Just wait until you try this 3-ingredient olive dip. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes it’s the easiest things to do, that are the most impressionable. I have found this all across the board: in business, guest service, family fun and even (and maybe especially) in cooking. After decades running GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant, we’ve hosted hundreds of thousands of guests. Some of the easiest dishes have become the favorites that people can’t seem to get enough of. This easy olive appetizer is one such recipe.
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Olive Dip is Perfect for Shabbat or Weekdays
Those who have been around our Shabbat table know that I love salads and always make many of them. Guests come from all over the world and I want to make sure there is something to suit everyone’s taste. I’m careful to switch it up a bit. I make some different salads for Shabbat lunch, that weren’t served during Friday night dinner. Some standards, like humus, are served for both meals due to popular request. And they are amongst the most simple to prepare. You can check out my humus recipe here. Another uncomplicated salad is coleslaw. It’s a real crowd pleaser.
But there is one salad that is amongst the absolute easiest in my recipe box: 3 Ingredient Olive Dip. There is something about olive dip that is so elegant. Perhaps it’s the knowledge of how very special olives are. Did you know that olives are one of the seven foods that the Land of Israel is blessed with? We even say a longer blessing than usual after we eat them.
The Olive Through The Ages
Olive oil has always been important in the world at large and the Jewish world in particular. Noah sent the dove to see if the flood waters had receeded. It came back with the leaf of an olive tree in its mouth. The Kohen Gadol (high priest) was annointed with olive oil in the days of the Temple (Beit HaMikdash) in Jerusalem. The Beit HaMikdash was where the Western Wall, the remaining outer border wall, still stands today. The menorah in the Beit HaMikdash was lit daily with olive oil. Many have the custom to light the Hanukkah menorah each year with olive oil as well.
It’s by Divine Providence that the weekly Torah portion at the time of publication of this article is Tetzaveh. It begins with the commandment to take the purest olive oil found in the first drop when the olive is crushed. We are taught that we need to live with the times. In other words, to see how everything in the Torah portion holds a relevant lesson to our daily lives. Just like the olive, when we are under pressure, our finest attributes come out as well.
Olives, Health and Nutrition in the Torah
The Talmud is the Oral Law of the Torah. It was originally taught to Moses on Mount Sinai. Then, it continued to be taught orally in a continuous chain from teacher to student for centuries. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, born after the destruction of the Second Temple, foresaw that the Jews would be scattered throughout the world. He feared they would forget the Oral Law. So, he compiled the Mishnah (law details), and later, Ravina and Rabbi Ashi compiled the Gemara (law discussions). Together it is called the Talmud.
In the Talmud, whose details cover every aspect of life, it’s mentioned that olive oil is beneficial for our health. It specifically details that olive oil supports and sharpens memory. Nearly 1,900 years after the Talmud was compiled, the advantages of olive oil have been recognized by the medical world. Now, it’s commonplace to read about the proven benefits of olive oil and how it is helpful for our well-being.
Give It That Extra (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, That Is)
It is indeed worthwhile to incorporate olive oil into our meals. In particular, extra virgin olive oil is even healthier because of the way it is produced. The process is done without heat or chemicals involved. Science now recognizes the good fats from the unhealthy ones. It’s been proven that even cooking with extra virgin olive oil is beneficial. The antioxidants don’t break down under the heat and are instead absorbed by the food.
Olives have many varieties and have a unique taste. That being said, let’s jump right into this recipe. The olive lovers amongst your family and guests are sure to delight in it. Those who may have never tasted an olive or imagined that they would enjoy it, are in for a treat!
3 Ingredient Olive Dip – Easy Olive Appetizer
- 1 can Green Pitted Olives (plain, not spicy)
- 1 clove Fresh Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to your taste)
- Drain the liquid from the olives and place them in a bowl or in the food processor.
- Add fresh garlic to taste. I use one clove per can of olives.
- Pour on some extra virgin olive oil.
- Blend with an immersion blender or in the food processor. Think pesto with olives!