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Black olive paste

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who responded to my query on garlic-- I have one other question: (actually 2) for various area markets we prepare a tapenade with olives, capers, anchovies etc., but have a real problem with pits in the olive paste. We use a Kalamata olive paste and a black olive paste but both contain as many as half a dozen pits in a single 5 lb. container. This creates havoc with our food processors as well as slowing down production time considerably.

PS using canned sliced olives yields even more pits! So that's out.

Two questions: how is a paste made from olives? (technique)
Does anyone have a suggestion for locating the pits before adding them to other ingredients in the processor?

Extra non-question: If it's so much trouble why do we make it? Ans. $$$$$ of course

regards,
lobsterpot1
post #2 of 10
I know how I would make it:
  1. Pit whole olives by hand -- which is only because that's the kind of place I used to work at, where we had to do most everything by hand :rolleyes:
  2. Put pitted olives in food processor or grinding attachment; grind to desired texture (or more likely, chop by hand)
  3. Chop garlic, onion, herbs etc. as needed (by hand if exec or sous were around; in processor if not :lol:
  4. Combine ground olives with seasonings and oil to desired blend.

But that's a lot more work than you're doing, so I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to.

As for the second question: if you have a colander with holes that will let the olive paste pass through but not the pits, place it over a container, dump the contents of the can in, and press lightly until all that's left is the pits. You might want to do a little at a time, so you don't have to mash all of it over and over.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 10
Kalmatas can be bought pitted, so there would be a head start for you. You still need to check them though. After that, it is a matter of pulsing your tapenade through the processor with the other ingredients. My favorite are:

  • 5 parts pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 part rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
To that add to taste a mixture of:
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • 2 parts olive oil
Then season with cracked black pepper to taste.
Hope that helps.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions--the colander idea may work--we'll try it. The recipes for tapenade are quite different from ours:

The little anchovies in the can are asking "What about us?" Am I the only one using anchovies in tapenade?

Finally, does anyone know the type of machine required to crush olives into paste? Are the olives pitted before processing? And subsequently often missed?

regards,
lobsterpot1
post #5 of 10
LOL. Anchovies are optional, so I would just put them in to taste and decrease the salt. What I was giving was more a ratio to remember.

As for the machine, I use a robocoupe to make the tapenade, but be sure that you have no pits in there, or it will suck!

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #6 of 10
Far from it, Lobsterpot. I use anchovies, as do many others. Also garlic. Those ingredients are probably more common than not.

I didn't post a recipe because that wasn't what you asked about. And being as I don't know the answers to either of your questions I just kept quiet.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for clearing things up for me--we're looking into upgrading to a robocoup--can you tell me which model you use and if it's a good machine for your use?


regards,
lobsterpot1
post #8 of 10
Sorry, but I have to ask why you are using olive paste? It's already a paste then you add it to the food processor, add more ingredients and process again. To me, that would make a tapande that is too finely ground. I still like some body to my tapande, not large chunks, but not a puree either. I should be able to taste all the individual ingredients as well as the whole. I would use pitted kalamata olives and just go through them before using.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding. I use the paste since it's much easier to handle and infinitely less labor-intensive than working with pitted Kalamatas. It comes in 11 lb. tubs while the olives come in #10 tins--about 3 1/2 lbs--so with the tubs there's less empty tins etc. to put in the trash. The texture though is on the smooth side but no one's complained about that yet.


regards,
lobsterpot1
post #10 of 10
Lobster-

You seem to have a mechanical problem - lumps (pits) in what you describe as a "paste." If the olives are not actually finely-chopped, but pretty well smooshed, you could ladle the paste out onto a really big cutting board - or a really clean counter - and roll over it with a really big rolling pin, pressing down on the rolling pin to keep it about 1/8" over the work surface, and you would certainly notice the lumps of the pits as the rolling pin encountered them.

My son - an processing-equipment engineer with a major food-manufacturing company - would be happy to discuss a moonlighting contract to make a machine that would accomplish this if you get to working in truckload quantities, rather than bucketsful. :lol: I will of course act as his agent. ;)

If this sounds too expensive, you could just ladle the stuff out onto the floor and walk through it barefoot for a while. Might add an interesting flavor note. :crazy:

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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