Saturday, July 18, 2020

CHUCKMAN ORIGINAL RECIPES: OLIVE AND NUT SPREAD FOR SANDWICHES OR CANAPES


JOHN CHUCKMAN ORIGINAL RECIPE: OLIVE AND NUT SPREAD FOR SANDWICHES OR CANAPES

There was a wonderful ice cream parlor and snack shop on Chicago’s Northwest side in the 1960s called The Buffalo. A charming place in an old-fashioned apartment-building neighborhood with two movie theaters nearby. On a Friday or Saturday night, there was a long line-up of people, stretching down the block, waiting for tables. The place had a charming and buzzy atmosphere.

One of things they served, the one I relished and always ordered, was an olive and nut sandwich. It consisted of thick layer of an extremely savory spread with thin slices of tomato on toast, cut in the fashion of a club sandwich.

I experimented many times with duplicating the spread and was successful.

The spread makes absolutely wonderful canapes, and I never served them to anyone who wasn’t impressed.

Green pimento-stuffed Manzanilla olives and walnuts and a real mayonnaise, buzzed together in a food processor. Experiment to see what proportion of olives versus nuts you prefer. Start with two-thirds olives. Be generous with the mayo, but don’t add so much that you lose some texture of olive and nut bits.   

You can use this spread for a zesty sandwich, with tomato slices and/or lettuce leaves, or for canapes. For the canapes, use any favorite cracker or biscuit with a generous dollop of the spread and add a decorative little topping, such as a slice of olive or a sliver of pimento.

The original recipe used walnuts, and they are excellent in it, but in my experiments, I discovered a mouth-watering substitute, cashews. The cashews make an extremely rich spread, but the taste is divine.