Raw olives are extremely bitter, however through the brining, curing and preserving process in salt, olives turn into salty and mild sweet flavors. Different types of olives offer slightly diverse taste and texture such as black olives are softer compared to green olives.
Additionally, olives can be pickled with garlic cloves, rosemary, blue cheese, pimentos and many more vegetables and herbs. As a result, pairing with olives can be pretty easy and straightforward once you unleash their magic.
To pair with olives for right flavor, consider almonds, anchovies, basil, capers, garlic, lemon, olive oil, red onions, parsley, pepper, salmon, thyme, regular or sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, and vinegar.
Prepare green, red, or black olives with a side of bread and butter or crackers for quick snack. Depending on the type of olives, Greek black olives pair well with chicken, duck, and lamb dish, but olives generally go well with salmon in particular.
Olives are available in various colors and sizes that bring about the salty, savory quality to multiple recipes. Typically, they bring meaty, briny, and aromatic quality to any recipe.
From the basic appetizers to main dishes enjoyed by all, olives provide a unique and elegant flavor to the whole combination. This article will provide in-depth information on the flavors, snacks, cheeses, and foods that go well with olives.
What goes well with olives?
Adding olives to your diet is great choice to be free from cholesterol, gluten and dairy. And there are various ways to enjoy olives in rice, toppings on flatbread and pizzas, soups and stews, salads, sandwich or wraps, and mix with eggs for omelet.
However, mixing with the right ingredients is the key to success. Regardless of types and color, olives pair perfectly with:
- Nuts: almonds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts
- Meat: anchovies, bass, capers, chicken, fish, lamb, salmon, scallops, tuna, veal
- Herbs: basil, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme
- Spices: cayenne, cumin, black and white peppers, red pepper flakes
- Vegetables: red bell peppers, red onions, scallions, shallots, garlic
- Fruits: lemon, orange
- Dairy: butter, cream cheese
- Condiments: olive oil, red wine and sherry vinegar
- Alcohol: brandy, cognac
- Wine: dry white, Riesling, rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, dry sherry
What snack goes with olives?
When it comes to snacks, olives can be served as salads, pizza topping, sandwich, cheese, and dried fruit.
We recommend pairing olives with crackers, croutons, pretzels, bagels, or dinner rolls. These snacks tone down the saltiness and tang of olives, and add texture to a plate that would have otherwise felt like something is missing.
Roasted nuts are great source of midday snack including almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
If you are looking quick and healthy snack ideas with olives, below are ingredients to pair with any of your favorite olives:
- mild or smoked cheese
- deli meat
- boiled egg
- leafy greens
- cucumber and tomato
- canned tuna
- charcuterie board
- dried fruit
What cheese goes with olives?
The milder varieties are the best cheese to pair with tangy, salty olives. Generally, Spanish olives goes well with savory cheddar cheese to enhance the umami flavor.
Always aim at pairing contrasting flavors. Pairing two strong ingredients means they’ll compete for attention, and we don’t want that. Therefore, adding some goat cheese or parmesan to olives will be too much to handle.
Depending on the type of olives, the cheese selection may vary:
- Black olives: chèvre, fromage blanc, gouda
- Kalamata olives: feta, cheddar, mozzarella, halloumi, blue cheese
- Green olives: goat, cheddar, feta
What flavor goes well with olives?
There’s no better way to enjoy olives than adding compounding flavors together. Olives pair perfectly with sweet, sour, and earthy flavors.
Here are examples of flavor combination that pair well with olives:
- olives + feta cheese + cherry tomatoes + red onions
- olives + anchovy tapenade + sage crackers
- olives + lemon + pasta + parmesan cheese + red peppers
- olives + chicken + artichoke hearts + tomato sauce
- olives + cheddar cheese + dried cranberries + olive oil
Eat with Olives: Conclusion
Olives make Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, French, and Moroccan cuisine spectacular with a fantastic burst of flavor. Not only useful on charcuterie board as an appetizer, but they pair excellently with poultry and fish in mind courses.
They elegantly and instantly elevate a recipe, for instance, in a salad, with deviled eggs and roasted vegetables. Depending on the type of olives, black olives go with chicken, duck, and lamb, and cured olives taste amazing with salmon.
Adding herbs and condiments to olives makes them even more delicious including basil, garlic, olive oil, parsley, thyme, and vinegar. It helps to refreshen with subtle flavor to the dish.
Even though they can be used as a topping or sliced in salads as wholesome meal, olives are a quick and healthy snacks when paired with nuts, baked goods, bread, cheese, deli meat, tuna, hummus, bruschetta, dried fruit, and tapenade.
On the other hand, cheese is an excellent choice to serve with olives. From black olives to kalamata olives, the range of cheese selection varies accordingly. However, it is important to consider mild cheese for salty and tangy olives.
Whether serving olives as part of ingredient on dish, as an appetizer or even snack, use this guide and flavor combination to explore new culinary experiences you may not have thought about before.