Lucca Restaurant’s Marinated Olives and Green Olive Pesto

A while back we received two excellent olive-themed recipes from the former chef at Sacramento’s Lucca Restaurant & Bar.

One is for marinated olives made from four different types of olives. The second is for an olive pesto made from Manzanilla olives. Both are on the menu at Lucca these days. And so we wanted to find out whether the recipes have changed much.

We spoke with Lucca’s executive chef, Ian MacBride, and he gave us an update.

We told him our marinated olive recipe calls for a mix of Manzanilla, Picholine, Coquillos, and Kalamata. The olives are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley.

Chef MacBride said the olive mix is similar to what he uses these days and the marinade “hasn’t changed much.” But there is a new twist.

“I’ve added some fennel seeds,” he said.

Lucca serves the olives with a flatbread that features Greek myzithra cheese. The flatbread also is served with an accompaniment of the olive pesto. Our appetite grew when we were told that diners spread the pesto on their bread.

We asked Chef MacBride if the pesto could be used with other dishes.

Indeed, he said. With a little variation: You could “thin” the pesto  with a little EVOO to create a tapenade, he explained. The tapenade, he added, could be served on chicken, lamb or “meatier fish” such as tuna and swordfish.

That works for me.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch