Twice-Cooked Eggplant and Olive [Sponsored Post]

by Irvin on June 12, 2017 · 5 comments

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This twice-cooked eggplant and olive dish is super easy to make but looks and tastes incredibly sophisticated. The secret is California ripe olives! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Twice Cooked Eggplant and Olives. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

This post was sponsored by the California Olive Committee. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However all opinions below are completely my own and not endorsed by the California Olive Committee. To learn more about California ripe olives, follow along with the hashtag #CalRipeOlives

Is it possible to be both simultaneously lazy AND an overachiever? If so, I fit that mold exactly. Take for instance the collaborative cooking challenge I did with a few of my fellow food bloggers up in Napa at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for the California Olive Committee event. We were given 90 minutes and free range (<-pun intended) of their commercial kitchen along with what seemed like every single available produce in season to play with in the kitchen. And lots of olives. Lots and lots of California ripe olives. And while other teams decided to make one or two dishes and end a little earlier to photograph and hang out, we ended up making three dishes: a potato and olive au gratin, a salad with olive and orange vinaigrette and a twice-cooked eggplant and olive warm salad. Over-achiever much? But here’s the thing, the twice-cooked eggplant and olive dish that I decided to make on a whim (without even consulting my teammates on) was one of the easiest dishes to make prepare – which is why I picked it to make. See: lazy AND overachieving all in one. Potato and Olive Au Gratin

Salad with Olive Vinaigrette

Twice Cooked Eggplant with Olives.

I was up in Napa hanging out with a great group of food bloggers at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The California Olive Committee had brought us up to learn about California ripe olives as well as play with them in the kitchen facilities of CIA. One thing I love about California ripe olives (other than the fact that the farms and packaging companies are family owned and they taste so great) is their versatility. Adding California ripe olives pretty much improves anything you are making.

California Ripe Olive event.

California Ripe Olive event.

California Ripe Olive event.

Elise of Simply Recipes had helped organize the event. She had also developed some pretty awesome recipes using olives, including a pork tenderloin with olive tapenade and even a dessert using candied olives! But it was the smoked olives that really impressed everyone. Smoky and rich, with a meaty texture, the smoked olives (which Elise and Chef Paul Irving from CIA showed us how to do on the stovetop) were pretty amazing and would be a great option for vegetarian or vegan folks who are looking to add a salty umami meaty-style flavored ingredient to their arsenal.

Elise of Simply Recipes at the California Ripe Olive event.

The California Ripe Olive event.

Smoked Olive Spread

But the most fun part of the event had us bloggers split into random teams of four to play in the kitchen with both olives and a huge range of ingredients. We had an hour and a half to make whatever we wanted, and though it wasn’t a competition, we decided we were in it to win it! And that meant coming up with three different dishes featuring olives (including the twice-cooked eggplant and olive dish which, as I said, I just went rogue and made without even consulting the rest of the team). And though everyone’s recipes were pretty spectacular, I’m totally bias biased. Clearly our dishes were the best! And unlike the other teams, we used all 90 minutes to make our three dishes. I think we might have been the only dishes that folks went back for second samples!

Twice Cooked Eggplant and Olives. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Twice Cooked Eggplant and Olives. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

In the end I had a number of folks ask me about the twice-cooked eggplant and olive dish. It’s a super easy dish with very few ingredients required. In other words, even if you are a lazy cook or an overachieving kitchen chef (or both), this is the perfect dish for you.

Twice Cooked Eggplant and Olives. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.


Super easy-to-make Twice Cooked Eggplant and Olives. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 13, 2017 at 4:16 am

Oooooh! Sounds so good. Reminds me of my mamma’s Pepperonata. Along with the peppers, she would add eggplant. I definitely have to try this out!! It certainly has more of a sophisticated blend than my mamma’s rustic dish.

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Ben Myhre June 13, 2017 at 5:04 am

How can I get invited to your parties?

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Valerie June 28, 2017 at 12:21 am

Lovely. I like making eggplants on the grill, it is a great choice for a salad or pre-meal. This one is on another level heh. Nice combination. I would definitely try it at home as soon as I can. Cheers.

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Cheryl August 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

This dish looks lovely. Is it possible to get the recipe for the smoked olives. They sound incredible. Either way I will be making this happen soon.

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