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Food of the Day: Olives & Almonds at Grill & Vine

Food of the Day: Olives & Almonds at Grill & Vine

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Fried olives stuffed with anchovy — do I need to say more?

Olives & Almonds at Grill & Vine in Whistler, British Columbia.

Think bar snacks, but better. The Westin Whistler Hotel & Spa’s newest restaurant addition, Grill & Vine, has found the perfect upgrade for the good old bowl of nuts often served at a bar: a snack they call simply "Olives & Almonds."

Don’t let the name fool you, as these are no ordinary olives. Or almonds. Served in a sleek metal bowl is a mix of lightly semolina-crusted and fried green olives, stuffed with anchovy, and salted, roasted almonds. Not only does the bowl look pretty — much better than that dish of peanuts I am used to digging into at my neighborhood bar — but the flavors are surprisingly complex.

Biting into an olive you get the slight crunch of the fried batter, the briny flavor of olive, and then — as you reach the middle — a burst of saltiness from the anchovies. Imagine eating a bite-size anchovy-topped pizza minus the cheese and you know what I’m talking about. The almonds, salty and crunchy, add bite and diversity to the snack bowl, and I could personally have kept picking between the two snack components for quite a bit longer than I probably should: olive, almond, olive, almond…

If I ever opened a bar (which is highly unlikely), I would definitely bring this creative snack to the table. Until then, I’m hoping to soon find similar snack offerings at a restaurant or bar in my home city of New York. If you know where I should look, please, let me know!

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? A mouthwatering food or drink and the perfect place to get it? Send over photos and tips to esaatela[at]

A traditional Turkish family has three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with snack times (afternoon tea, etc).

A Turkish breakfast consists of bread, white cheese, olives, butter, eggs, marmalade or honey. tomato, cucumber and green pepper and testicals are served especially during spring and summer for breakfast. Generally adults drink tea, and children drink milk at the breakfast. Recently, due to the Western influence, instant coffee and cereals are also have their places at the breakfast table.

Lunch and dinner have simillar courses, how ever dinner is the main meal of the day for the family. Traditional Turkish cuisine includes meze, a tray or table of small dishes including stuffed vine leaves, salads, and a variety of other items, as well as shish kebab grilled on a skewer. rice pilaf is very common, and bread and soups are important parts of the diet. Fish is fairly plentiful along the Bosporus and the coast, but tends to be expensive.

The most important ingredients are tomato paste and oil. oil choice changes according to the region. At the Eegean region olive oil has an important role, and butter is very common at East and South regions. Meat is a common ingredient and it is often grilled.

Turkish desserts include baklava (a dessert of syrup and pastry), kadayif (kataifi) and muhallebi (milk pudding). Turkish coffee (kahve), a thick brew served in small cups, is served with nearly every meal.

Other Turkish cuisines are: almodrote de berengena (Turkish Eggplant flan), apple tea, arnavut cigeri (Lamb's liver with red peppers, aubergine dolmas, aubergine pilaf in olive oil, aubergine salad (Turkish patlican salatasi), aubergine, ayran yogurt shake, baked spinach rolls, baklava, baklava with cream filling (muhallebili baklava), basbousa bil laban zabadi (basbousa with yogurt), basbousa bil loz (basbousa with almonds), bell pepper dolmas in olive oil, bread with tahini and syrup, bulgur pilaf, kavurma fashion, bureck, caramelized onions with eggs and carrot puree.

Turkey is classed as being part of two continents Asia and Europe. Turkey’s climate varies from high temperatures to low, which is why many types of vegetables and fruits can be cultivated. In the north side of Turkey, tea is cultivated and the south side chili peppers. Because of the Turkish Islamic traditions, Pork meat consumption is forbidden, which is why Lamb, fish and Chicken meat are the main ingredients in Turkish meat dishes. During the Ottoman Empire’s existence Turkish cuisine expanded the most. Some Turkish culinary habits such as using sweet spices or even fruits as ingredients in meat dishes were borrowed from the north African cuisine. In the eastern part of Turkey, honey and cereals are produced. Nowadays, rice and Wheat are still being used as main ingredients for the consistent meals. Usually eggs, cheese or jam are composing the Turkish breakfast. Salads and soups are served at lunch time and the last meal of the day, dinner, is the most consistent.

