The Olive Variety Most Commonly Used For Stuffing With Garlic

garlic stuffed green olives
garlic stuffed green olives - Imgorthand/Getty Images

Olives are a wonderful accouterment to savory meats, delectable cheeses, and more, whether on your charcuterie board or antipasto platter. But when the pit is removed and the olive is hollowed out, the opportunity arises to make one brilliant bite by stuffing it with a worthy companion: Tangy, aromatic garlic. And while jars of garlic-stuffed olives are easy to find on grocery store shelves, have you ever tried making them at home?

To stuff an olive with an entire clove of garlic, you need an olive with enough real estate. You can rely on any large green olive to do the job, but look out specifically for queen olives, also known as Sevillano olives. Not only do queen olives have larger pits that leave a cavernous opening for stuffing, but their flesh is hearty and mildly sweet, making for a perfect flavor contrast to pungent garlic. You may be used to seeing these olives used as a garnish in a martini or served on their own, but when stuffed with a garlic clove, they're the perfect salty snack.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Why Queen Olives Make For A Superior Garlic-Stuffed Olive

queen olives on toothpicks
queen olives on toothpicks - Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images

Sevillano olives, specifically the Sevillano olive trees, originated from Seville, Spain but were eventually brought to the United States, and can now be found in many olive farms across California. The Sevillano olive variety was singled out for its large size and firm texture, being marketed and sold as "queen" olives. Not only does their flavor profile make queen olives deliciously indulgent on their own, but their firmness and large size make them sturdy enough to stuff with virtually any ingredient.

If you're in a bind and can't find any queen olives, you could try to stuff other green olive varieties. However, depending on the size of the garlic clove, these other kinds of olives may not always have the space for an entire clove. (If this is the case, you can trim your garlic to size.) If you've got your hands on some queen olives and you're a fan of that sharp raw garlic flavor, it's still best to marinate the garlic cloves first before stuffing them right in. Completely raw garlic will be a little too strong and the texture too severe -- after all, the garlic-stuffed olives at the grocery store have been marinating in brine in the jar.

Garlic Preparation Methods For Stuffing Your Queen Olives

garlic cloves with oil
garlic cloves with oil - Ozgur Senergin/Shutterstock

Marinating your garlic will mellow out the raw garlic sting, and infuse it with other complementary flavors. Pick out cloves that will fit into the olives, and trim the others accordingly. Transfer those cloves into a bowl or jar and cover in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a few spices like Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. You want the cloves to marinate for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

If you prefer your garlic less intense and have time for prep, you can roast the garlic cloves before stuffing. After they've marinated, move them to an oven-safe dish and into the oven. They only need about 10 minutes to roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, some time to cool down, and then you're ready to stuff each olive with a rich, succulent, roasted clove. If you're not serving them right away, get those stuffed olives back into their brine in the jar -- otherwise, grab some toothpicks and get ready to wow your guests, or eat the entire bowl yourself.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.