Peter Gordon: Infusing olives with flavour
I have a small olive grove on my section, and they are now producing well. What's the best way to cure olives after harvesting? Can you also give me some interesting herb combination ideas for when they're ready for bottling. - Bev Goodwin
I'm afraid this column is way too short to describe the curing process - try bookshops and the internet. In terms of herbs with olives, I like dried chillies, stalks of fresh thyme, lightly toasted fennel seeds, sliced garlic and orange peel.
Is there a recipe to make marzipan that does not use white sugar ? Could it be made with manuka honey? - Janet
Adding honey will make it sweet, but bear in mind that honey contains a lot of water - hence it being runny. I've not tried it, but you never know.
I'm wanting to cook a butter (lactose)-free puff pastry and I was wondering if I could use an olive-based spread instead of butter? I have also heard that lard makes great pastry. What would you recommend? - Kelvin Lea
You could replace butter with margarine. Lard does make great pastry but it can be a little heavier and it is obviously not vegetarian.