One of the things I love best about traveling is that it changes my mind. I think I don't like something, but then, in an original setting, I find that I love it!
So is the case with olives. Spanish olives have the reputation for being some of the best, and for good reason I've discovered. They have the perfect growing conditions here, and produce some really fine olive oil in addition to table olives of every kind.
When you sit down to a meal here in Barcelona or Madrid, instead of bringing you a basket of bread or rolls, they bring a small dish of delicious olives, specific to their region.
Sometimes it comes in these cute little serving dishes, with one side for the olives, and the other side for the pits. I'm pretty sure I don't have any of these in my dishes repertoire. Must be time to go shopping.
At the market in Salamanca, we bought them in bulk. He just scooped it into little plastic bags for us. We are still enjoying these in our hotel room with a glass of wine before going out to dinner at night.
And at the Mercado of San Miguel, just off Mayor Square in Madrid today, we found a dazzling display of olive showmanship.
The 19th century building is amazing.
And it's completely unlike any other market I've been to ~
it's really a giant tapas bar, and you can buy the tapas pre-made, or buy the fresh ingredients to go home and assemble them yourself. It was very interesting! So here's some new idea's for you for appetizers, using beautiful high-quality Spanish olives.
We've all seen them stuffed with pimento's
But how 'bout stuffed with Mozzarella cheese
and sun dried tomatoes?
Or anchovies (I think. Could be eel) and pimento's?
Or smoked salmon & cream cheese?
Or ham & cream cheese?
Or on skewers with pearl onions and peppers?
Or with salami and pepper jack (maybe herbed?) cheese?
Or with whatever that is on the right, I really have no idea!
I'm filing this under "recipes" ~ makes me want to have a party!
Yes, I'm in olive heaven. Trying to figure out how to pack some in my suitcase to take home with me......