When I think of some of the most beautiful places I've visited: the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece, the rolling countryside around Pocuro, Chile, the Tuscan hills, there are a few things that bind these environments together. They are mild climates ideal for growing grapes for wine, as well as olives for eating and for olive oil.
In designing invitations I'm often seeking imagery associated with beautiful places. Not only that, the leaves on olive branches are a wonderful shade of cool green and olives a warm green and shiny black jewels! Paired with the symbolism of the olive branch as a sign of peace, the olive branch seems quite a delightful image to accompany a ceremony to celebrate nuptials.
And, as if all of that was not enough, they are delicious. I often buy olives in bulk from Harvestime in Chicago and make this Tapenade recipe (delicious on foccacia).
Tapenade (Caper Olive Paste)
Recipe from Joy of Cooking: All About Vegetarian
Combine in food processor:
2 cups black olives, preferably oil cured, pitted
3 tablespoons drained capers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brandy or fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, coursely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pulse until the mixture is still course but of a uniform consistency.
What's your favorite olive recipe?