Lindsay Olive Contest
March 10th, 2012 – Last year, when I tasted Lindsay olives at the food bloggers conference Eat Write Retreat in Washington, DC I was impressed. They were not like any of the canned, tinny, bland tasting olives I remembered from my youth. These were real meaty olives with a real olive taste, complete with fruity undertones and hints of grassiness. In fact, you would never guess that they came from a can.
Furthermore the company is a family run operation, already several generations old and located in California, the only state in the union that has a Mediterranean climate, making it ideal for growing olives. Some parts of this state are so similar in geography that looking at the countryside with rolling green hills and groves of olive trees you’d swear you were in Italy.
From a nutritional point of view olives are a real winner. An essential ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, olives are high in good monounsaturated fat and low in bad saturated fat. They’re also low in calories, 6 small black olives contain only 25 calories and 115 mg sodium.
I love these olives and so did my non-olive eating husband.
So, when this year Lindsay decided to host a recipe contest using Lindsay California black pitted or sliced olives I jumped at the chance. The winner receives a scholarship to attend the DC Food bloggers conference, Eat Write Retreat.
I decided to pair the olives with something that I knew it would go best with: Italian sausage, potatoes, onions and red peppers. The fact that I’m Italian and this is one of my most favorite comfort foods didn’t hurt either.
To liven things up a bit I added some spicy jalapeno peppers and right before serving tossed in some grated orange zest and fresh parsley. The orange zest adds a sweetness that complements the saltiness of the olives and savoriness of the meat and the parsley brightens up the dish bringing another dimension of flavor and color. If you think this dish looks great, just wait until you taste it!
Spicy Orange-Scented Olives with Italian Sausage, Red Potatoes and Sweet Peppers
The best part about this meal is you can make it all in one roasting pan. It’s easy and delicious. It also encompasses a wide range of flavors all in one bite — get a bit of everything in one forkful and you’ll taste sweet, salty, spicy, citrusy and meaty all at once.
Serves 4 to 6 people
12 ounces Italian sausage
1 lb. small red potatoes (sometimes called creamer potatoes), cubed in 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium sweet red pepper, cored and seed, then thinly sliced and cut in half
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced (canned or fresh)
1 ½ cups Lindsay California black pitted small olives
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Heat oven to 425 F. Place sausage in large 9 x 13-inch aluminum roasting pan. Then in large bowl toss potatoes, onions, peppers and olives with olive oil. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and pour around sausage in roasting pan.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven for 30 minutes (don’t worry if potatoes are not soft they have longer to cook). Uncover and cook 20 minutes more, now potatoes will be soft. Take sausage out and let sit on cutting board to rest. Place potato and olive mixture back in oven for 10 more minutes until potatoes begin to brown and olives look roasted.
Then take out vegetables, slice sausage into 1-inch pieces and place in serving bowl with potato and olive mixture. Add orange zest and parsley. Gently toss together to combine and serve.
NOTE: if you don’t have any jalapenos and still want to have some spice, try substituting the jalapeno peppers and 1/2 cup of the black olives for 1 cup of Lindsay Green Jalapeno stuffed olives. These olives are fantastic too and add another dimension of color and flavor. Just take a look below and see.