The Turkish pilav is the most popular dish, made of rice or cracked wheat with fish, Chicken, Lamb meat, or with vegetables. The Turkish aubergine pilaf, named "patlicanli pilav" is a delicious, healthy and consistent dish. The main ingredients for the Turkish aubergine pilav are: rice, aubergines, olive oil, onions, pine nuts, tomatoes, currants, Sugar, cinnamon and pepper. The aubergines are first cut horizontally and fried. rice is fried in a little oil and cooked in hot water afterwards. Other ingredients are also mixed after the water is added. The Turkish pilav is served hot.

Another traditional dish is the Turkish Swordfish skewers, named "kilic sis." The main ingredients for this hot dish are: Swordfish cut into cubes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, bay leaves, fresh parsley and cayenne pepper. The Turkish delight, "rahat lokum," is known as the most popular Turkish dessert. It is made of lemon and orange juice, caster sugar, powdered gelatin, cornflower, icing gelatin, rose flower water and food coloring. In Turkish cuisine, most dishes are prepared not in the oven but on top of the stove. The fruits are consumed fresh during the spring and summer and dried during winter, being also cooked in various ways.

Try these easy Heritage Day recipes and treat your guests, South African style.

If you are a fan of the original potato salad with your Heritage day braai, why not try this spruced up version with garlic, mint, peppers and sprouts.

Yes, and then there&rsquos the traditional Three Bean Salad &ndash perfect to add to the heritage day spread.

This is a great variation of the Three Bean Salad. These Smoky Mexican Bean Salad can be served as a side salad or condiment relish.

Your Heritage Day Menu cannot simply go without a few of these chicken kebabs on the grill. Delicious!

Finally, no Heritage Day Menu is complete with a good old Malva Pudding. Your guests won&rsquot last long before they dig in for seconds. Remember the custard!

There you have it! I hope one and all will enjoy this special day with the rest of us! What&rsquos on your Heritage Day menus?

I wish I knew 100% what is in the Roasted Tomato Sofrito Blend, but what I have found by tasting it paired with a little research is that it&rsquos a blend of tomatoes, onion, Canola Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Dried Garlic, Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, among other secret spices. I&rsquove found that by slow roasting grape tomatoes it tastes very similar to that delicious tomato sofrito blend Panera has!

I first started by roasting grape tomatoes. This is best to be done the morning that you want to eat the salad or the day before. It&rsquos a slow process and they roast for a few hours on 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit for a good 2-3 hours. It seems like a long time but your cooking these low and slow. I make these often during tomato season. They are sooo good.

Next up, make the homemade Greek Salad Dressing. This recipe makes a little less than 1 cup which is great for small batch salads and should be plenty of dressing between the 4 salads. You&rsquoll also want to cook your quinoa too.

Then, once you&rsquove done all the prep work it&rsquos time to assemble the salad. This salad is so good and tastes so much like the new Panera salad yet cost a fraction of the price which makes me happy! This is a great salad to enjoy for lunch or dinner or even serve as a side with soup. Regardless of the way you serve this salad, I invite you to make my copycat recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Sliced Almonds.

Preserved olives

There are a huge variety of olives available, and this recipe, though months in the making, showcases the flavour of this popular and versatile Mediterranean ingredient. Serve these preserved olives as part of an antipasto platter, or give a jar as a gift.


Skill level


  • 3 kg olives, mixed green and black (picked before becoming fully ripe)
  • 300 ml vinegar
  • handful of coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 2 weeks

Brining time 45 days

Prepare olives
Place black and green olives in a 20 litre bucket of water and change the water every day for the next 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, place the olives in another bowl filled with vinegar.

