There are some days when dinner at my house can be pretty light—more snacky and finger-foody. Sometimes it’s just plain yogurt, cheese, and fruit. Sometimes it’s crudite with hummus or tzatziki. Or sometimes it’s olives, charcuterie and a little bread.
There’s a vendor at the farmer’s market called Home Maid Company out of San Francisco. They’re known for their fresh pastas, but I particularly love their olives, pestos and spreads. They are unbelievably good. I usually just buy one, but sometimes he’s got some pretty good deals going on and it becomes impossible to resist loading up. Here’s the latest loot:
Two fairly traditional choices are shown here: a garlic cheese spread and an artichoke olive mix. The cheese spread is to die for—the garlic is extremely mild so don’t worry that the flavor is too strong, it’s not. I use it in a million ways—as a dip for veggies, added to my egg salad, mixed in an omelet—it’s so versatile.
Tony’s Garlic Parmesan Italian Cheese Sauce & Spread: cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, spices
North Beach Mix: California green and black olives, artichokes, mushrooms, red bell peppers, feta cheese, olive and canola oil, white and black pepper
This olive mix is absolutely incredible and I’ve never seen it anywhere else. With its base of sweet figs it is like a dessert. A hint of blue cheese stuffed inside gives a bite of surprise. He doesn’t always have this mix, but when he does I ALWAYS get it. I often serve it with raw almonds or walnuts and Bosc pears. I’m telling you, it’s killer and I have addicted more than one friend to it.
Napa Valley Mix: California green olives, California blue cheese, California figs, water, balsamic vinegar, fig paste, fig concentrate, sea salt, lactic acid
Right next to the Home Maid Company dude is always a vendor who sells pita breads, naan, flatbreads and a handful of pestos and spreads that usually differ from his aforementioned neighbor. He’s got a mild sweet chili sauce that I LOVE. Whenever I have a party, I usually get the sweet chili sauce and a couple of his stuffed flat breads to have out as appetizers and they fly like hotcakes. They’re really flavorful and taste great warm or cold. People love ’em.
Here we’ve got spinach stuffed flatbread.
Oh, brother. It’s all sooooooo good. And even better, assembling dinner only took three minutes, which allows me to spend at least a good hour relaxing, noshing and sipping a glass of wine while I catch up with family or friends.