No one should be without some Ascolana Olives to celebrate the holiday period and chase out a difficult year. I adore munching on these, they are one of the most unforgettable of Italy’s moreish snacking/antipasti experiences which I miss desperately when I am away. If you have never had an Ascolana Olive now is the time to try the King of stuffed olives.
Expect to find them served as a decadent antipasti across northern Teramo, or treat yourself in beautiful Ascoli to a poke or two of these to accompany you as you walk around its streets, or spoil yourself, sit down at a restaurant and partake in the city’s legendary fritto misto.
Danilo Cortellini, the head chef at the Italian Embassy in London has kindly allowed us to share his recipe from first cookbook, 4 Grosvenor Square, The Menu of the Italian Embassy London.
“Ascoli is a wonderful ancient city close to the border between Marche and Abruzzo. Taking elements from both regions, this dish is a fried heaven of lamb, battered vegetables, sweet custard fritters and olive all’Ascolana; these amazing olives are stuffed with meat, breaded and deep fried to crispy perfection!
“Tradition calls for this recipe to use a quality of olives called tenera ascolana, which are meaty elongated olives infused in brine with fennel and pitted by hand. The crema fritta, a sweet custard used in this recipe, is also breaded and fried. This is a rich course, ideal as a main. It can also be found in street food festivals, as small bites to share like my version. The recipe requires quite a long preparation time, but once the crema fritta and olives are ready, they can be stored in the freezer and kept for later use.
“Let me share a secret, to this day, my mother’s olive all’Ascolana are still unbeaten, which is hard to admit even by me!”
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