First off a quick olive fact: Did you know that olives came from Syria and Iran originally and moved to the Mediterranean 6,000 years ago where it made a lot of people very rich?
Did you also know it is an amazingly versatile ingredient? Yes, I expect you did know that, but just to remind you here is our list of the best olive dishes.
At no. 9 try this tangy favourite. Roasted monkfish has such a beautiful meaty texture but a subtle flavour which brings out the best of the almighty olive. Also the lemon mash is the perfect complement as citrus and olives are natural bedfellows.
Grilled or Roasted Monkfish with black olive sauce and lemon mash
In at no. 8 ditch the meat and fish for this simple dish of marinated olives. Perfect for putting on your table to pick at while eating outdoors.
Marinated Mediterranean olives
New entry at 7 is this spicy tomato treat. Beautiful crisp crostini act as a plate for the main event, the good quality olives. Pass them round at a party and get munching.
Crostini with tomates and olives
No. 6 is a spot-on and dead easy classic. Fish and olives are again a knock-out combination. The tomato and olives add an amazing sweetness to the dish and balance it out beautifully. This is a real family favourite and brings a load of Mediterranean panache to the table.
Baked white fish with olives and a simple tomato sauce
In at no. 5 is this summertime favourite taking you straight to a beautiful Greek island, white beach, azure sea….you get the picture, now get the flavour.
No 4 gives us a fresh pasta dish with pure Italian flavours. A real winner for those quick pasta fix, store cupboard dinners.
Simple summer spaghetti
No 3 packs a Caribbean inspired punch, but with a kick of oregano. Red mullet is one of the best fish to barbecue but can be hard to find, make sure it comes from a sustainable source.
Barbecued red mullet with a hot salsa
A surprising dish at no. 2 as we chuck a whole cauliflower into the oven. Warming accompaniment to any roast or just as a seasonal smasher all on its own.
Whole baked cauliflower with tomato sauce and olives
At no. 1 we have a seasonal English belter. Leg of lamb is such a wonderful cut, but only as a treat as it is relatively high in fat. Cutting through the fattier slices, the olives, pinenuts and herbs offer a North African vibe to the dish. Rightfully top of the list, combining the best of British produce with inspiration from abroad and enough to feed an army. Cook it on special occasions to wow your family and friends.
Leg of Lamb stuffed with olives, bread, pinenuts and herbs