Allow to marinate in vinegar for 2 days. Remove the olives from the vinegar and place them on a tray. Cover the olives with coarse salt. Allow the olives to sit in salt for 1 further day. Brush off the excess salt. The olives are then ready to be added to the brine solution.

Brine solution
For every litre of water add approximately 250-400 ml of vinegar. Add a handful of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir vigorously.

Sterilise jars and recycled bottles
If you are buying brand new jars or using recycled bottles always get into the habit of washing the screw top lids and glass jars/bottles with warm soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and place glass jars/bottles on a tray and pop them into the oven at 120°C for 10 minutes until jars/bottles are completely dry. Wait for jars/bottles to cool before handling them or use tongs when taking them out of the oven.

Preparing olives for jars/bottles in brine solution
Place as many olives in the sterilised jars or bottles and pour brine solution to the top of the rim so that no air is allowed in the jar or bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and allow to stand in a dark cupboard for a further 45 days. Label and date your jars and keep them in a dark pantry.

Serve olives with goat's cheese, roasted capsicum or fresh garlic.

Why we love this romesco sauce recipe:

  • It's easy to prepare at home.
  • It slighlty sweet from the roasted veggies and tangy from the vinegar.
  • It has very simple ingredients: red bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, bread, hazelnuts or almonds, and seasoning.
  • It can easily be made gluten-free. Just use gluten-free bread!
  • Use matzah instead of bread to make it Passover friendly.
  • Don't feel like roasting peppers and tomatoes? Just use them out of a jar or can. You can also use sun dried tomatoes if you have them.
  • You can adjust seasoning to your liking. Use sweet or smoked paprika or a combination of both.
  • Make sure you use a flavorful extra virgin olive oil and don't skip the vinegar.
  • Allergic to nuts? Use sunflower seeds instead.

Spanish Cuisine Ingredients

The two basic ingredients of Spanish food are olive oil and garlic in fact, it's not uncommon for the only common ingredients used throughout the country to be garlic and olive oil. However, because Spain is comprised of distinct geographical regions settled by different ethnic and cultural groups, and because the weather varies from province to province, the regional cuisines are in fact very different.

Here is a list of typical ingredients and foods:

  • Olive oil: Spanish recipes either call for olive oil or lard, mainly olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is worth the added expense. Spain is a leading producer of olive oil, and olives are grown all over the Andalucia region in the south of Spain. Many typical Spanish dishes are fried in olive oil.
  • Ham: or jamón, as the Spanish say, is a prized food. Spaniards take their ham very seriously and will pay a high price for top quality. Typically you'll encounter jamón serrano or ham from the Sierra or mountains, but there are many different kinds. Learn about jamón español, and where to buy it outside of Spain.
  • Fish and Seafood: Because Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula, fresh seafood is always plentiful in the markets and served in restaurants. The Spanish eat fish or shellfish daily everything from halibut to shrimp and even octopus and baby eels is common.
  • Cheeses: Wonderful cheeses of every type are available in Spain, made from sheep, cow, goat, and mixed milk types. Types range from aged cheeses, such as manchego variety from La Mancha, to the soft, creamy cheeses such as tetilla from Galicia, and everything in between. Spain produces blue cheeses that mature in limestone caves, such as Cabrales. Cheese can be eaten as a tapa, during meals, and for dessert.
  • Sausages: Spanish love sausage—especially chorizo, a pork sausage made with paprika. There are many types of chorizo, from fresh and soft to smoked and aged. Every local market offers a variety, and Spanish families often make their own in the winter and hang them in the cellar or the attic to dry. The preparation and spices used in Spanish chorizo are different from the chorizo made in Mexico or the Caribbean.
  • Beef, Lamb, and Pork: All three types of meat are common and can be roasted, grilled over the coals, or sautéed in a sauce. Generally, Spanish prefer veal and suckling lamb and pig. Roasted meats are a popular dish for holidays and festive occasions.
  • Eggs: Eggs are eaten daily either fried, deviled or in a Spanish omelet, called a tortilla Española in Spain. They are an essential part of many recipes, from salads to desserts.
  • Chicken: Chicken is very popular. It is prepared in every way, but most commonly is fried or stewed, although roasted chicken is sold "to go" in many small stores.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Spanish people eat lots of fresh fruit as snacks or as the last course of their meals. A fresh fruit bowl sits in most kitchens. Simple salads and sautéed vegetables are eaten every day. Popular dishes often include sweet peppers, eggplant, and zucchini.
  • Legumes: Beans and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) have been a staple for centuries and rivaled bread as the most commonly eaten food. The most famous Spanish bean dish is probably the cocido madrileño, which is a classic stew from Madrid with chickpeas, sausage, and ham.
  • Nuts: Spain is one of the top producers of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Almond-based and milk-based desserts are very common. Turrón, the almond nougat candy eaten at Christmas, is probably the best known of these sweets. Many Spanish recipes of Arabic origin contain ground almonds, and almonds were used for centuries to thicken sauces and stews. In Spain hazelnuts, not almonds, are the most popular nut mixed with chocolate.
  • Herbs, Garlic, and Onions: Garlic, onions, and herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme are used, but garlic more than the others.

