Recipe courtesy of Balaboosta

Fried Olives with Labne

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 12 hr
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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1/4 cup tomato paste

1/3 cup cayenne

1/4 cup ground caraway

1/4 cup ground cumin

1/4 cup sweet paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

Fried Olives:

Canola oil, for frying

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 large red bell pepper, seeded

2 1/4 cups canola oil

1 large egg, beaten

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 cups black olives, drained and pitted


1 quart plain yogurt

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Harissa Oil:

10 cloves garlic


  1. For the labne: Mix together the yogurt and salt in a large bowl. Line a mesh sieve with 3 layers of cheesecloth and set it over a medium bowl. Pour the yogurt onto the cheesecloth and leave to drain overnight in the refrigerator. You'll need 1/4 cup of the labne for the recipe.
  2. For the harissa oil: Combine the garlic, bell pepper, 1 cup of the oil, and the tomato paste in a food processor and pulse until nearly smooth.
  3. Add the cayenne, caraway, cumin, paprika and salt. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of the oil. Process until the harissa is completely pureed and all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Makes about 2 1/2 cups of harissa.
  4. Mix 3/4 cup of the harissa with the remaining 1 cup canola oil to make the harissa oil.
  5. For the fried olives: Line up three medium bowls. Add the flour to the first, the egg to the second and the panko to the third.
  6. Working in small batches, with the help of a slotted spoon, toss a handful of the olives in the flour. Lift, shake off excess flour and quickly dip the olives in the egg mixture. Dredge them in the panko, shake off excess and add the olives to the egg mixture a second time. Dredge once again in the panko, shaking the olives around to coat evenly. Shake off excess and transfer to an airtight container until ready to use. (The olives can be breaded up to a day in advance.)
  7. In a deep skillet or medium pot, heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F.
  8. Fry the breaded olives until golden brown, about one minute. Drain on paper towels.
  9. Serve the fried olives piping hot with labne drizzled with harissa oil on the side.
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