Smoked Castelvetrano Olives

Bowl of smoked castelvetrano olives from Ilda
Image by Evan Anderson

If you have guests who don’t love olives, this is the perfect snack. At Ilda, in Sylva, North Carolina, chef Santiago Guzzetti smokes these Castelvetrano olives over an open fire. The smoke of the fire and spice from the pepperoncini relax the flavors a bit to make them really mild. You can also smoke them over a smoker or gas grill outfitted with a smoking box. The secret is controlling the heat and placing the olives a little bit away from the direct flame. And, if you do love castelvetrano olives, smoke a slightly larger batch and use them in your next martini.

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 pounds Castelvetrano olives
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 3 pepperoncini, sliced thin
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Special equipment
  • Open fire or smoker, cheesecloth, twine
  1. Start a fire in a firepit or smoker, and once flames die down, continue to feed in small cuts of wood to keep the smoke steady.
  2. Cut a large piece of cheesecloth into a square, and place olives in the cloth, pulling up all four corner pieces and tying the bundle together with twine. Suspend cheesecloth to the side of the fire, avoiding direct heat. Let sit above smoke for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a pot over medium-low heat, combine garlic, rosemary, pepperoncini, and olive oil and gently simmer for about 5 minutes or until the flavors come together.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine smoked olives with the garlic-pepperoncini mixture and stir together to incorporate the flavors
  • Recipe By
    Santiago Guzzetti, Ilda, Sylva, North Carolina

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