As chilly weather sets in and days get shorter, comfort food favorites once again fill menus. While traditional flavor combinations typically hold a special place in many families’ hearts and on their plates, there is almost always room to add new and exciting flavors to tried-and-true favorites.
If you’re craving cheesy scalloped potatoes, savory stuffing or juicy braised meat, olives are an easy addition that can spruce up your go-to dishes. Their mild and unique taste lends itself well to many different flavor pairings such as Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breast, and Potatoes Au Gratin with Olives and Fennel.
For more creative ways to use olives, visit calolive.org.
POTATOES AU GRATIN WITH FENNEL AND OLIVES
1 bulb fennel, washed, stalks removed and cored
1/2 yellow onion
2 large russet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, heavy whipping cream, divided
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated, divided
3/4 cup Jarlsberg cheese, grated, divided
Using mandoline or handheld slicer, thinly slice fennel, onion and potatoes.
In medium pan, heat olive oil and butter then saute onion and fennel over medium-low heat 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat.
In large bowl, combine sliced potatoes with 1 cup cream, olives, salt, pepper and all but 2 tablespoons of each cheese.
Add cooked fennel and onion to bowl and stir to combine.
Transfer potato mixture to 8x8-inch baking dish or deep pie plate and flatten surface so potatoes are mostly submerged in cream.
In small bowl, combine remaining cheese with remaining cream. Sprinkle cheese over top of potatoes evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown and bubbly. If needed, tent with foil to prevent top from becoming too brown.
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED STUFFED TURKEY BREAST
1/4 cup salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 quarts water
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) turkey breast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup sliced green olives, divided
4 to 5 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Orange slices, for garnish
In large, non-reactive bowl, mix salt, peppercorns and bay leaves in water. Place turkey breast in brine and cover with additional water, if needed. Place plastic wrap over bowl and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove turkey breast from brine, rinse and pat dry. On large cutting board with sharp, sturdy knife, slice into thickest portion of turkey and cut lengthwise, but not all the way through.
Brush inside of turkey breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, rosemary, parsley and orange zest. Spread minced garlic, cranberries and 1/2 cup sliced olives over bottom half of turkey breast then fold top over bottom.
Brush outside of turkey breast with remaining olive oil and place prosciutto slices over top of turkey breast. Using three pieces kitchen twine, tie turkey breast on each end and in middle.
On baking sheet, roast turkey 15 minutes at 375 degrees, then turn heat down to 350 and roast 35 to 45 minutes. Once internal temperature reaches about 155, remove from oven and tent foil over top to allow it to continue cooking and stay warm. Let turkey rest about 15 minutes.
Once turkey is cool enough to handle, remove kitchen twine and slice. Arrange slices on platter.
Take remaining juice from baking sheet and add to saucepan over medium heat along with butter. Once butter is melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk. While whisking, add 1 cup chicken broth. If it becomes thick, add 1/2 cup chicken broth, or more, as needed. Let gravy cook several minutes, whisking constantly.
When gravy is done, remove from heat and drizzle over sliced turkey.
breast. Garnish with remaining green olives and orange slices. Serve warm.
GREEN BEANS WITH OLIVE BUTTER
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
20 black olives, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 quarts, plus 1/4 cup, water, divided
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
In food processor, pulse butter, olives, shallots and garlic; set aside.
In large saucepan or stockpot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil.
Add green beans and boil until tender-crisp, but still bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Work in batches, if necessary. Drain well and immediately plunge into bowl of ice water to stop cooking. In large skillet, add remaining water over medium heat. Add blanched beans and toss until heated through.
Toss beans with olive butter to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving platter.