Tag Archives: Kalamata Olives

Five Fresh Ideas For Your Holiday Table

Got a full house for the holidays? Lucky you! The holidays are one of our favorite times of the year because friends and family come together to enjoy each other’s company and a delicious feast while creating special memories that will last a lifetime.

We’ve got some ideas to help you add elements to your holiday feast that are both traditional and tasty. You’ll impress your hungry holiday guests with these creative serving ideas:

Kalamata Cranberry Chutney

Delicious on holiday turkey or ham or on a turkey sandwich made from Thanksgiving leftovers.
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Prep Time: 1 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 1 naval orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup sugar or to taste
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

PREPARATION
In a medium sized heavy saucepan, cook shallots in olive oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar and vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes, then add olives, black pepper, stir and serve.

Blood Orange Kalamata Martini

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Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Blood orange vodka (see chef’s note)
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed Blood orange juice, reserve orange peel for garnish
  • Ice for shaking
  • Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives with Orange Zest, rinsed, to garnish

PREPARATION
Add vodka, triple sec and orange juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few kalamata olives and an orange peel.
Chef’s note: If blood orange vodka is unavailable in your local grocery store, you can substitute for citron flavored or regular orange vodka.

Olive & Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Ricotta Dip

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Prep Time: 6 min
Total Time: 18 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta cheese, parsley and garlic. Combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the tomatoes and olives, until just incorporated.

Spread the ricotta mixture in a shallow medium baking dish in a 3/4″ thick layer. Bake about 12 minutes or until slightly browned along the edges and hot.

Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Serve warm.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 box couscous, cooked to package instructions
  • ½ pound Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • ½ jar Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, rough chopped
  • ½ jar Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and rough chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
  • Optional: balsamic glaze to drizzle

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Season squash with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay on a sheet pan, open side face down and bake about 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender and edges are nicely golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare the filling, combine the couscous, sausage, sun-ripened tomatoes, roasted peppers and stir together. Place a generous amount of the mixture into each squash, lightly pressing the filling in. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. Serve hot.

Roasted Olive and Grape Crostini

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ baguette, cut into ½” slices
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Fresh thyme leaves to garnish
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 450°F.

Brush both sides of sliced bread with olive oil and place onto baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes or until toasted and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and rosemary. Season with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper and set aside.

On another backing sheet, add the grapes and olives, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Roast in the oven in 5 minute intervals for about 15-20 minutes.

Each 5 minutes, shake the pan to get even roasting. Remove from oven once olives are slightly blistered and grapes begin to get soft and juicy. Let set for about 5 minutes, and once cool enough to handle, cut grapes and olives in half.

On each crostini, add about a tablespoon of ricotta and spread evenly. Add a spoonful of olives and grapes to each and top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, drizzle of olive oil, and a light sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

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Fresh From the Jeff’s Naturals Kitchen: Orzo Salad!

Jeff's Naturals KitchenOur fabulous Recipe & Development Chef, Peter Kirkpatrick, a.k.a. “Chef P.K.”  has been hard at work in the Jeff’s Naturals kitchen creating amazing dishes using our all-natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.

One of his recent creations, Orzo Salad With Artichoke Hearts & Kalamata Olives, absolutely knocked our socks off during one of our taste tests. (By the way, taste testing Chef’s P.K.’s dishes is our favorite kind of meeting. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it!)

Like many of Chef P.K.’s creations, this colorful dish has a very easy going California/Napa Valley/Mediterranean flavor to it that’s irresistible. It’s light, yet satisfying and can be made in less than 20 minutes and is a perfect side dish for potlucks or gatherings, tailgating, a picnic, a quick weeknight dinner (just add some diced grilled chicken) or lunch on-the-go!

Orzo is most commonly used in Italian and Greek cuisines and makes a delicious alternative to larger pasta which can sometimes be too heavy. You could get creative with this dish and add some Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes and/or Imported Non-Pareil Capers for even more flavor. The possibilities are endless!

We hope you’ll enjoy this delicious dish. Be sure to check out all of our Mediterranean inspired recipes and serving suggestions in our growing Recipe Collection.

