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Black Olive Caramel

photo: Scott Phillips

Yield: 1-1/4 cups

When Justin Shoults serves his Charred Octopus Niçoise Salad at  Oak + Rowan restaurant in Boston, he includes this dots of this intriguing caramel sauce on the plate. Toasty and tangy, sweet and savory, just a little bit of it make the dish come together in an amazing way. Though it may sound fancy, it’s easy to make at home. It also keeps for a month refrigerated. What else to use it on?  A few drops adds even more interest to Grilled Tomato-Burrata Salad. But don’t stop there: Try some with over lamb chops, grilled asparagus, pasta, and even ice cream.


  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 25 pitted Kalamata olivesin brine (reserve 3/4 cup of the brine)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size 1 Tbs.
  • Calories (kcal) : 80
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 10
  • Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Sodium (mg): 120
  • Carbohydrates (g): 18
  • Sugar (g): 15


  • Combine the sugar and 2 tsp. water in a 1-quart heavy-duty saucepan. Cook without stirring over low heat until the sugar begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Swirl the pan to even the color, and continue to cook until the caramel turns amber.
  • Slowly and carefully add the olives and reserved brine. The sauce will harden at first; stir it with a wooden spoon until loose. Let cool until warm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. The caramel will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 1 month.


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