I really think one of the most under-rated aspects of leaving winter behind and moving into spring and summer is all of the fantastic summery food we get to enjoy now that the weather has improved.
An ingredient which really says summer to me is olives. While you can easily buy jars of olives at the supermarket, they’re not as tricky to grow as you might imagine. Olive trees are slow growers so work well in a pot, but needs soil with good drainage if you are looking to plant it in the ground, and needs to be in an area with good sunlight. Once the tree is producing fruit, it can continue to do so many years.
You can use that fruit in some great summer dishes and to get you ready for the summer weather here are some dishes which uses this delicious produce.
Olive and parsley salad with tuna
This lovely fresh summer salad makes an easy option for a summer dinner party or just a quick evening meal. Using tuna is good because it’s a lean fish which is healthy because it is high in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids. You can also add a side of potatoes to this dish or another vegetable such as green beans. Grilling the tuna rather than frying also makes this dish, combined with the olives, which are a great source of Vitamin E, a healthy summer dish.
Pizza with olives
Olives are a classic ingredient to include on pizzas. Depending on your preferences you could keep it simple by just adding some olives to a margarita or really get creative and come up with your own combination of toppings. Pizza’s are enjoyable to make with the family as you can get the kids involved in making the dough and the ingredients needed are very easy to get, and you probably have them in your kitchen already!
This French spread is an excellent use for olives and its amazingly simple to make. Once you have your olives, you just need some capers and olive oil, and you have the base of this tasty spread. You can, of course, add other flavours such as garlic or chilli depending on your tastes, but you end up with a really great versatile spread. It can be used on sandwiches or just on some toasted French bread as a great appetiser at a dinner party.
One of the most well-known uses for olives is in a classic Greek salad. A really great mix of vegetables produces a light and fresh dish perfect for warm summer days. The great thing about this dish is it’s ideal to make in advance, and you can store it in the fridge. It’s also great for taking on picnics on those summer days out to the countryside or the beach.