If there’s one appetizer I think I could eat with pretty much every meal, it would be olives. Some people aren’t into them, and that’s cool, but for me their briny saltiness is just the bee’s knees… or, I guess, the olive’s pimento.
Speaking of pimentos, that’s what’s stuffed inside of probably 99% of olives these days. While pimentos are okay, they are very far from my favorite when it comes to stuffings for olives. My two absolute favorite stuffings are pickled garlic and jalapenos.
And you can find olives in the store these days stuffed with both of these things. Here’s the problem though. First, they jack up the price. You’d think they were stuffing these things with gold or something. Second, most stuffed olives in the store are wussy. They have a tiny sliver of garlic or a fleck of jalapeno.
That’s not my style. So I decided to do some of my own olive stuffing a few weeks ago and they turned out awesome.
1) Mix fresh herbs with goat cheese and fresh cracked pepper.
2) Slice garlic cloves into quarters and jalapeno slices into halves.
3) Using fingers, stuff olives with goat cheese mixture until it's full. For garlic/jalapeno, add a tiny amount of goat cheese and then press in the filling.
4) Serve them up!
Obviously, you don’t have to make 50 olives to do this recipe. The nice thing about it is that you can pretty much customize the amounts down to the exact number of olives you need.
Besides using large chunks of garlic and jalapeno for my olives, I also did some with an herbed goat cheese. I used some of the goat cheese with the jalapeno and garlic olives as well. So goat cheese was in every variety. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
When it comes to picking olives for stuffing, I like the green kind. Ideally, if your grocery store has a well-stocked olive bar you should be able to find some green olives that are pitted, but not stuffed with anything. If not there though, you can usually find a jar of them.
It doesn’t matter if they have herbs or spices with them, just make sure they are pretty good sized and pitted.
Mine had a Greek style pickling, but it doesn’t matter. You can use whatever you can find.
For the cheese filling, I just chopped up a few tablespoons of fresh herbs and mixed it with my goat cheese along with a good amount of fresh pepper.
Not only is it a great filling, but it works well in the jalapeno and garlic olives also.
The key about the garlic is that you don’t want to use fresh garlic. That would be a bad idea.
You should be able to find pickled garlic though in your olive bar also. These are whole cloves and the pickling just takes off some of the bite. They are more mellow, but still pack plenty of garlic flavor.
I quartered my cloves and used one quarter per olive.
As far as jalapenos go, any pickled jalapeno will work.
Half a jalapeno slice per olive should do the trick. You’ll have some of the jalapeno sticking out of the olive, but that’s fine. It acts as a warning for all those trying them!
Filling the olives
I wish there were an elegant way to stuff an olive, but it’s pretty much a hands and fingers job.
I thought about using a pastry bag with a fine tip and I think I might try that if I did them again, but fingers work just fine.
Just get some of the goat cheese mixture on your finger tips and work it into the olive until it’s coming out the other end. If you’re doing the garlic or jalapeno variety, I just put a tiny amount of goat cheese in the olive and then pressed in the stuffing.
Worked like a charm!
These are kind of messy and maybe not the prettiest things in the world, but the flavors are awesome. They’re really ramped up over the store varieties.
I used some pretty standard olive stuffings for these. I’d be curious if you guys have any ideas for other stuffings that might work in an olive.
Leave a comment if you have a good olive stuffing idea!