Olive Ascolane or All’Ascolana refer in general to a specific Italian Olive and to a specific recipe from the Marche region and specifically one of its provinces Ascoli Piceno.
Here, at so many miles from home, every time I find a large, un-pitted green Olive, I know what to do!!
The sensory recall when eating one of these warm, juicy, crunchy Umami balls in indescribable.
It is Italy’s favorite fried appetizer. Goes wonderfully with a sparkling white wine, and is also rich…in History!!!
The history of ‘Olives Ascolane’ is long…Even in ancient times, pickled olives (green and black) were considered as a very nutritious meal. In fact, the Roman soldiers always carried some in their saddlebags for the toughest moments.
Rich people in Rome, however, were looking for something more exclusive and loved the taste of olives imported from Ascoli Piceno.
The quality of ‘Olives Ascolana’ was also appreciated by the Benedictines-Olivetan monks, while even the Pope Sixtus V had them sent to the Vatican.
So, without further ado, here is my version !
Here is a guide to Olives just for fun https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/guide-to-olive-varieties.html\
MAKES about 4 dozens Olives
2 jars GORDAL olives, CERIGNOLA , ASCOLANE tenere or similar (just look for the biggest juicy green ones you can find)
270 g Meat (I had venison and turned out terrific!)
1/2 Onion diced
1 Stalk of celery diced
1 Carrot diced
2 T butter
1/2 C white wine (I used Sherry since the olives are from Spain and they are typically served with sherry)
Zest of 1/4 lemon
4 T breadcrumbs, fine
3 T Parmesan cheese
Nutmeg, to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 T minced Pasley
FOR BREAD CRUMbs coating:
1 C Rice flour
2 or 3 eggs beaten
Italian breadcrumbs as needed
OIL to fry: I use Avocado Oil.
First remove the pulp from the Olives peeling them in a spiral. I have a video on my Instagram on how to do so.
Set Aside. I do this while I cook the meat, helps the process. It is a labor of love! do not complain the final result will be delicious.
Now for the filling: Saute’ the aromatics with the butter. When fragrant, about 7 minutes, add the meat, salt pepper and nutmeg.
Brown the meat then deglaze with wine.
When wine has evaporate remove from the heat. Add the remaining ingredients. Egg goes last. Taste again for salt.
Remember hot food tend to taste more flavorful, also Olives are salty!! Go easy on seasoning!
Now pulse the filling in a food processor until you get a smooth mix. NOT a paste!!
Fill each olive peel with about a large hazelnut-sized ball of meat. Press the olive into the meat to adhere. Repeat.
As I go I place the filled olives directly onto the rice flour. Saves me one step.
When all the olives are done, bring the frying oil to 350F.
Meanwhile coat each olive into the rice flour, eggs and breadcrumbs AGAIN into the egg and breadcrumb if you see any spot left uncoated. See how I did it here :https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ2jwjpgkLi/
Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately and enjoy this “mystical” Italian frybabe LOL