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Kelly Petersen

California olives are harvested by hand near Corning. The state produces more than 95 percent of the nation’s table olives.

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  • Olive oil cakes with local citrus, candied California green ripe olives and sea salt Serves 8

    Showing off olive’s sweeter side, this recipe comes courtesy chef Ryan Jackson of Sanger’s School House Restaurant and Tavern in California olive country. It makes 8 cupcake-size golden cakes, topped with candied olives.

    INGREDIENTS For candied olives: 1 can California Green Ripe Olives 1 cup sugar For olive oil cakes: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/4 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1/3 cup whole milk 1 cup and 1 tablespoon lemon extra virgin olive oil, divided INSTRUCTIONS

    For candied olives: Drain olives and reserve brine; set aside. Slice olives and set on paper towels to wick away moisture.

    In a sauce pot, bring the olive brine and sugar to a boil. Add sliced olives to mixture and turn off heat. Cool in the refrigerator and save for garnish.

    For olive oil cakes: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

    Using a stand mixer or a whisk, combine the sugar, eggs and lemon zest until the mixture is pale yellow and doubled in volume. Add the milk and 1 cup of lemon olive oil to the bowl and mix on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until all flour is incorporated.

    Use the remaining tablespoon of oil to prepare 8 (4-ounce) muffin tins. Fill with batter 3/4 full. Place the tins on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from tins.

    Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, garnished with orange segments and candied olives. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Try candied olives on olive oil cake

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 - 12:36 pm

When you’ve got olives, why limit yourself to oil?

While most of the California table olive crop is processed at two major canners, some smaller operations grow and process their own table olives in addition to pressing oil.

For example, West Coast Products and Olinda Brand Olives & Olive Oil company grows 88 acres of olives in Corning, then processes its own olives in Orland, said company spokesperson Dianne Needham.

Unlike the California black olives, these specialty olives are treated like Greek-style olives – fermented without exposure to caustic chemicals such as lye. The company packs more than 1,000 tons of Sevillano table olives annually, Needham said.

“The olives are only fermented in natural brine for natural curing – no lye or any other chemicals,” Needham said.

Now is olive season and it looks like a flavorful crop. (For more on the California olive harvest and more recipes, click here.)

Olives’ sweet side is seen in this olive oil cake recipe from chef Ryan Jackson of School House Restaurant in Sager. He tops it with candied California green olives. Baked in individual sizes, these golden cakes make a pretty dessert sure to spur after-dinner conversation.

Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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