It’s been a while we had a post on this segment of the blog, Nomad Eats. Guess what? We are back!!!
Our guest today is Atim Ukoh. She is a food blogger and also the CEO of one of the largest African food blogs, Afrolems. As she explores, Atim ensures she tries out various cuisines which she loves to recreate back home. In this piece, she is adding a Nigerian flavor to a starter, black olives, she tried in Morocco. You can follow her amazing food diary on instagram.
Walked into my first restaurant in Marrakech, sat down and was served complimentary bread and olives. I turned my nose at it a little because up until my trip, I wasn’t a huge fan of olives. My friends all wolfed it down but their reasons were unclear. Were they just hungry or they actually enjoyed it being that Nigerians are typically not as adventurous with food. By the third restaurant in Casablanca, I started to question how adventurous I really was with food and decided to give it a go. It was at this moment I realized I had been short-changing myself the whole trip. They were so delicious and the ones that I tried had a little spice on them. Maybe that was the value proposition
for me but I converted into an olive lover.
Olive cultivation is at the heart of Moroccan cuisine and this is reflected in every dining experience in this beautiful country. The major production cities for olives are Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez and Meknes.
Olives are typically served as appetizers and are tossed in herbs like rosemary and oregano which generally compliment the taste. They are also pickled which I decided to try on my own when I returned from my trip.
Playing on my experience of spicy olives, I decided to use a spice commonly found in Nigeria to recreate this delicious appetizer and I made some Yaji pickled olives. I found that apart from pickling the olives in spices, if I really wanted the flavour of the Yaji to come through, I needed to also sprinkle the Yaji over the olives post pickle time. My recipe for this is very straightforward, hope you enjoy this Yaji pickled Olive goodness.
- 1 cup of Black olives
- A Tablespoon of Yaji Spice
- 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Parsley
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
STEPS IN MAKING A WONDERFUL YAJI OLIVES
1: Crush your garlic in a bowl and set aside.
2: Chop your scotch bonnet pepper and parsley
3: Mix your garlic, pepper, parsley, black pepper, yaji spice, cumin and salt
4: Stir in your black olives in the mix and pour in your balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
5: Transfer to a Jar and allow to marinate for 3-8 hours
6: Serve on its own or with Garlic Bread.
Are you an olive lover? Afrolems wasn’t till she tried the olives in Morocco. Let your palate explore next time you are on vacation. You never know what you might like in another country.