Serves 8 to 10 (makes 40 olives) | Active Time 1½ hours
Total Time 1½ hours
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 carrot, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
⅛ teaspoon table salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
4 ounces ground pork
1 ounce prosciutto, chopped
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg yolk, plus 2 large eggs, divided
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
45 large brine-cured green olives with pits
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
Pit olives 1 day before you need them. Recipe calls for extra olives so you can practice removing pit and keeping flesh intact. Refrigerate filling for up to 2 days.
Let olives cool slightly before serving so they are not too hot to bite into.
Serve olives with Lamb Rib Chops with Mint-Rosemary Relish or Peach Caprese Salad .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS These crisp-coated, salty fried olives stuffed with a rich meat filling are a regional specialty of Le Marche in Italy. This culinary marvel of taste and texture makes a tantalizing small bite to accompany an Aperol spritz or glass of white wine. To remove the olive pits, we leave the olive flesh in one piece, slicing down one side of the olive and cutting around the pit with a paring knife as if peeling an apple. The process goes quickly once you practice pitting the first few. With these olives, the filling shares the spotlight. Ground pork, prosciutto, sautéed carrot, and shallot build beautiful layers of flavor. Nutmeg provides warm spice and aroma, while wine adds brightness. Egg yolk and Parmesan bring richness and a creamy texture to the filling. Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more. We use large, mild-flavored Cerignola olives, but other large, brine-cured green olives will work, too.
1 Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrot, shallot, salt, and pepper and cook until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pork and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in prosciutto and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Process pork mixture in food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add Parmesan, egg yolk, and lemon zest and pulse to combine, about 5 pulses. Transfer filling to bowl and let cool slightly.
2 Working with 1 olive at a time, use paring knife to cut lengthwise down one side of pit (do not cut through olive). Continue to cut around pit until released, rotating olive as needed and keeping as much of olive intact as possible. Spoon scant 1 teaspoon filling into each olive (olives should be full but not overflowing), then close sides around filling, gently squeezing to seal.
3 Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Process panko in clean food processor to fine crumbs, about 20 seconds; transfer to shallow dish. Spread flour in second shallow dish. Beat eggs in third shallow dish. Working with several olives at a time, dredge in flour, dip in egg, and coat with panko, pressing firmly to adhere. Transfer to large plate and let sit for 5 minutes.
4 Heat remaining 3 cups oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of olives and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer olives to prepared sheet and let drain. Return oil to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining olives. Serve warm.