Recipe of the Month: Orzo Salad With Artichoke Hearts & Kalamata Olives

Prep Time: 10min | Total Time: 20min | Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound orzo, cooked to package instructions
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 (14.5 Oz) jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained
  • 1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! Makes about 4 servings.

How to Prepare the Perfect Pasta Dish

Mama Mia! Since October is National Pasta Month, we wanted to give a salute to one of America’s favorite foods! In recent years, pasta has gotten a bad rap (think no carb diets) but we think that pasta dishes can actually be a healthy and filling meal, especially with some help from Jeff’s Naturals all natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun ripened tomatoes.

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What’s the secret to pasta perfection? It begins with cooking pasta itself. The National Pasta Association recommends the following steps to cook pasta perfectly every time:

1. Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta. (You can divide this recipe depending on how much pasta you are cooking.)

2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.

3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.

4. Follow the package directions for cooking times. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.

5. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.

6. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe.

Reheating Pasta

To reheat cooked pasta, portion out the amount you need and place in boiling water. For extra-easy draining, you can place the pasta in a stainless steel colander or strainer and then submerge in boiling water. Count 40 to 60 seconds of re-heating time for a four-ounce serving. Drain the pasta well, toss with sauce and serve immediately. Pasta can also be reheated in the microwave oven. Reheat single servings on high for 45 seconds at a time, checking between intervals for doneness.

To create the perfect pasta dish, you must also pair it with the right sauce. The National Pasta Association recommends pairing thin, delicate pastas (like angel hair or thin spaghetti)are better served with lighter, thin sauces. If it’s a heavier sauce you crave, it’s better to stick with thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges, like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

Now that you know the basics, grab a fork and dig into our newest pasta recipe using Jeff’s Naturals!

Jeff’s Naturals Mediterranean Pasta

Prep Time: 5 min.Total Time: 10 min.Serves: 4

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3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally
1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained, julienned
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1 pound angel hair pasta, fresh
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 jar (6.5 ounces) Artichoke Hearts, drained
1/2 cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
6 ounce crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
PREPARATION

Boil water for pasta. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips until no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes on each side. Add sun dried tomatoes and crushed garlic to skillet. Sauté for 2 minutes. In the meantime, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

Add the basil, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the skillet. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in cream. Strain pasta and transfer to a large pasta bowl. Add the chicken sauté to the pasta and toss.

Season with oregano, salt and pepper before serving.

Visit National Pasta Association to see these and other great pasta cooking tips!

Vegetarian Recipes

Two Vegetarian Recipes You Will Actually Want to Make

Summer is coming and that means our selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables are even better! We all know there is overwhelming evidence that people who follow a diet high in fruits and vegetables tend to enjoy benefits such as lower blood pressure, lower risk of death, lower chance of life threatening disease (i.e. cancer, heart disease, diabetes), and a much lower risk of obesity.

The more simple and delicious meat-free recipes you can learn the better off your diet will be in the long run.

Here are two recipes that you will actually enjoy vegging out on:

Zucchini Ribbons with Kalamata Olives & Sundried Tomatoes

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INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup fresh ricotta
1 fresh lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on mandolin
2 shallots, thinly sliced on mandolin
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper chili flake
5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced on mandolin
½ cup julienned Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained with some oil reserved.
½ cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives, drained and rough chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with the lemon juice and zest and set aside.

In a large skillet on medium high heat, add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the garlic, shallots and chili flake and cook 5-7 minutes or until onions and garlic are softened.

Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss frequently for about 5 minutes until zucchini is tender. Turn heat off and add the ricotta, sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Toss to mix.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a little sundried tomato oil drizzled over the top.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini, Capers & Peppers

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1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers, drained
½ cup diced Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained
Tahini sauce
½ cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ cup water
PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 500ºF

Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Season with S & P, toss again. Roast at 500ºF for about 15 minutes or until slightly charred and tender. Check the cauliflower frequently and stir on the sheet tray to get even roasting.

Remove cauliflower from oven, and place in a mixing bowl. Toss with capers, red peppers and add enough tahini sauce to thoroughly coat the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Great served hot or room temperature.

