This meal occurs only once a year, or two years when the olive tree produces fruit. Our tree seems only to fruit every other year and we have not spoken to other growers to find out if this is normal. We have tried to preserve black olives but that has proven to be a losing game because they just do not turn out so we have stuck to preserving green or unripe olives; they are the same as black olives, just picked earlier. In Leslie Forbes cookbook from 1985, A Taste of Tuscany, on page 146 will be found fron the recipe called “Agnello con Olive Nere” (Lamb and black olive stew.) The flavour that, to me, makes this simple dish and makes it anticipated is the use of partly rippened olives, olives that are coloured partly green and red. These olives cannot be eaten in the stew but like bay leaves they give the dish marvellus flavour that cannot be reproduced.
Diane has always served polentta with this delicious stew; polentta has the capacity to not only allow the absorbsion of the delicious juices from the stew fbut also to simply accompany the flavours of the stew.
Diane served a light but tasty salad with the usual suspects incarcerated there in.
Our wine of choice is an inexpensive Tuscan red wine called Dogajolo by Carpineto. It is a good drop if you see it in a store.