An interesting request came my way:
“I stumbled across your very informative blog as I was searching for a condiment I’ve heard of that is supposedly Armenian in origin: walnut-olive relish. Do you know of a bottled brand and where it can be purchased online? I live in the Chicago area and we have a couple of good Middle Eastern bakeries and groceries that might supply it if you can give me an idea of what it’s called. Any recipe, history, or other information you could help me with would of course be credited to you once we get our blog going. If you’re wondering, it’s a blog about condiments from around the world.
You know me, I started investigating right away. I contacted my friends at Macar and Sons to see if they carried such a product; unfortunately, no. I emailed Sahadi’s in Brooklyn, NY; they don’t carry a product like that either. Then I emailed Kalustyan’s in NYC, but as of this posting, I haven’t heard back.
So, I did the next best thing. I sent Emily my own recipe for Walnut-Green Olive Relish (see below).
If anyone knows of a company that makes walnut-olive relish commercially, or an Armenian name that this product might go by, please let me know: (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks!
When Emily’s blog, Flavor Club, is up-and-running, I’ll let all of you know.
Walnut- Green Olive Relish (Recipe from www.TheArmenianKitchen.com)
Yield: approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 cups pitted green olives, drained, rinsed and chopped* (Note: green olives stuffed with pimentos can also be used)
½ cup walnuts, chopped* (I use pecans instead of walnuts)
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped*
1 small onion, chopped*
1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
*Special Note: hand-chopping is recommended for this recipe.
• In a medium bowl, gently stir together chopped olives, walnuts, parsley, and onion.
• In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and Aleppo (or cayenne) pepper. Pour dressing over olive-walnut mixture; toss to coat.
• Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
• Serve with crackers or toasted pita triangles.
Other serving suggestions: This relish can also be used as an accompaniment for fish or poultry dishes – or – as a topping for hummus or on a block of cream cheese!