We love mum's olive bread - eaten on its own or dipped in olive oil - it really is the complete meal.
Recipe makes 2 loaves
30g fresh yeast, 4.5 cups of plain flour (plus extra for dusting), 2 cups of warm water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil (plus extra for brushing), 1 teaspoon of salt, 40 pitted olives of choice.
Place warm water in a bowl, add yeast and stir to dissolve. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, olive oil and salt and mix together with your hand to form a stretchy dough. Cover with tea towel and thick blanket, then set aside in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size.
Dust a clean work surface with flour and generously oil two baking trays.
Divide the dough in half. take each portion of dough and flatten it out, then divide the olives between the two pieces of dough and press into each piece. Knead the dough a little to mix in the olives, then form each piece into a log shape.
Place the dough on the prepared trays. Cover with a clean tea towel, then set aside in a warm spot for 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius fan-forced.
Bake the loaves for 40 minutes, then remove them from the oven and brush with olive oil. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees celsius and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Enjoy!
Romolo, Teresa's father was taught this recipe from his mother back in their village in Calabria, Italy. Olives were a staple in their diet - an important food supply. So when he came to Australia, the first tree he planted in his backyard was an olive tree - a symbol of food security and peace of mind.
This recipe is easy to follow. Aromatics such as garlic and dried oregano are added to the olives just before serving, rather than being preserved with the olives. This enhances the flavour of the olive without it being overpowered.
In our first Mangia! Manga! book, there are many olive recipes offering different olive experiences together with a rich selection of traditional preserves for you to try.
Makes about 8 litres
Ingredients: 5 kg large green kalamata olives, 8 lemons, 500g salt, 3 cups boiling water, 1 cup regular white vinegar, light extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, 3.75 litres cold water
Special equipment: 1 large plastic bucket, 15-16 x 500ml jars (sterilised)
Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, sliced fresh red or green chillies, sliced garlic cloves, strips of lemon zest, dried oregano, freshly ground black pepper
On a firm surface such as wooden table or chopping board, smash the olives one by one with the bottom of an empty glass jar or bottle to split the olive flesh to expose the stone, taking care not to completely crush the olive.
As you are splitting olives place in bucket with water. Prepare water in bucket by slicing 2 lemons in quarters and squeezing juice into water and adding squeezed lemon quarters. Once all olives have been split, cover with inverted plate, wide enough to ensure olives are covered and submerged in water. Water should be at leat 10cm above plate. No olives should be floating on water.
Leave the olives to soak for 4 days. Changing water and lemons every day around the same time. Store the bucket in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight. After 4 days drain the olives and discard lemon pieces.
To make the curing solution, place the salt and boiling water in a bucket and stir until dissolved then add the cold water. Once the water has cooled to room temperature add the white vinegar.
Pack the olives tightly into the jars and carefully pour over to cover all olives. Drizzle a little olive oil to seal the olives and then seal the jars. Leave them to cure in a cool, dark place for at leat 4 months. The olives are ready when all trace of bitterness has gone.
Olives will last in unopened jars stored in cool place for up to 2 years. Once jar opened the olives will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
To dress the olives, drain well and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds, transfer to a serving bowl and coat with olive oil. For each 500ml jar of olives, add one to two sliced chillies, two or three slices of garlic cloves, two strips of lemon zest and one teaspoon of dried oregano. Mix through and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Dressed olives do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but should be consumed within 2 days.
Buon Appetito !
These biscuits are made at both Christmas and Easter. They have a soft and crumbly pastry shell with a delicious hidden centre of either jam or Nutella
Makes about 40
1/2 cup (165 g) Nutella
1/2 cup (160 g ) jam
Icing sugar mixture for dusting
300 ml pure cream
3 1/3 cups (500 g) self -raising flour, plus extra for dusting
125 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg yolk (from a 70g egg)
1/2 cup (100g ) caster sugar
Preheat oven to 170 degree celcius fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the pastry, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon, then knead lightly to form a smooth dough. Shape into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic film, then place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to about 5 mm thick. Put a plate, roughly 18 cm in diameter, onto the dough and use a zigzag pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut out circles. (You will get about seven circles of pastry once you've gathered up the trimmings and re -rolled).
