Piquillo pepper and anchovy-stuffed olives
Makes 8 servings Simple ingredients prepared in a simple way— that’s the best way to take your everyday cooking to a higher level. Buy large unpitted olives for this dish. It’s more work for you, but the olives are usually better quality and have meatier flesh. Piquillo peppers come in jars, available at specialty markets…

CIA FOODIES


Piquillo- and Anchovy-Stuffed Olives

Makes 8 servings Simple ingredients prepared in a simple way— that’s the best way to take your everyday cooking to a higher level. Buy large unpitted olives for this dish. It’s more work for you, but the olives are usually better quality and have meatier flesh. Piquillo peppers come in jars, available at specialty markets and from online sources.

Ingredients

  • 16 extra-large unpitted imported green olives
  • 8 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 4 canned piquillo peppers
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt, as needed

Directions

  1. Pit the olives, using an olive pitter if possible. If you must pit them manually, put your hand on top of the widest part of the flat side of a knife, and press down on the side of each olive. Apply steady pressure until the olive flattens slightly and you feel resistance from the pit. Give the olive a quarter turn and use the knife as before to gently press down, steadily increasing pressure until you meet resistance from the pit once again. At this point, the pit should be mostly freed from the flesh of the olive. Make a lengthwise slit in the olive from end to end, stopping at the pit. Gently pry any adhering olive flesh from the pit, using a paring knife, if necessary, to free the pit. Be careful not to split the olive in half.
  2. Cut the anchovy fillets lengthwise to create sixteen long slices, removing any long or stiff bones. Cut the piquillo peppers into sixteen 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  3. Place one anchovy slice and one pepper strip in each olive. You can be generous with the filling, allowing the anchovy and pepper to spill out of the olive.
  4. Split open the garlic cloves by placing them on a chopping board and pressing down hard with the base of your hand or with the flat side of a knife. Discard the peels.
  5. Mix together the garlic, olive oil, orange zest, and vinegar in a small bowl. Place the stuffed olives in a separate shallow, wide bowl, pour the dressing over them, and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove the olives from the dressing, sprinkle with sea salt, and arrange on a plate with toothpicks for serving.

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