Q: How many calories and grams of fat are in 10 medium-sized black olives?

Answer: See Page 2B.

Baked pasta with zucchini and mozzarella

3/4 pound pasta (fusilli, orecchiette or conchiglie)

5 small zucchini cut into 1/2-inch slices

Salt and pepper

1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

8 black olives, sliced

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary sprigs

1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

Cook pasta in boiling salted water. In a large frying pan, heat oil and saut zucchini until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to an oiled shallow casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When pasta is almost cooked, drain and add to zucchini. Add tomatoes, olives, Parmesan, rosemary and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if desired and gently mix together. Cover with the remaining mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted and the top slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Egg salad with capers and olives

4 hard-boiled eggs

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced pitted kalamata olives

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 tablespoon capers

Salt and pepper

Finely chop the eggs and transfer them to a medium-sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. You can easily make this egg salad recipe into deviled eggs for a convenient, portable breakfast item. Simply cut the eggs in half lengthwise, and pop the yolks into a small bowl. Mash the yolks with the remaining ingredients, then stuff this filling back into the "yolk compartment" of the egg whites. Chill in a tightly covered container until serving time.

Ligurian roasted potatoes

4 potatoes, cut into wedges

2 onions, cut into wedges

1 handful olives

1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

3 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss all of the ingredients together and place in a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, until the potatoes are done and are starting to become crisp.

Options: Add chopped onion; cherry tomatoes; tomato paste; anchovies.

Source: www.homecooking.about.com

Olives must be processed to remove the bitter glucoside oleuropein before they are edible, so they are usually first treated with lye and then pickled.

Greek olives are not treated with lye. They are strong tasting because they are just packed in dry salt, or pickled in brine for six to 12 months (where they undergo a process of lactic fermentation), and finally packed in fresh brine.

Spanish green olives are picked before they are ripe, treated with lye, then placed in a brine and allowed to ferment.

California olives are treated to set the pigment, treated with lye and then packed immediately in brine and sterilized. They do not undergo the fermentation process, and the sterilization "cooks" them. This lack of fermentation, and the "cooking" when they are sterilized produces a bland, uninteresting olive.

Source: www.foodreference.com

Compiled by Jackie Ward

This Week's Circulars