He also uses a sicilian olive tapenade on his roasted cauliflower
steak antipasti. “I take a head of cauliflower and cut a steak out
of it and roast it. It’s served with crispy garbanzo beans and
lemon vinaigrette. The olives are a bridge between the acidic
and the rich, fatty flavors.”
Elmaleh serves a simple traditional Italian antipasti that
includes four or five types of olives, artichokes and mushrooms,
and one that is a combination of kalamata olives and Moroccan
dry-cured olives, seasoned with chilies, vinegar and garlic and
warmed slightly with roasted almonds. “The spicy and acidic
qualities play off the brininess and smokiness of the olives and
almonds,” he says.
His stuffed fried olives begin with a quick braise to take out
the brininess and soften them. “Then, we stuff them with
Italian sausage, and deep-fry them. The secret is to overstuff
the olives. We serve them with an aioli.”
Beatty’s version of stuffed fried olives uses colossal
green or cerignola olives that are stuffed with sausage
and seasoned breadcrumbs.
Olives are great in salad dressings, as well, says Elmaleh,
who makes an arugula salad with an olive tapenade.
ABOVE: This Provence pasta at Fig & Olive combines niçoise olive tapenade with
grilled vegetables and fresh basil.
Danny Elmaleh | Executive Chef | Mercato di Vetro
West Hollywood, Calif.
1 cup Moroccan dried cured
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
Salt, to taste
1½ T. smoked paprika
1 cup unpeeled sliced almonds
Red wine vinegar, as needed
Cilantro, as needed
1) Rinse olives in water to
reduce saltiness; pat dry. Put in
bowl with olive oil to marinate.
2) In separate bowl, combine
garlic powder, onion powder,
salt, smoked paprika and
almonds; coat almonds with
spices. Spread on sheet pan;
toast in oven until almonds
begin to brown.
“Arugula is strong and pairs well with olives. We combine
niçoise and kalamata olives in an olive tapenade, toss the
arugula with the tapenade and add Marcona almonds and
ricotta. The arugula can stand up to the olives, since both
are strong, and then the ricotta mellows everything out.”
His lamb Bolognese pasta dish also features niçoise olives.
He tosses pappardelle with ricotta and the olives.
A smaller olive, such as a French picholine, goes well with
pasta sauces and pairs with tomatoes, Beatty says. He makes
a fresh puttanesca sauce with olives for a sea bass pasta dish.
Halasz makes olives a key ingredient of Fig & Olive’s
Provence pasta—spaghetti with a niçoise olive tapenade,
grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, tomato) and fresh
basil. And verdial olives add flair to his Salmon a la
Andalucia, with seared salmon, zucchini, fennel, tomato
Beatty uses olives to liven up tuna on an Italian tuna salad
sandwich served on a housemade panini roll. He mixes gaeta
olives into the tuna. “These are smaller, darker olives that
are kind of sweet and salty. It gives a good contrast to the
PHOTO CREDIT: Fig & Olive