What are Hand-Stuffed Olives? (with pictures)

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Hand-stuffed olives are a favorite in many places around the world. As both a colorful garnish and as an ingredient in various recipes for salads and entrees, they are simply black or green olives that have some sort of food inserted into them.

Cloves of garlic are sometimes used to stuff olives.
Cloves of garlic are sometimes used to stuff olives.

The first step in creating hand-stuffed olives is to clip off the tip of the olive and remove the pit from the main body of the olive. This leaves a cavity that can be filled with just about any type of food that the cook wishes to use. Some of the most popular foods to use in stuffed olives are small pieces of pimento, cloves of garlic, pearl onions, and even different types of salted nuts. The presence of some other sort of food provides the already pungent taste of the olive with a little something extra, adding to the taste of the olives rather than overpowering or masking the natural flavor.

Green olives are commonly stuffed pimento, nuts or other items.
Green olives are commonly stuffed pimento, nuts or other items.

For persons who are particularly adventurous, there are other alternatives to use with hand-stuffed olives. For example, salmon mousse may be used as the filling. In like manner, any type of flavored cream cheese can serve as the ingredient for the filler. Depending on the size of the olive itself, it is also possible to use flavored rice to create unique and visually interesting olives.

Salmon mousse may be used as a stuffing for olives.
Salmon mousse may be used as a stuffing for olives.

Hand-stuffed olives can be presented in a number of fashions. One popular method is to include the olives on a vegetable tray for a touch of extra color. As something a little unexpected, these olives may be used as an ingredient or as a decorative additive to green salads. The stuffed olive can even reach the table as a side dish, with the hand-stuffed olives arranged on a small relish tray, along with toothpicks or a small relish fork. As a surprise element, hand-stuffed olives may also be used with a presentation of a mix of broiled or baked vegetables. Essentially, the manner of presenting the olives is only limited by the imagination and ingenuity of the cook.

While it is possible to buy commercially packaged stuffed olives, the types of filler are extremely limited. Cooks who enjoy using olives will find that it takes very little effort to make hand-stuffed olives at home, using just about any type of filler that will create a union of flavors that work well with the taste of the olive.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon45637

"clip off the tip of the olive and remove the pit from the main body of the olive. This leaves a cavity" How? The pitters I have seen are brutal and just force it out.

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    • Cloves of garlic are sometimes used to stuff olives.
      Cloves of garlic are sometimes used to stuff olives.
    • Green olives are commonly stuffed pimento, nuts or other items.
      Green olives are commonly stuffed pimento, nuts or other items.
    • Salmon mousse may be used as a stuffing for olives.
      Salmon mousse may be used as a stuffing for olives.