Bread is a staple at most tables in Spain. You might see it as a side to a meal, as the vehicle for ripe and juicy tomatoes, or in the form of a flatbread (coca). Sandwiches are also a staple look for montaditos (small pieces of bread or mini sandwiches with spread on top of them) or bocadillos (baguette sandwiches).

Whether it’s listed as pan con tomate in Andalusia or pa amp tomàquet in Catalonia, tomato-rubbed bread can be found on just about every Spanish menu. In San Francisco, chef Ryan Pollnow puts his own spin on it, by grilling slices of sourdough bread, rubbing them with garlic, then grating fresh tomato pulp and topping the bread with slices of luxurious jamón Ibérico.

Spain’s answer to pizza is this crisp flatbread, known as a coca, baked with a variety of sweet and savory toppings. Excellent cut into small wedges and served as an hors d’oeuvre, it also makes a satisfying vegetarian supper served with a salad and a glass of crisp Spanish white wine.


The classic frozen favourite made with cream, milk, sugar and pure vanilla.

Coney Island Hot Dogs

Hot diggity! A meaty topping, fixings and cheese for some delicious Haute Dawgs!

Crumb Topped Blueberry Muffins

Soft, delicate muffins studded with wild blueberries, topped with a brown sugar and cinnamon crumble, these BLUEBERRY MUFFINS are perfect all day, every day!

Chilled Gazpacho Soup

A traditional chilled soup from Spain that’s both refreshing and exceptionally delicious.

Strawberry Popsicles

The perfect make-ahead frozen treat always brings refreshment and joy to a summer afternoon.

Wild Rice And Orzo Salad

Orzo, lentils and wild rice tossed with assorted nuts and dried fruit with a light tangy dressing.

Classic Egg Salad

This light-flavoured, soft-textured, creamy sandwich filler goes perfectly with your favourite bread.

Eggs Coloured With Onion Skins

An easy, old-fashioned way of dyeing eggs, naturally.

Chocolate Mousse Cups

An easy, scrumptious idea that’ll turn your next dessert course into a special occasion!

Lemon Ginger Honey Tea

Feeling like you’re coming down with something? This will help you feel better!

Simple Turkey Stuffing

Made with just four ingredients, this easy recipe will become a new, family favourite!

Grilled Garlic Scapes

Don’t miss the tiny window of opportunity to enjoy fresh GRILLED GARLIC SCAPES!

Get Ready for Father's Day With Maine Lobster Now

Dads deserve nourishing meals made with high-quality ingredients - especially on Father's Day. At Maine Lobster Now , we have all the fish and seafood recipes you need to throw a memorable Father's Day celebration. We'll help you keep it simple by delivering all the ingredients you need right to your door, so you don't have to rush around searching for quality seafood. All you need to do is place your order and schedule a delivery. We'll send your seafood in insulated packaging overnight from the coast of Maine. Have questions or need help planning that perfect Father’s Day meal? Please contact us and we'll be happy to help!