Days of Olives Festival on Croatia’s Krk Otok (Island)

Krk

From October 1 to 9, 2012, the Croatian island of Krk will host the Days of Olives Festival. I love olives. I’ve always loved olives. Most people grow into them but not me. I loved them as soon as I could eat solid food, so a festival dedicated to my favourite snack needless to say got me a little bit excited! The event will showcase the fabulous health benefits of olives and you’ll even have the chance to witness and take part in a unique harvest. Local hosts will also serve up the homemade snack to the sound of a sopile which I’m told is a woodwind instrument similar to an oboe. Then there’ll be a feast in the evening, with Croatia’s best chefs all competing to prepare the best olive-based dish.

Krk
Krk

I suggest you book flights soon!

For more information visit www.tzpunat.hr

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Russian Zakuski / закуски Recipe: Smoked Salmon with Olives

The tradition of the zakuski board dates back to the 18th Century.  On arrival guests would be greeted with a bountiful board of small dishes, a bottle of vodka, possibly a bottle of sparkling Georgian wine, and of course a bubbling samovar for tea.  What better welcome could one wish for?  Not all of the dishes are complex… one of my favourites is simply smoked salmon arranged decoratively with green and black olives.

Russian Zakuski Salmon & Olives Recipe

Here’s the (ever so) simple recipe below…

Ingredients

Smoked salmon slices

Green and black olives

Juice of one lemon

Instructions

Fold then roll the slice of salmon to form a nest and arrange on a plate

Place an olive into each nest of salmon

Drizzle over lemon juice and serve

Olive Picking Short Break

just-slovenia-logoNew from specialist tour operator, Just Slovenia, is Villa Lavanda, a traditional Slovene property perched on the outskirts of Fijeroga, an unspoilt hilltop hamlet just a short drive from the historic coastal towns of Koper, Izola and Piran, close to Croatia.

Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the comfortably furnished Villa Lavanda is offering new olive picking short breaks during the autumn, which include an olive picking session, olive oil tasting and a traditional meal with Bojan and Darja, the welcoming owners of this old Istrian home.

Offering glimpses of the Adriatic on a clear day, Villa Lavanda sleeps four to five guests, features period furniture and has been designed with the utmost comfort and functionality in mind. Other benefits include a country style kitchen, two double bedrooms, a lawned garden with swimming pool and terrace for al fresco dining.

Villa Lavanda Exterior
Villa Lavanda Exterior

Nearby attractions include the stylish coastal town of Piran, with its Venetian architecture, excellent waterfront restaurants and cafes, bustling harbour and atmospheric main square.

Read more…

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A Balkan Side Dish: Courgettes with Rice

This Balkan side dish is super tasty, if a bit time-consuming and is really healthy.  Make large quantities and either keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer to reheat as and when you want it.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

1kg small or medium courgettes

60ml olive oil

3 white onions

3 garlic cloves

1tsp chili powder

1 can chopped tomatoes

200g risotto rice

600ml vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbsp parsley

white pepper

sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

Top and tail courgettes and slice into large chunks

Heat half the olive oil in large frying pan

Gently fry chopped onions and garlic

Onion & Garlic

Stir in chili powder

Onion, garlic, chili

Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes

Tomatoes

Add courgettes

Courgette

Cook over gentle to medium heat for 10 minutes

Add rice to pan

Rice

Add stock to pan, cover and simmer for 45 minutes

Stock

Stir occasionally to prevent rice it sticking

Simmering

Remove pan from heat

Stir in white pepper and parsley

Pepper & parsley

Spoon into ovenproof dish

Bake for 45 minutes

Halfway through cooking, brush the remaining olive oil over mixture

Garnish with parsley, black olives and sour cream

Done! Serve!

Done! Serve!