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Appetizers

Herb jam with olives and lemon

Herb jam with olives and lemon
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

The best way to get to Paula Wolfert's house is to start out by the duck pond in the Sonoma town square. Drive east through a neighborhood of beautifully maintained Victorian and Craftsman-style homes. After a couple of blocks, you'll ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling time | Makes 1 cup
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 pound stemmed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley (about 1/4 pound), stemmed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • 1/2 cup stemmed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 oil-cured black olives (about 1 ounce), pitted, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Spanish sweet smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1Put the garlic cloves in a large steamer basket set over a pan of simmering water. Top with the spinach, parsley, celery and cilantro. Cover and steam until the garlic is soft and the greens tender, about 15 minutes. Cool, then squeeze the greens dry, finely chop and set aside. Mash the garlic cloves.

Step 2In a medium cazuela (earthenware pot) set over a flame-tamer or in a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, olives, paprika, cayenne and cumin. Stir over medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, mashing and stirring, until soft, dry and somewhat smooth, about 15 minutes.

Step 3Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add the remaining olive oil, mashing to combine. Refrigerate, tightly covered, for 1 to 4 days. To serve, return to room temperature. Stir in the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers or semolina bread.

Note: Adapted from Paula Wolfert's "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen.".

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