Black Olives

 (“Olive Nere” “Alivi Nivuri”)

 

Sicily produces a large amount of olives and the region is one of Italy’s largest manufacturers of cured olives and of quality olive oil.  
If you go to ‘La Vucciria” in Palermo the olivari ( the sellers of olives) make a display of the olives, by patiently placing the olives one on top of another to form a small conic mountain, maybe in resemblance of the Etna mountain. 
The many varieties of green or black olives are displayed separately according to their size, or by the method in which they were preserved, salt, brine or vinegar; some olives are condite-seasoned with oil, herbs and spices, ready to be taken home and to enjoy this delicious snack.

The province of Ragusa is among the biggest producers of olives and olive oil.
The olives grown in Catania are colossal and the production is mostly used to be consumed in salads as an appetizer or stuffed with roasted red pepper and capers.
In the pantry of every Sicilian home there are black and green olives, salted anchovies, giardiniera, cheeses and pasta, ready for any unexpected guest, or for a quick snack.
Below are a few versions of the black olives preparation Sicilian style.

 

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Black Olives Salad

(“Olive Nere Condite”– “Alivi Nivuri Cunzati”)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. black olives, rinsed.
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
  • red crushed pepper to taste

PREPARATION
Mix all ingredients, and serve at room temperature.

 

Variation: You can add sliced red onions, and /or roasted peppers.

 

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Black Olives alla Musco

(“Olive Nere Condite”- “Alivi Nivuri Cunzati alla Musco”)

Angelo Musco was a Sicilian comedian very famous before the II World War.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. black olives rinsed.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, whole
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • red crushed pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients, and after a few hours, serve at room temperature.

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Fried Black Olives

(“Olive Nere Fritte”- “Alive Fritte”)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. salted black olives, rinsed and placed in a colander
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley for garnish

 

PREPARATION

 

Pat dry olives with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. 
Place olives, garlic and oil in a large frying pan and sauté over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
Remove from heat, and pour the vinegar over them.
Return to the fire and as the vinegar evaporates add the oregano, cook at a lower heat for an additional 4 minutes.
Serve hot or cold garnished with the chopped parsley.

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Baked Black Olives

(“Olive Nere al Cartoccio”- “Alive ‘Nfurnati”)

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. black olives, rinse and pat dry
  • 1 teaspoon of dry rosemary or a small branch of fresh is preferred
  • 1 cloves of minced garlic
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
  • red crushed pepper to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • oregano to taste
  • few sprigs of parsley or mint for garnish

 

PREPARATION

Wrap olives and rosemary in foil paper and bake at 350 degree for 20 minutes.
Place baked olives in large bowl and pour over vinegar, oil, garlic and combine; blend in the red pepper, the black pepper and the oregano. Garnish with mint or parsley leaves.
Serve at room temperature.