European inspiration for extra-comforting winter meals!

European inspiration for extra-comforting winter meals!

In the long, dark months of winter, we instinctively turn to satisfying, sustaining comfort food. And on icy cold days, nothing is more comforting than baking or roasting a delicious homecooked meal.

Olives from Europe take winter comfort food from good to exceptional, whether they have a starring role in a luxurious braised dinner, a weekend baking project, or a flavour-boosting topping for cold-weather soups, stews and casseroles.

For example, the topping that accompanies this soup is simply Gordal and black Hojiblanca olives combined with almonds and chopped-up celery leaves. You can riff on this type of garnish to your heart’s content. Just switch up your choice of herbs and olives or add garlic and/or lemon zest. Keep a topping like this on hand to add a bit of zip to a microwaved lunch or to impress dinner guests. Best of all, since olives contribute not only flavour but nutrition, there’s no reason to skimp!

Braising is a technique closely associated with European cuisine that seals mouth-watering flavour and juiciness into all kinds of cuts of meat. It’s an easy and highly adaptable way to make an exceptional dinner with a minimum of effort. If you’ve never tried it out, the harmony of fennel, lemon, and black Hojiblanca olives in this braised chicken makes for a delicious start.

In North America, we immediately associate baking with desserts, but in Europe, baked savoury pastries like empanadas have a long history. They’re easy to take with you on the road and you can eat them without a knife and fork — what’s not to like about that in the middle of a hectic workday? Bake a batch of these empanadas and you’ll be stocked up on easy, delicious lunches for the week to come. Their sumptuous filling is a sofrito made with pimiento-stuffed green Manzanilla olives, green Gordals and black Hojiblancas.

Keep this trio of European olives on hand and you’ll always have an extra card up your sleeve, whether you’re looking for something new to serve guests, a way to brighten up weekday lunches or a new take on a heart-warming, hearty family dinner.

Get plenty more inspiration and great recipes here!