Cut each circle into six triangles. Place a scant teaspoon of Nutella or jam on the widest part of the triangle. Fold over to encase the filling, then continue to fold until you get to the tip and curl the ends to form a crescent shape. Place on the prepared tray and repeat with the remaining dough and filling
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks then dust with icing sugar to serve.
These biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
We would never contemplate having a celebration without these traditional biscuits. Not having these on your guantiera (biscuit tray) would be like forgetting to invite Nonna - just not done. Decorated with a red or green glace cherry or a blanched almond, these biscuits look like sparkling jewels.As kids, we would always pick off the cherry and hand it to our mums, but now we wouldn't dream of desecrating them in this way. You'll need to start these the day before, as they are to set in fridge overnight before baking.
Makes about 30
200 grames almond meal 250 castor sugar
1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon almond essence
2 egg white mixed glace cherries or balanced almonds
Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Place the almond meal, sugar, honey and almond essence in a large bowl and mix for 2 minutes with hand-held electric beaters until well combined (the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs). Add one egg at a time mixing well after each addition, then continue to mix until a paste forms.
Transfer the paste to a piping bag, fitted with a medium-sized star-shaped nozzle, and pipe walnut-sized drops onto the prepared baking trays at a 3 cm intervals. Place a glace cherry or an almond on top, pressing down a little to secure it in the centre of the biscuit, then place the trays in the fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 170C fan-forced and bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes or until light or until light golden.
Leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. these biscuits will keep in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe and more available in our second award winning book Mangia! Mangia! Gatherings
These mini arancini do not have the concentration of filling in the centre of the larger variety. Instead, the ingredients are mixed in with the rice making them quicker to make and easier to eat one after the other . Mum makes them often as her grandchildren love them, and there is always a batch in the freezer on hand for unexpected pop-ins.
Makes about 40
2 1/2 cups (500g) medium-grain rice, cooked and cooled
200 g mozzarella, sliced and chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup (40 g ) finely grated parmigiano
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1/2 quantity Bolognese Sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups (150 g) died breadcrumbs
light olive oil, for deep-frying
Place the rice in a large bowl and add all the remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs and oil. Mix thoroughly, ensuring all ingredients are well combined. The rice mixture should be moist and easy to mould - if it does not bind together well, and a little extra pecorino.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the breadcrumbing on a plate. To assemble the aracini, shape a teaspoon of rice mixture into a ball., then roll in the breadcrumbs and place on the prepared tray. Repeat until all the rice mixture is used, then place the tray in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the arancini to firm up.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep heavy-based frying pan until hot. Working in batches, fry the arancini, turning, for 2 - 3 minutes until golden brown all over, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
light olive oil, for deep-frying
At long last, pomegranate is readily available at markets and fruit stalls! We were lucky enough to have grown up with a pomegranate tree in the backyard - and now all can enjoy this versatile, delicious exotic fruit with significant health benefits! This recipe creatively combines simple flavours to make a salad of distinction. Insalata Rossa, beautifully compliments a meat dish or fabulous as a stand alone meal. Buon Appeitto
1/4 head red cabbage, finely cut
1/2 head radicchio, finely cut
4-5 radishes, finely sliced
1/2 cup raisins soaked in Marsala for 20-30 minutes
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 pomegranate seeds
Dressing : extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar,
salt and pepper
The method is straight forward. The key is to cut/shred the red cabbage as finely as possible. Mix all the ingredients together. Add dressing, salt and pepper to your preferred taste.
Makes 2 x 24cm Tarts
This sweet ricotta tart is made by our mums during Easter. The use of ricotta makes it a light and moist Italian-style cheesecake. It is so very easy to make. Family and friends will love it.
Serves 3 - 4
(Pine Mushroom Fritters). Pine mushrooms have a very brief availability in the heart of Autumn.