world according to sam

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Tag: food gifts

Green Olive Tapenade 


250g Olives

1 Garlic Clove crushed

Juice from 1 lemon

3 Tbsp Capers

6 Anchovies (try Sainsburys in Garlic olive oil for extra flavour)

A glug of  olive oil 

Salt & Pepper to taste

A handful of flat leaf parsley
Traditionally Tapenade was made from black olives in the South of France but this is made from green olives – it’s personal choice! Also I can buy the large jars of Crespo green pitted olives in brine in Waitrose which makes it less costly if you want to make big batches for entertaining.  You can find variations on this recipe that include sun dried tomatoes, basil … It’s a Mediterranean dish served as a dip or spread on little rounds of bread or toast, also delicious cooked in with robust white fish like hake. 

Add all the ingredients to a blender and whizz until you get the desired texture … You will see mine is quite smooth but that’s because my Vitamix has no middle ground – it’s either unchopped or puree!!

I store my tapenade in the fridge in my old Bon Maman jam jars for up to a week     


Marinated Olives Recipe

Olives are an expensive addition to your drinks party when catering for lots of people.   This recipe is so simple and delicious and no-one would know that you haven’t picked up your olives from the deli …. .  I buy the large jars (907g) of Crespo Pitted Green Olives in brine … dull, but good quality Manzanilla olives nevertheless. If you are serving at a drinks party it also helps that people aren’t left clutching stones!

Drain the brine, place the olives in a large mixing bowl and add a crushed garlic clove, either some finely sliced fresh red chilli or a sprinkle of red chilli flakes.  Zest and juice a lemon, a good shake of Garlic Black Pepper and a slug of good quality olive oil should all be added to the bowl.  Coat the olives in the garlic/pepper/lemon chilli mixture and then return to a Kilner jar – the key ingredient that makes a real difference to flavour is the lemon zest, this really infuses the olives with an intense citrus flavour – combined with garlic and chilli – they are also a nice gift to take when visiting friends over the holiday period.  Food gifts are always well received over Christmas and thee can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

If you want to add a little variety add in some Queen Olives, Kalamata and tiny Picholine olives to add colour and texture.

Gorgeous Gifting …. Drinks baskets

Ever stuck for an original idea for a wedding gift or moving in gift or just something nice to take to a friend when visiting? Well after sampling a few gin cocktails at Maltby Street Market‘s Little Bird Gin stall I fell in love with the handled jam jar’s used for their gin based Bloody Mary so as soon as I got home I searched t’internet to purchase my very own …. you can find them here on Amazon at £9.99 for 4.  I have a stash of them now  but have gifted to friends for birthdays/moving in etc along with a bottle of booze to suitably theme my gift



For a Bloody Mary Box I add a bottle of Vodka, Big Tom tomato juice, celery salt, tabasco, lemon and a big bunch of celery …. try to buy this from a greengrocer or market as the supermarket ones tend to have been trimmed and so don’t look as pretty …. and finish off with a recipe written on tracing paper and a packet of retro looking paper straws.  This one was presented in a fruit crate (picked up from our lovely local greengrocer) and finish with some raffia


The Pimms Box includes a bottle of Pimms (obvs!), lemonade (I prefer the beautifully packaged artisan lemonades but on this occasion I had to make do with Schweppes), lemons, strawberries, cucumber, apples and paper straws.  I used an old Fortnum & Mason Hamper for this one finished again with raffia.

Other drinks baskets I have done are the new Blackberry Pimms, presented with all of the above but replacing the strawberries with blackberries …. you can even pick these yourself if its the right time of year.  You can adapt the gift basket to suit your favourite cocktail but remember these are quite large glasses so suit long cocktails and coolers …… you can even make a non-alcoholic version with elderflower cordial and sparkling water … or forget the vodka and give a Virgin Mary basket … the options are endless


Have a great weekend!

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