I’m sort of indifferent to olives. When I was a kid, I would totally put olives on all ten of my fingers and pluck them off. I think that was the only reason that I liked olives – they were fun to eat! As I got older, not so much. Too briny and sort of strange-tasting.
Over time, I’ve reached the point where I find olives just okay. So-so. I’ll devour ’em in Greek Pasta, I’ll tolerate ’em on top of pizza, but I certainly won’t open a jar and pop one in my mouth. For that reason, I was slightly hesitant to make Pioneer Woman’s much-hyped-about Olive Cheese Bread, as the key player is, obviously, olives.
As always, hubby comes to mind. He l*o*v*e*s olives. He does eat them straight out of the jar! Green olives, black olives, kalamata olives…keep him away! One time he ate too many…but I’ll spare you the details.
Being the fantastic, selfless, perfect wife that I am, I decided to surprise Brett with a big ol’ batch of olive cheese bread as our Valentine’s appetizer. When we pulled the bread out of the oven, it was literally dripping in cheesy, olive-y, creamy goodness. Brett struggled to stop at only two slices so I promptly wrapped the remainder in foil and stuck it in the fridge (in this household, if you ruin dinner for yourself, I make you eat it anyway. So really, I was doing him a favor.)
I think the picture speaks for itself. I was only halfway through my first slice before I texted Brett’s mom that I had the perfect appetizer for our first lake weekend this summer. Feel free to substitute any hearty vegetable for the olives – we’re trying artichoke hearts next time. Another plus is that the topping can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you’re ready.
Olive Cheese Bread – Ree Drummond’s 2009 cookbook, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks”
1 loaf french bread – try to find one fairly flat on both sides
6-oz pimento-stuffed green olives, drained
10 oz black olives, drained
2 stalks green onions
1 stick butter, very softened
1/2 C real mayo (no substitutions!)
3/4 lb shredded monterrey jack cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
Coarsely chop olives and place in bowl. Mince green onions and add to olives. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Slice bread loaf horizontally and split half of the olive mixture onto each loaf of bread. [At this point, bread may be refrigerated until needed.] Bake at 325 approx. 20-30 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned.