Blood Orange & Kalamata Olive Salad

Adapted from Mark Bitman's

"Zucca's Orange and Olive Salad"

Vegetarian, gluten-free


1 cup of Kalamata olives (or any black olives you prefer)

olive oil (quantity will vary with type of olives used)

1x blood orange per person

thyme

fennel seeds


Begin by removing the seeds from the olives - please do yourself a favour and avoid already pitted olives.  This is very easy to do - simply place the olive on a hard surface such as a plate or board;  press firmly with your thumb (or if your olives are harder you can use the bottom of a cup or glass);  the olive will easily split open;  remove the seed out and discard.

Put the pitted olives now into your food processor with about a teaspoon of olive oil and pulse a couple of times to roughly chop the olives.  Add a little more olive oil and keep pulsing till you have the desired consistency - take care not to turn this into complete "mush";  you want to keep a bit of texture to the paste.

Now to the oranges.  Grate the zest of one orange and set aside.  Then remove all the skin (including the white pith) from the oranges, and slice into thickish rounds.  Hint, do this on a plate so that you can collect all the juices which will come out of the oranges.

To serve, arrange orange slices on a plate and top with a dollop of the olive paste.  Drizzle with your best olive oil and some of the reserved orange juice.  Sprinkle with a few thyme leaves and fennel seeds and a little of the reserved orange zest.
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