Kalamata Olives are one of the world’s oldest foods, grown by Ancient Greeks in pre-historic times, it’s still grown in the same region today. Back then these olives were used for more than just eating. The oil from these olives was used for making perfumes, medicine, lighting, and heating.
Kalamata Olives are really an amazing fruit and they are low in calories. Most of the calories in the olive come from fats, but those fats are healthy as they come in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids. They can help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise the HDL (the good cholesterol) in the blood. There are many research studies out there that suggest that diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help prevent coronary artery disease and strokes. This is because monounsaturated fatty acids help create a healthy blood lipid profile.
It is sort of amazing to think that one tree contributed so much to ancient humans, yet this tree is still just as valuable to us today in modern times. Kalamata Olives are an amazing fruit and can be eaten so many ways. Today’s recipe is a simple appetizer that you could eat for lunch, in place of a salad at dinner, or for a dinner party.
You can make these Greek Olive Bites ahead of time, but you may want to add a step when preparing the cucumbers. Cucumbers are full of water, cutting and leaving them to sit will cause them to drain themselves of water over time. A method I’ve used before is to prepare the cucumbers by placing the carved cucumbers on a paper towel, lightly salt them, then allow them to rest for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse them under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. This will draw the moisture out of the cucumber. If you don’t have time for that or prefer not to cure them in salt, simply make them about 60 minutes before serving and place them in the refrigerator on top of a paper towel lined plate. When you are ready to serve them, transfer them to your serving platter and discard the paper towel. That will help keep moisture away from the bites.
Keeping this appetizer cold is a good idea, the longer they sit out, the more pliable they become. This appetizer tastes best when the cucumbers still have their crisp texture.