Time for something a little bit different today. Not a bake but still a dish flavoured with some of my favourite ingredients to bake with. I was recently invited to take part in a blogging challenge for Olives From Spain. They have been working with Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy to create a variety of different marinades for olives. I was sent a lovely hamper full of Spanish ingredients as inspiration including chorizo, Spanish olive oil and manchego cheese, sadly I completely forgot to take a photo before putting everything away in the kitchen. There was also a fabulous bottle of pink fizz which certainly helped to get the creative juices flowing! The hamper also included some beautifully soft Medjool dates and after considering all the possibilities I decided that there had to be a way of making a semi-sweet marinade for these beautiful black olives. A bit of an experiment, like many of my creations, but I think it works really well. The sweetness of the dates compliments the olives and the spices make it nice and festive. Definitely something a bit different to serve up to guests with drinks over this festive season.
350g tin pitted black olives in brine, drained
5 Medjool dates
2 tbsp medium dry sherry
1/2 a long cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
100ml Spanish extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Chop the dates finely and remove the stones then place into a bowl with the sherry, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, chilli and then pour over the olive oil. Mix well and bash the whole spices up a bit so they release their flavours. Add the olives and stir to coat in the marinade, season to taste and then leave to stand for at least 20 minutes, preferably longer so the flavours develop.
Disclaimer: I was sent a hamper of ingredients including the olives and spices to create a marinade. This post is an entry into a competition where the prize is my recipe featured on the Olives From Spain website and a festive gift package.