While olives are high in fat and calories, a little goes a long way. Pitting olives other than tiny nicoise olives can easily be done with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Place an olive on a flat work surface, cover with the flat side of the knife, and press down until you feel the olive give. The flesh will split, making it easy to remove the pit. Large brine-cured olives will be easier to pit than smaller, oil-cured olives.
Use olives like a condiment to spike the flavor of a sauce (pasta or other), to enliven a pizza, to toss in salads or grain dishes, or to serve on sandwiches. Olives may be served whole, sliced, pitted, unpitted, or stuffed.
Olives can be crushed to create tapenade, a savory paste made from olives, capers, red peppers, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and ground black pepper. Tapenade can be spread on toast or crackers, used as a crudite dip, or used as a seasoning in sauces.