Gaeta is on the Italian coast south of the beautiful Val di Comino, where Manuela, proprietress of the Relais Chalons d’Orange gourmet hotel and restaurant, has developed this recipe which combines the blackcurranty piquancy of her local olive with the bitterness of sauteed escarole — a mildly flavoured endive. Use the curly endive variety if you cannot find escarole.
1 garlic clove, chopped
30ml olive oil
250g escarole or curly endive
50g small, firm black olives (ideally gaetas or coquillos)
20g pine kernels, toasted
Saute the garlic in the oil till soft but not brown.
Stir in olives, capers and the torn escarole or endive.
Mix well then add the pine kernels, raisins and a tiny pinch of salt.
Serve as a side dish with a meaty main course.