Ascolana olives

Ascolana olives
  • Serves icon Makes about 16
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min

These crispy breadcrumbed and deep-fried olive bites make a wonderful nibble and pair perfectly with a dry fino or manzanilla sherry

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
60kcals
Fat
4.3g (0.8g saturated)
Protein
2.1g
Carbohydrates
3.1g (0.2g sugars)
Fibre
0.4g
Salt
0.6g
Calories
60kcals
Fat
4.3g (0.8g saturated)
Protein
2.1g
Carbohydrates
3.1g (0.2g sugars)
Fibre
0.4g
Salt
0.6g

For 16

Ingredients

  • 1 litre vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • 50g dried breadcrumbs (we used panko – widely available)
  • 1 lemon
  • 30g grana padano cheese, grated
  • 150g can large green pitted olives (we used Perello Gordol, from Ocado and Amazon), drained
  • 8 anchovy fillets in oil, halved

Useful to have…

  • Digital probe thermometer

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based saucepan until it reads 180°C on the digital probe thermometer. (If you don’t have a digital probe thermometer, heat the oil until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 30-40 seconds.) Meanwhile put the flour on a large plate, put the beaten egg in a shallow bowl and toss the breadcrumbs with a good grating of zest from the lemon and the grated grana padano on another large plate.
  2. Stuff an olive with half an anchovy fillet, then roll in the flour to coat.
    Dip in the beaten egg, then toss in the breadcrumbs, using your fingers to press the crumbs all over the olive. Repeat using the remaining olives.
  3. Line a plate with kitchen paper. Once the oil is at the right temperature, use
    a slotted spoon or frying basket to lower half the olives into the oil and fry for
    2 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Lift out the olives, using the slotted spoon or basket, then drain the olives on the kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining olives. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like and enjoy the olives with drinks.

delicious. tips

  1. These olives are typically stuffed with leftover minced meat but here we’ve used anchovies. For a vegetarian snack, stuff them with pieces of roasted red pepper from a jar.

    Keep the oil and use to fry the squid for a main course or sharing starter.

  2. These are best fried just before eating (they only take moments to cook) but you can have them stuffed and ready to fry up to 24 hours beforehand. Keep covered on a small tray or plate in the fridge.

  3. No, it’s not Italian, but the chilled salty edge of a dry fino or manzanilla sherry
    is a great palate sharpener with these.

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