Castelvetrano Olives

Eight Dishes that Taste Better with Olives

Jeff's Naturals Olives

There is something irresistible about Greek olives that makes them a favorite among foodies. What makes them so unique? Is it the salty, briny flavor? The meaty texture? The distinctive shape or the rich colors? Whatever it may be, olives are a staple in Mediterranean households and the highlight of many healthy dishes.

Here are eight dishes that simply taste better when you add wholesome ingredients like Kalamata Olives, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Castelvetrano Olives, Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives, Garlic Stuffed Olives & Jalapeño Stuffed Olives from Jeff’s Naturals.

Pizza

Shake things up on pizza night with some unexpected ingredients like Roasted Bell Peppers, an assortment of sliced olives, pesto, goat cheese and a sprinkling of minced fresh herbs.  Kalamata Olives & Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives can also add  more flavor and punch to an old fashioned pepperoni pizza.

Pizza

Tacos

Spice up your Taco Night by adding sliced Jalapeño Stuffed Olives to your filling. Don’t stop there!  Our Garlic Stuffed Olives & Jalapeño Stuffed Olives go great with burritos, quesadillas and even nachos! You can also make an outstanding guacamole by adding chopped Jalapeño Stuffed Olives to mashed avocado along with a diced tomato and a squeeze of lime. Ole!

Beef, Chicken & Fish

Roughly chop your favorite Jeff’s Naturals olives and/or our Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto and scatter over grilled steak, chicken or vegetables and drizzle with a bit of its marinade.

Olives go great with just about any variety of fish. For any easy sauce, sauté diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil, toss in a handful of sliced or pitted Kalamata Olives and a cup or two of diced tomatoes. Simmer and serve over fish with a garnish of minced fresh herbs.

Dress up grilled tilapia or mahi mahi with an easy homemade Artichoke and Green Olive Tapenade.  You can also make a mean olive pesto sauce to serve with fish like this excellent recipe for Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto.

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Salad

Salads and olives go together like bread and butter. When it comes to salad creations, the sky’s the limit. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add distinction to a classic Caesar salad with sliced Garlic Stuffed Olives.
  • Mix together pitted Castelvetrano Olives with mixed baby greens, orange sections, shaved fennel and a light lemon vinaigrette for a beautiful and refreshing side salad.
  • Toss Jeff’s Naturals™ Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto, along with its marinade, with romaine lettuce and tomato wedges. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with crumbled feta cheese for a super quick and delicious side salad.
  • Our Organic Pitted Whole Kalamata Olives combined with feta cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar make for a very easy and refreshing Greek salad.

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Snacks

Olives are meant for snacking. In fact, in Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy, olives are one of the most popular snack foods (much healthier than chips)!  On your next snack break, why not try our Garlic Stuffed Olives with hummus and warm pita bread? Better yet, top the warm pita and hummus with Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto and feta cheese.

Entertaining friends and family? Create a beautiful antipasto platter using Garlic Stuffed Olives, Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, and assorted meats and cheeses.

 antipasto platter

Pasta & Spaghetti Dishes

Mama mia! Olives add wonderful flavor and depth to most pasta dishes. For example, you can stir sliced Garlic Stuffed Olives into your favorite pasta sauce. Form meatballs around our Garlic Stuffed Olives for a delicious and surprising treat in your spaghetti sauce.

You could also toss sliced Kalamata Olives with hot pasta and a dash of olive oil and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a quick and delicious meal! For a colorful and satisfying pasta salad, add sliced olives to cooked pasta and toss with Roasted Red Bell Peppers, marinated Artichoke Hearts and red wine vinaigrette.

Pasta-Nicoise

Sandwiches & Burgers

Sliced stuffed olives can transform ordinary burgers and sandwiches into an extraordinary meal when used as a topping. Upgrade your grilled cheese sandwich or Panini with sliced stuffed olives for a gourmet treat! For a yummy surprise, mix diced stuffed olives into burger patties, grill and top with melted cheese.

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Omelets

Olives for breakfast?  Indeed!  Give your breakfast a Mediterranean flavor by adding chopped Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto to your morning omelet.  You can also make an irresistible omelet by adding Kalamata OlivesSun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, fresh herbs and a dollop of tangy goat cheese or crumbled feta.

