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Edibles & Essentials combines olives, garlic in unique Mediterranean dish
Special Request

Edibles & Essentials combines olives, garlic in unique Mediterranean dish

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Special Request Marinated Olives from Edibles & Essentials for publication October 28, 2020

The olives at Edibles & Essentials, marinated in oil and seasoned with a Ras al Hanout spice blend, bring the flavors of Morocco to the table.

Q • Would it be possible to get the recipe for the marinated olives at Edibles & Essentials? They’re different, they make a great addition to a cheese board, and they are also quite good as a snack. — P. Keen, St. Louis

A • The flavorful blend of Spanish olives and roasted garlic cloves at Edibles & Essentials is quite different. The reason lies in the heady blend of spices, the pungent cloves of roasted garlic, and the variety of unpitted Spanish olives that make up the dish.

“We view the pits kind of like cooking a steak with the bone in it. These are big boy olives and the pits help maintain the integrity of the olive,” owner and chef Matt Borchardt says.

“Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that literally translates to ‘the Top Shelf’ or the best in the shop. In Morocco, the various spice shops each have their own proprietary blend. Some may contain up to 20 to 30 different spices, but the core spices in the spice blend are primarily similar,” Borchardt says.

“Several years ago I traveled to Morocco as a consulting chef. These olives were in our room when we arrived. We were greeted with a bottle of wine, a bowl of olives and some chocolates,” he says. “We were so hungry from travelling, they disappeared right away. I’d had plenty of marinated olives on the Hill, but this is a totally different style of olives.

"The next morning we went to the kitchen to take classes with the chef and I said ‘We’ve got to have those olives.’”

These olives and a beautiful fig mostrada are on every charcuterie board from the restaurant. The boards, which feature an assortment of fine cheeses, meats and crackers, are available in multiple sizes.

“Every board is assembled by the chef and the staff — they’re not always identical, even on the same night. For carryout, we make them on disposable platters,” Borchardt says. “This time of year I like a red wine with the boards — a nice pinot noir or a good varietal. I’m a vodka and white wine guy in the summer and a whiskey and red wine guy in the winter. We’ve sold a lot of wine, whiskeys and cold beer with our carryouts, too.”

The restaurant, which has a spacious back patio, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. Borchardt has continued his popular Tapas Tuesdays. He posts the menu for the evening at noon on the restaurant’s website, usually with two to four offerings each week. They are available for carryout as well.

Longtime customers will be glad to know Borchardt plans to offer Buttonwood turkeys again this year, along with customer’s favorite side dishes like horseradish mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and whole pumpkin pies, pecan pies and carrot cake.

The Edibles & Essentials food truck is often at Nine Mile Garden and does visit some neighborhoods. The schedule appears on Facebook a few days in advance.

The restaurant recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. “We’ve been fortunate to have wide support, which has helped us through these difficult times,” he says. “People know us, and trust us, and we appreciate that support,” he says.

Edibles & Essentials Cafe

5815 Hampton Avenue


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