OLIVES AND RAW ALMONDS

 

 

 

Ingredients:

            4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

            20 garlic cloves

            4 chilies de árbol

            1 large orange

            1 blood orange

            1 Meyer lemon

            1 lime

            10 fresh thyme sprigs

            2 fresh rosemary sprigs, each 6 inches long

            1 1/2 cups blanched whole almonds

            2 lb. mixed green olives, such as Picholine or Lucques

             Crusty bread for serving

 

Directions:

Put the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic cloves and chilies.

 

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the oranges, lemon and lime in strips. Lay the strips skin side down on a cutting board and use a sharp paring knife to remove any white pith. Stacking a few strips at a time, cut them into fine julienne. Add the zest, thyme and rosemary to the saucepan, set over medium-low heat and bring the oil to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to infuse.

 

Meanwhile, put the almonds in a bowl. Boil enough water to cover the almonds and pour it over them. Let stand at room temperature to allow the almonds to soften, about 1 hour. Drain and dry the almonds on paper towels.

 

Pour the contents of the saucepan into a large bowl and toss with the almonds and olives. Refrigerate in a covered container for at least 1 week before serving, or up to 2 months.

 

To serve, remove the olives from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. If you want to serve the mix warm, spoon it into a small sauté pan with some of the olive oil and warm it over the lowest-possible heat. Serve in a small bowl with a few pieces of crusty bread to dip into the oil. Makes about 6 cups.

 

Adapted from Mourad: New Moroccan, by Mourad Lahlou (Artisan, 2011).