A plate of olives is a must on a Lebanese table to start any meal. Olives are called “poor man’s meat” (al-zeytoon lahem al-fakeer). Olives are consumed with bread for breakfast, olives are nibbled on at lunch before the main dish and at dinner with a slice of cheese for a light dinner. I love love olives, but my favorite are the green ones, brined with some sliced lemons and chili peppers. This dish was served in a restaurant in Barouk in the Chouf Mountains as part of the mezze and I loved the idea of scooping-up the olives with a bit of the juicy sauce.
Olives in a tomato sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped fine
4 medium tomatoes such as Roma, diced
1 or 2 Tbsp red pepper paste (mild or hot)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups green or black olives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the chopped onions for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red pepper paste and spices. Cover and simmer on low heat about 15 minutes.
2. Add the olives, mix to combine, turn off the heat and cool. Add the chopped parsley and mix and transfer to a serving bowl; serve with pita (arabic) bread at room temperature.
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