 

Here are some additional recipes featuring Jeff’s Naturals Olives. Enjoy!

Pasta Nicoise
Indian Summer Palette Salad
Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini
Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto
Deep Dish Party Pizzas
Mediterranean Couscous
Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad

For more inspiration and to learn more about our products, please visit our recipe page.

 

 

Featured Natural Foods Store: Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market

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We know that everyone loves to find a great sale or bargain, so we are happy to let you know that Jeff’s Naturals is part of the It’s Only Natural sale at Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market stores during the month of February!

That means that this is the perfect time for consumers to stock up and save up to 25% off of their favorite Jeff’s Naturals items at all Lamb’s Markets!

Jeff's Naturals
This is the time to stock up on Jeff’s Naturals!

Castelvetrano Olives

Lamb’s Nature’s Choice Market operates a number of independently managed food stores in the Pacific Northwest including

  • Nature’s Choice Market in Lake Oswego, OR
  • Garden Home in Portland, OR
  • Stroheckers in Portland, OR
  • Nature’s Choice Market in Wilsonville, OR

Our all-natural line of Mediterranean pantry staples can be found in all the above Lamb’s Market stores and in addition to Cutsforth Marketplace Thriftway in Canby, OR and Shop n Kart in Chehalis, WA.

Consumers with food sensitivities and allergies will appreciate “Free From” at Lamb’s, an Allergen Awareness Program developed to help their customers find appropriate foods for their special dietary needs. The store even offers a Gluten Free store tours with a local Gluten Free Lifestyle expert who offers suggestions for replacing old favorites with new ones. For more information on Lamb’s Market, please visit www.lambsmarkets.net.

Jeff’s Naturals can be found in natural food stores all over the country. To find a store near you, try our new store locator.  You never know when you’ll find a great sale! Happy Shopping!

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7 Ways to Enjoy Jeff’s Naturals Organic Kalamata Olives

All About A Kalamata

Kalamatta Olives

There is something special about Kalamata Olives, sometimes referred to as “Greek olives”. What makes them so unique? Is it the flavor? The meaty texture? The distinctive almond shape or the rich dark color?  Whatever it is, Kalamata Olives are a staple in Mediterranean households and the highlight of many healthy dishes.

Jeff’s Naturals Organic Pitted Whole Kalamata Olives and Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives are Gluten Free, Non-GMO Verified, Organic and Vegan. Though there are countless ways to enjoy them.  Here are seven tasty ideas:

1. Toss pitted Jeff’s Naturals Organic Pitted Whole Kalamata Olives with feta cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar for a refreshing Greek salad.

2. Serve them as part of a gourmet cheese plate or antipasto platter. Enjoy with Romano and/or Feta cheese and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot (from Napa Valley of course)!

3. Combine Jeff’s Naturals Organic Pitted Whole Kalamata Olives in a food processor with garlic, anchovy filets, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil for a terrific tapenade. Spread it on fish or chicken before baking or serve it as a spread with crackers or crusty bread.

4. Dress up a plain cheese pizza with a handful of Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives and a sprinkling of minced fresh oregano.

5. Sauté diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil, toss in a handful of sliced or pitted Kalamata Olives and a cup or two of diced tomatoes. Simmer and serve over chicken or fish with a garnish of minced fresh herbs.

6. Serve Jeff’s Naturals Kalamata Olives alongside hummus and feta cheese with warm pita triangles.

7. Make a memorable omelet by adding Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives and a dollop of tangy goat cheese.

We have gone through great lengths to ensure our Organic Kalamata Olives are the highest quality. Our olives are grown in Kalamata, Greece and the surrounding countryside. We source our olives from small family farms in Greece with whom we’ve been working for many years. Jeff and our Italy-based import manager visit Greece frequently throughout the harvest to ensure that only the best quality of olives.

Here are some additional recipes featuring Jeff’s Naturals Kalamata Olives.  Enjoy!

Pasta Nicoise
Indian Summer Palette Salad
Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini
Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto
Deep Dish Party Pizzas
Mediterranean Couscous
Watermelon, Olive, Jalapeño and Feta Salad