Cheesy Olives and a Martini

It’s 6pm, somewhere in the world. Heure de l’apéro, cocktail time. For me sometimes, that means a Vodka Martini, wet, not dry and something to nibble on. If I’m lucky, and have been organized, there will be a supply of these cheesy olives in the freezer. As luck would have it, these pastries keep well in the freezer for a couple of months after making, and keep their shape better when baking, if just popped into the oven directly from the freezer.

This recipe originally came from my mother, who always used whatever Cheddar cheese she had in the fridge. I like to use a sharp, crumbly Cheddar, but recently found a very similar recipe where Parmesan was used instead. Make up your own mind, they are delicious.

You will need,

  • Approximately 48 large pimento stuffed green olives, or anchovy stuffed olives drained thoroughly on kitchen paper 
  • 250g cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • A pinch salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • 130g plain flour, sifted

Put all ingredients, except olives, in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until mixed into dough. Shape into a flat disk, cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.

Pinch off bits of the dough, about 1 tsp, and wrap around each olive. Put into a container, and freeze until ready to cook.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat oven to 200C. Bake olives for about 10 minutes, and then turn down the temperature to 180C and cook for a further 10 minutes. 
After taking the olives out of the oven, drain on kitchen paper before serving.