|Either olives or grapes can be used with this non-traditional dish!|
"Visions of a quiet Midwestern town come to mind as you drive up to the Graber Olive House on a tree-shaded street in Ontario. However, if you look carefully among the pines, lanky palms, and elegant magnolias, you can discern the dark foliage of an orange tree or the spiny limb of a native succulent. At the Graber Olive House, one venerable olive tree dates back to 1892, when Clifford Graber, the founder of the Ontario’s oldest existing business, migrated west from Indiana for health reasons.
Much of the original Graber ranch still remains in use, from the stately family home to the original bar, where the olive curing process still takes place. On the verdant grounds, a small museum shelters the old-fashioned wooden olive grader that Clifford Graber devised to sort his olives. The family-owned business produces only one hundred and fifty tons of tree-ripened olives every year. The painstaking harvest entails hand-picking only three ripe fruit at a time, and setting them gently into padded buckets. Pickers may have to return to the same tree on seven different occasions to select only the most luscious of the Grabers’ fruit.
|The sugar called for in Maura Graber’s recipe enhances the mild and juicy flavor of the green olives." – Kitty Morse|
3 cups pitted Graber Olives (#12 or #14 can size)
1 tbsp. Graber of California extra virgin olive oil
2 1-lb. loaves frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions (I prefer Brigford Bread Dough)
2 tbsp. fresh or dried rosemary
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Cut olives in half, or leave whole, as desired. On a floured board, roll out thawed bread dough to ½ inch thickness, and transfer carefully to a greased 10 x 15-inch baking pan. Brush dough with olive oil, and let rise in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puffy.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Top dough with olives set in a decorative pattern, and sprinkle with rosemary and sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until dough turns golden. Remove from oven, cool a few moments, and cut into squares. Serve warm.
Yield: 14 generous servings.