ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Olives: More Than Just A Pizza Topping

Updated on June 29, 2010

I once had a girlfriend who liked martinis with olives, but didn't like the actual olives. We'd go out, she'd drink the drink, I'd eat the olive. It was dating symbiosis. Alas, it wasn't enough to hold the relationship together, but it was close. I'm inordinately fond of olives. Still can't stand martinis, though.

The olive is the fruit of an evergreen tree native to the Middle East. Olives grown for eating (most are grown for oil) are cured to preserve them and to enhance their flavor, and there are more types than you can shake an olive branch at. Some are named for the olive variety (e.g. Salona), some are named for the place in which they're grown (e.g. niçoise), and some are named for the curing method (e.g. Sicilian-style). One of the most commonly available is the flavorful kalamata, from Greece.

Green olives are just unripe versions of black olives. They have a pungent, almost sour taste, and the black kind have a more muted flavor. Use whichever variety you prefer, but whatever type you choose, don't get the ones that come in a can and look like the rubber washers that keep your sink from leaking - a resemblance that extends to their taste.

With their zesty and distinctive flavor, olives can transform a dish. Be careful with quantity, though - too much, and your meal will taste exclusively of olives.

  • Instead of oregano and Parmesan, make a tomato sauce with chopped olives, a few capers, and some feta cheese.
  • Make a simple, flavorful relish for fish or poultry with chopped olives, roasted red peppers, olive oil, parsley, and a little balsamic vinegar.
  • Add finely chopped olives to tuna, chicken, or potato salad - particularly if it has a creamy dressing.
  • Liven up hummus or babaghanoush with finely chopped olives or olive paste.
  • Make a Nicoise pasta sauce with tuna, olives, green beans, and anchovies.
  • Use olives in a chopped salad of tomato, hearts of palm, red pepper, and almost any other vegetable. Dress it with a yogurt-lemon dressing.
  • Top a grilled chicken sandwich with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped olives.
  • Add olives and sautéed shiitake mushrooms to polenta.

Chicken with Olives

An easy weeknight entrée that's impressive enough for company.

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 small onions (about 4 ounces each), each cut into 6 wedges
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned. Remove to plate.

2. In drippings, cook onions until golden, shaking skillet occasionally.

3. Add chicken broth, olives, thyme, and chicken with any juices in plate. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with tip of knife.

4. Remove chicken to warm platter. In cup, mix flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Pour flour mixture into skillet, whisking constantly. Over medium-high heat, heat to boiling; boil 1 minute until sauce thickens slightly. Pour sauce over chicken.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I always put black olives in my salads and sometimes green ones. I will be trying your Chicken with Olives recipe, it sound delicious.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)