The Real Big Olive Podcast – episode 1

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Welcome to our first ever ‘Real Big Olive Podcast and our hosts, Kieran and Charlie. 

Kieran is our technical olive. He makes sure all our olives and antipasti are in perfect condition and, Charlie is our new product development olive. He spends his days creating new concepts for delicious Mediterranean foods that we think you’ll love!

For this first podcast, Kieran and Charlie headed down to Cornwall to chat with our good friend and chef, James Strawbridge about food, life and sustainability. 
We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed making it…

Scallops & Spring Greens with La Verde Olives

This spicy scallop dish by our good friend, James Strawbridge is the ultimate surf n’ turf treat. The addition of our La Verde olives helps provide a herby profile and salty tang to the seasonal shredded spring greens.


8-12 scallops
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of paprika
Pinch of sea salt
185g La Verde olives
75g ‘Nduja spicy sausage
200g spring greens, shredded
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced


Coat your scallops in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and paprika. Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook your scallops for 2-3 mins on each side.

In another pan heat your spicy sausage, shallot, olives, lemon and spring greens.

Stir well and serve as soon as the spring greens wilt and the shallot softens with pan fried scallops on top.

Cornish Hake with La Verde Olives & Basil Polenta

Our La Verde Olives work wonderfully with this hake recipe and are complimented perfectly by the rich basil and roasted garlic polenta.

Olives are the secret ingredient stirred into the creamy polenta before serving. They offer a grassy flavour and briny seasoning that enhances the simple fillet of fish for an authentic taste of the ocean. This recipe by James Strawbridge is inspired by the Italian Riviera where olive groves meet the Ligurian sea for a summer seafood dish.


2 fillets of MSC certified Cornish Hake
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
100g butter

For the polenta:
150g polenta
100g La Verde olives
1 small bunch of basil
2 tsp of roasted garlic puree
500ml water
100ml milk
50g grated parmesan
Pinch of grated nutmeg


Heat the milk and water in a saucepan and slowly whisk in your polenta over a medium heat. Stir well and cook for 15-20 mins.

Pan fry the hake by salting with sea salt and then placing it in an oiled pan skin side down. Cook for 4 mins until the skin is crispy and then turn over. Add half your butter and spoon the bubbling butter over the fish as you finish cooking it for the final couple of minutes.

To finish the polenta, blitz your olives into a coarse paste in a food processor with the basil, parmesan, roast garlic and remaining butter. Add this to the polenta as it starts to come away from the side of the pan.

Serve the olive and basil polenta with the hake fillet on top and some sprigs of baby basil. Finish with extra parmesan.

Lamb Burgers with Tapenade

These lamb burgers by James Strawbridge are perfect on the BBQ and then served up in focaccia buns.

James is trying out one of our brand new tapenades which will be launching very soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more info shortly…



For the burgers:
400g lamb mince
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp shawarma spice
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp smoky harissa tapenade
1 tbsp of each mint, oregano, fennel tops or dill, finely chopped
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped 
Pinch of smoked sea salt

For the La Verde focaccia buns:
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast 
1 1/2 tsp salt 
1 tbsp soft butter
100g La Verde olives, sliced

For the pickled veg:
1 carrot, grated plus carrot tops
1 red onion sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoky harissa tapenade
1 tsp olive oil

To serve:
1 peach or apricot, roughly sliced
4 focaccia or bread rolls
150g feta cheese, crumbled [optional]


Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water and 1 tbsp olive oil, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl, until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.

Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball, then cover and leave for 10 mins.

Cut the dough into 10 even pieces. Shape each into a ball and sit them on 2 baking parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 mins, or until about doubled in size.

Finish by using your fingers press a wide indent in the middle of each roll. Scatter over the sliced olives pressing down quite firmly into the indents. Drizzle with most of the remaining oil and season.

Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 200C fan. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the loaf if should be firm and sound hollow. When baked, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and set aside before making the burgers. 

To make the burgers, mix the lamb mince with your spices, fresh herbs and tapenade together with preserved lemon and a pinch of salt.

Form into large patties and cook on the BBQ, grill or a ridged skillet in a pizza oven for 6-8 mins. Flip halfway through cooking.

For the pickles, add grated carrot and sliced red onion to vinegar with a little spoon more of the tapenade and some carrot tops. Warm through for 4-5 mins with a little drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt.

Add your sliced stone fruit to the BBQ or grill with your patties and allow to char for 2-3 mins to soften.

Build your burger by spreading a generous amount of tapenade on the base of your focaccia bun and then adding your spiced lamb burger, some crumbled feta cheese, quick pickled veg and charred peach or apricot. 

Cauli Steaks, Charred Spring Onion & Olives

These roasted cauliflower steaks by James Strawbridge work wonderfully with the sweet charred spring onions and succulent salty olives. As well as cooking them in the oven, try these on the BBQ this summer for a real alfresco treat.


1 cauliflower, carved into two steaks
180g Nocellara del Belice olives
6-8 spring onions, halved 
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Romesco (roasted red peppers) sauce
Pinch of sea salt 
Handful of watercress


Preheat your oven to 180˚C and start by drizzling your cauliflower steaks with oil and a pinch of sea salt. Cook in a ridged skillet and bar mark them on both sides for 2-3 mins. 

Transfer to the oven along with the cauliflower leaves. Roast for 20-25 mins until the core and stalk is tender. 

In another pan grill your spring onions and olives for 5 mins until softened and slightly charred to release the sweetness. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and finely chopped chives.

Serve the roasted cauliflower steak with roasted red pepper sauce, olives, spring onions and a generous bunch of watercress on the side.

Rustic Olive Scotch Eggs

Try these rustic olive scotch eggs for a picnic feast with a difference this summer. La Verde olives beautifully season the middle eastern inspired recipe and the aromatic spices make this an exciting new vegetarian twist on a classic scotch egg. Recipe created for us by James Strawbridge.



185g La Verde olives
250g chickpeas, drained
1 preserved lemon
4 tbsp cooked cous cous, bulgar wheat or pearl barley 
½ sweet potato, peeled, roasted and diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp shawarma spice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sumac
½ tsp rose petals
6 boiled eggs
2 tbsp gram flour
50g panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp za’atar
2 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying


Start by blitzing your olives, chickpeas and preserved lemon with all your spices and tahini. Also include your sweet potato and grains. 

Pulse into a coarse sausage mince texture. Next grab a handful of your spiced olive mix and coat a boiled egg to cover. Form into a ball and then roll in gram flour to coat. 

Dip into beaten egg and the coat in seasoned breadcrumbs with za’atar. Fry your olive scotch eggs in hot oil preheated to 180˚C for 3-4 minutes until crispy. Serve with a salad and some harissa mayo with extra olives on the side.