can be done ahead of time, like these Gin Soaked Olives, seen above as part of an antipasto platter that I had made for a previous dinner. This recipe has been adapted from one by Donna Hay – more gin of course! And I won’t judge if the gin is apportioned one for the cook, one for the pot!
Start with some lovely plump kalamata olives. I choose pitted for two reasons. Firstly so my guests don’t bite down and crack a tooth, and secondly because it increases the surface area of the olive allowing it to soak up all that lovely gin! Mmm, gin…I’m making myself thirsty! (Please note Handy Hint- usually I buy olives with the pit in, as they keep fresher and more moist. I store mine in a beautiful Spanish glass container that was gifted by my lovely friend Louise in Melbourne for a birthday many, many years ago. )
About a cup of olives, rinse under cold water then pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a bowl with the zest and juice of one lime (about a tablespoon of juice) 2 tablespoons of gin and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Use the best quality gin and extra virgin olive oil that you can afford – with simple things and few ingredients the quality counts!
And that my friends is as easy as it gets! Either cover the bowl, or pop the olives into a screw top jar. These will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, and the flavour does develop over time so this is optimal, but they could also be served with only a short marinating time. These will be on a platter with some baked ricotta , sopressa della Nonna, prosciutto, marinated eggplant and the caprese bites (bocconcini basil and tomato on a skewer). Buon compleanno a me! Doubtless there will be more posts about birthday food. Will miss you Ness!
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pits removed
- zest and juice of 1 lime, about 1 tbs juice
- 1 tbs gin
- ½ tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse olives with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place in a bowl with the gin, zest and juice of the lime and the EV olive oil. Mix to coat. Cover and refrigerate until needed - up to four days
Flavours develop over time, so making a little while ahead is optimal
Use the best quality gin and EVOO that you can afford as the flavours will shine through