If you ever get the chance to watch Lidia’s Italy show on PBS, we highly recommend watching and trying her recipes.
Big green Castelvetrano olives are delicious prepared this way, but any meaty olive will do well. Just change the baking time according to the size. These olives are perfect to accompany an aperitivo.
- 2 ORANGES
- 1 POUND LARGE GREEN OLIVES WITH PITS (SUCH AS CASTELVETRANO)
- 3 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 3 SPRIGS FRESH ROSEMARY
- 2 SPRIGS FRESH THYME
- 3 CLOVES GARLIC, THINLY SLICED
- 2 PINCHES CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES
- ¼ TEASPOON FENNEL POWDER
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grate the zest of one orange, remove the zest of the second orange with a vegetable peeler, and then juice both oranges. In a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, toss together the olives, olive oil, 2 sprigs rosemary, the thyme, the zest removed with a peeler, orange juice, garlic, and 1 pinch crushed red pepper. Bake, tossing every 10 minutes, until olives are slightly shriveled and juices have reduced to a glaze, about 30 minutes.
While the olives are still hot, break the remaining sprig of rosemary over the top. Sprinkle with the finely grated orange zest, the fennel powder, and one more pinch crushed red pepper. Toss, and serve while still hot.
We served the olives warm, and they were a big hit! We made this recipe as is with no alterations. You can crush your fennel seed if you do not have powder. Easy to make, and fun to eat!
Ask your fishmonger to shuck the clams for you, leaving them on the half-shell, and tell him to reserve ½ cup of the clam juice. Then all you have to do when you get home is stuff and bake them. These are best served hot out of the oven, but you can lower the temperature and keep them warm for a limited time before serving (no more than 15 minutes, or the clams will get dry and tough) if needed. If you’re not a fan of spicy peppers, you can substitute roasted red peppers or sweet pickled peppers for the hot ones. I tell my eager guests to go slowly: straight out of the oven, the clams can be quite hot if eaten too quickly.
- 24 LITTLENECK CLAMS, SHUCKED, PLUS ½ CUP CLAM JUICE
- 1 CUP PANKO BREAD CRUMBS
- ½ CUP FINELY CHOPPED SCALLIONS
- ¼ CUP GRATED GRANA PADANO
- 2 HOT PICKLED CHERRY PEPPERS, SEEDED AND FINELY CHOPPED, PLUS 2 TABLESPOONS BRINE FROM THE JAR
- 1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY
- ¼ TEASPOON KOSHER SALT
- ¼ CUP EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- ¾ CUP DRY WHITE WINE
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set the clams on a rimmed sheet pan. In a medium bowl, combine the panko, scallions, grated cheese, pickled cherry peppers, parsley, and salt, and toss with a fork. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and toss again to make a moist stuffing.
Press some stuffing over each clam, dividing evenly and leaving a couple tablespoons filling in the bowl. Stir the reserved stuffing and the pepper brine into the white wine, and pour this into the bottom of the pan. Add ½ cup of the reserved clam juice.
Drizzle the clams with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until filling is crisp and golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
TIPS: You can find clams at your local grocery store but call ahead to make sure. We found clams at our local Kroger. Also, you must be patient! It is hard work opening up a clam. It took Parish almost an hour just to open up the clams! Plenty of YouTube videos to watch on how to open up a clam and not cut yourself. Plan ahead!