Are olives a fruit or a vegetable? The answer to this question depends on who you ask. They are the “fruit” of the olive tree, but for some culinary purposes they are considered a vegetable. Regardless of which category they belong to, one thing is for sure: they are healthy, flavorful, and versatile whether they are served on their own or used in any dish. Here are some ways to add this food to your diet.
Martinis should never be served without Spanish olives with pimento, and sometimes the right olive is all it takes to perfect a Bloody Mary or enhance a glass of Merlot. Topping off your favorite drink is just one way that raw olives can be used. They are also a great way to add taste and texture to any hors d’oeuvres selection. They pair well with nuts, cheese, and an array of vegetables – finding the best combinations is not only delicious but fun too. Whoever said “don’t play with your food” forgot the clause about discovering perfect olive pairings.
When people think of grilled fruits and vegetables, asparagus, zucchini, and pineapple might come to mind; olives, on the other hand, don’t usually make the list. However, marinating olives, threading them through skewers, and placing them on the grill is an easy way to add a little punch to any meal. Rosemary, oregano, and chili peppers are some of the spices that can be used to enhance their flavor, and voila you have a healthful, flavorful side dish or snack. Remember to add a splash of cold olive oil after they come off the grill to keep them from drying out.
Some of the most delicious Italian and Greek recipes include roasted olives. They go well together with various types of meats and fish, including pork, chicken, and salmon. Consider using different olive varieties in the same dish to send the flavor into overdrive and introduce beautiful green hues to your plate. Herb-roasted olives with lemon, garlic, and thyme are also delicious on everything from tuna salad to burgers and pizza.