One thing I love about living in California is the access we have to awesome, locally grown food. San Luis Obispo itself has 4 (four!) farmer’s markets every single week. And the things we don’t get in this town can almost always be found somewhere else in California.
All this access to awesome, local foods helps me eat healthier. I’ve found that I follow a Mediterranean style diet (not like I’m on a diet, but the kinds of food I eat) pretty closely, except for the fact that I don’t eat fish. A Mediterranean diet usually focuses on consuming more plant-based foods, limiting salt intake, and reducing red meat consumption.
Eating more olives is a really healthy and flavorful way to start enjoying a more Meditarranean style diet. I feel like olives aren’t usually high on peoples’ radar for delicious and versatile food but they really do go with so many different dishes, especially black olives.
My very favorite black olives are California Black Ripe Olives, and they’re the only kind I’ll buy in the store. The beauty of these little guys is that they come in cans and are available nation-wide! So you can have awesome California produce wherever you are. They have a really great texture and can boost the nutrition of your meals.
For example, California Ripe Olives contain vitamin E, iron, vitamin A, and fiber. They are packaged at their peak to preserve nutrients for year-round enjoyment. To learn more about black olives’ nutrition, click here.
I decided to pair these black olives with some roasted red pepper, goat cheese, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of basil olive oil for a killer appetizer. They’re so good, and super easy!
To make these, all you have to do is find yourself a good, sturdy baguette (whole grain is best!) and slice at a 45° angle. Then spread some goat cheese onto the slices and top with the olives, red pepper, and pine nuts. Bake for about 7 minutes, sprinkle with herbs and olive oil, and serve.
These would be really perfect at any summer BBQ.
Which, speaking of! California Ripe Olives is doing an awesome giveaway for a Midsummer Mediterranean Feast prize package. This awesome package will help you start enjoying tasty Mediterranean flavors this season and year-round and would make a perfect package for a summertime picnic of BBQ. I totally want to win this package. You can enter for a chance to win here!
What are your favorite ways to eat olives?
I LOVE them in pasta sauce – if you haven’t tried this then do yourself a favor and try it this week. I also love them on pizza, in pasta salads, in dips, and in burritos and tacos. So many things!
Olive, Red Pepper, & Goat Cheese Crostini
This Olive, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Crostini is a perfect appetizer any time of year.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 7 mins
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 20 crostini
- 1/2 cup sliced California Black Ripe Olives, drained
- 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
- 3 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 1 large baguette
- basil olive oil or regular extra virgin olive oil
- Heat your oven to 400°F.
- Roughly chop the red pepper slices and julienne the basil leaves. Slice the baguette on a 45° diagonal into 1/2″ slices.
- Spread a bit of goat cheese onto the slices of bread, then top with a few olives and some shopped red pepper. Top with a few pine nuts. Place on a baking sheet and repeat until all the bread is used.
- Bake for about 7 minutes, until the bread is just starting to turn golden on the edges.
- Top the baked crostini with some julienned basil, a few leaves of thyme, and a drizzle of basil olive oil. Serve and eat immediately.
Recipe nutrition info:
Olive nutrition info:
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.