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Often referred to as olivada, olivade is a tasty olive paste that can be served on fresh slices of bread or a variety of different specialty crackers or toasted flatbreads. The core ingredients for olivade are ripe olives, olive oil, and black pepper. Various recipes of olivade abound, with some using black olives and others calling for the use of green olives. When green olives are used in the recipe for the olive spread, the final result is sometimes referred to as oliverde.
Olivade can easily be prepared at home using fresh ingredients that can be found in just about any supermarket. One simple recipe calls for pitted black olives, olive oil, chives, onions, capers, and ricotta cheese. By utilizing a simple food processor or even a blender, it is possible to prepare the olivade in a matter of minutes.
Most recipes call for creating a base using the cheese, capers, and onions. While red onions are generally recommended, some recipes call for the use of Vidalia onions or Texas sweets. After tossing these three ingredients in a mixing bowl, the chopped olives, minced chives, salt, pepper, and olive oil is folded into the mixture.
The combined ingredients are placed into a food processor or blender, and allowed to puree into a paste. Some people prefer olivade to be somewhat chunky, with small pieces of olive found throughout the paste. Others prefer a smoother texture and will process the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached.
Olivade can be served immediately after preparation, or may be chilled for use later in the day. The paste can be used with just about any type of bread as an appetizer, or utilized as a condiment in various types of sandwiches. When used as an appetizer, it is customary to garnish the surface of the olivade with herbs such as parsley and add a small drizzle of olive oil to the top. In addition to spreading olivade onto crackers and slices of bread, the dish can also be utilized as a dip for celery and carrot sticks.