What a fun appetizer this is! Mike, my husband, and I went to Spain in 2016 and ate our way from Barcelona to Marbella, to Seville and Madrid. Olives, olives and more olives, I love them so I was in heaven, you get a small plate with every meal, everywhere you go. When we were in Madrid we found this amazing market that had a million (maybe an exaggeration but it was a lot) different combinations of olives with meats and cheese. So when I got home of course I had to experiment. Below are several flavor combos I've tried but please do you own experimentations. I'd love to hear what you came up with!
Pots and Pans: NONE only a cutting board and a knife
Stuff you'll need
20-30 Extra Large pitted olives - Green or Black variety
Thick Balsamic Vinegar (or a reduction) think syrup consistency - optional
Filling: Choose any combination that suits your taste buds
Sundried Tomatoes - California Sun-Dry brand is the best and they're already julienned (you can purchase at Kroger)
Cheese - i.e. manchego, fresh mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, etc.
Pancetta - thinly sliced
Salami - thinly sliced
Pepperoni - thinly sliced
Anchovy - if you really wanted to channel your inner Spaniard :)
Cut all the olives in half, discard any pimentos. Make an assembly line. Start with the olives, take one-half the olive and skewer with a toothpick, then add a piece of cheese, then a filling, finish off with the second half of the olive on the toothpick.
My personal favorite combos are:
Mozzarella and Sundried Tomatoes / Manchego and Salami / Gouda and Pepperoni
So that there aren't too many options, I make about 4 variety's and use a mix of green and black olives. To finish it off, once the olives have been assembled and arranged on a serving platter, I'll drizzle balsamic vinegar or olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes over the top. It just adds another level of flavor and a little pizzazz.
NOTE - these will go fast, make a few more than you think you'll need.
Another yummy variety is to make a Caprese salad on a toothpick. Simply cut a cherry tomato in half and layer with mozzarella and fresh basil. To finish drizzle balsamic and olive oil on top.