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What's in Seaon? Olives

02/27/2015 03:51PM ● Published by Style

Imagine sinking your teeth into a flavorful, rich and tender braised lamb shoulder that’s perfectly seasoned with Italian parsley, rosemary, garlic and olive oil, and topped with olive salsa verde (made with green olives, parsley, rosemary, chives and mint). Even though the lamb is the star of this mouthwatering entrée, the olives also get top billing. While this dish features green olives, there are many other varieties of olives that can be enjoyed in a plethora of dishes. Olives are perfect to use in a tapenade, in your favorite pasta or on a vegetable crudité platter. 

SELECTION AND STORAGE

To purchase olives, look no further than your local supermarket where you’ll find them in jars, cans and oftentimes in an olive bar, which many specialty markets offer. These bars make it convenient to taste-test varieties that might not be familiar to you. Most often, olive bars offer whole olives but many have olives that are stuffed with items like peppers, garlic and almonds. Making sure the olives you purchase aren’t soft or mushy will help to enhance your tasting experience. If you opt for the canned variety and don’t use all the contents after opening, store the excess in a sealed container with the brining liquid in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for one to two weeks. Olives purchased in a glass jar can be safely kept in the refrigerator for up to two months.

DID YOU KNOW?

Olives and olive oil are major players in the Mediterranean diet, which has long been thought to have numerous health benefits. Olives contain monounsaturated fat, which is thought to decrease blood pressure, and also have oleuropein, which can decrease oxidation of LDL cholesterol. They’re also a good source of vitamin E and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Susan Belknap

For details on where to buy Placer County farm-fresh produce, wine, meat and local products, visit placergrown.org.


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