Olives and Stuffing:
70 pitted Castelvetrano olives or any large pitted green olive
6 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all- purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups panko bread crumbs
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Piping bags if desired
Rinse Olives: Remove olives from any brine and rinse well in a sieve under running water. Turn olives out onto a paper towel lined sheet pan. This step will remove excess saltiness.
Prepare Stuffing: In a medium bowl mix together the sausage, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, rosemary, parsley, lemon zest, and black pepper.
Stuff Olives: Cut a small slit in the side of each olive to open it up a bit. Using a teaspoon or piping bag, stuff a scant half teaspoon of the sausage mixture into the olives. Press lightly to pack the stuffing in and to form the olive back into an olive shape. Place olives back onto the sheet pan. Helpful hint: Once you have about 12 or so stuffed, you can have a friend or helper continue on to step 4.
Dredge Olives: Assemble a "breading" or “dredging” station by putting the flour into one shallow pan, the beaten egg into another and the panko into a third. Roll the olives in the flour to coat, then into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumb. Place the breaded olives back onto the sheet pan. Continue the process until all the stuffed olives are breaded. If possible, place olives into the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the breading to set up or refrigerate for 20 minutes (Chilling may be skipped, though you may lose a bit more of the coating when frying.)
Fry Olives: In a high sided sauté pan, pour in enough canola oil to fill the pan about two inches deep. Heat the oil until it reaches 375°F. Working in batches of about 12; place the olives into a spider and gently place into the oil. Fry until the breading reaches a rich, golden brown and the sausage is thoroughly cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Remove with the spider onto a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
Serve: While hot, place olives onto a platter and serve with toothpicks if desired.
Recipe created by Parties That Cook®
Makes about 70 Olives