Let’s talk snacks; I have an endless love for them (which has well been documented here, here, here, as well as in various conversations I’ve had both with myself, as well as with others- often without being asked) and an overwhelming need to constantly come up with new recipes and ways to sneak them in my daily schedule. For example, when I’m watching a film or TV, there needs to be snacks around. Sometimes they are as simple as popcorn or homemade spicy nuts, but often they’ll be slightly more elaborate, like a small selection of cheeses or hummus, along with crackers and crudités. You see, Mike and I disagree almost always on what to watch, but we’re always, and I mean always, on the same page when it comes to snacks: the more the merrier and the tastier the better.
We are currently binge-watching Bloodline and I am currently (and I’m sure this will pass in no time) over hummus (even in its more pimped-up form)- which is quite understandable, since it’s always been my go-to snack and I can consume impressive quantities of it. So there I was the other night, in my kitchen, in hummus- abstinence, ready for another episode and snack.
I looked at the big jar of dates on my kitchen countertop, I munched on a couple, I opened the cupboards and fridge a couple times, I reached for a wine bottle (always of great support in difficult situations like this) and then for the jar of olives behind the bottle. I love olives. Put a small plate full of ’em in front of me, blink, and they’re gone. To help my thinking process, I had an olive, then another and then, for variety, went back to the dates. And there it was, the answer to my question, my soon-to-be new best friend: dates and olives are so good together!
Of course they are! You got sweet on one hand and subtle savoury acidity on the other. Overexcited, I stopped eating and started pulsing: dates and olives together until soft and pasty, wine vinegar for kick and just a splash of balsamic for extra sweetness, extra virgin olive oil and finally, to bring everything together, chopped fresh parsley. We have a winner here, people! Absolutely delicious and so good for you.
If you’re like me, maybe you prefer having your olives on their own. But then again, if you’re like me post date/olive revelation, you’ll want your olives mixed with dates for like ever. You’ll want them blend in a smooth and shiny, sweet and salty paste. You’ll want them just like so, or maybe sitting on some cream cheese, on top of a cracker, with some wine or whisky. So, leave the bag of chips and jar of salsa alone, and go for this wholesome and super tasty snack. I guarantee, you won’t be able to keep away from this.
1 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pulse the olives and dates in a food processor, until a chunky paste forms. Add the vinegar and parsley and pulse again, slowly adding the olive oil, until the paste is smooth.
Serve alone, spread on bread or crackers, or along with some cream or goat cheese.