When I visited A Bolota, a lovely restaurant perched on the sweeping plains of the eastern Alentejo, this dip, called patê de azeitonas verdes, was brought to our table. As I nattered away with friends, I dipped, spread, and nibbled, until I realized I alone had eaten all of it. Later, when I became friendly with the cook, Ilda Vinagre, I watched her make it and was flummoxed when she whipped up its silky base: milk “mayonnaise”—whole milk whirred into a smooth consistency with the addition of vegetable oil. I serve this as a dip with a platter of crudités, alongside crackers or bread, or, sometimes, as a topping for grilled fish.–David Leite

Atenção [Editor’s Note: That means “attention”)

Don’t make this in a food processor. The bowls of most processors are too large to allow the scant amount of ingredients to whip up to the right consistency. A small narrow blender or a mini chop or handheld blender works best.

A bowl with creamy green olive dip behind five slices of baguette with dip on one.

Portuguese Green Olive Dip

5 / 8 votes
For this Portuguese green olive dip, olives are stirred into a whipped eggless ‘mayonnaise’ made with milk, oil, anchovies, garlic, and white pepper.
David Leite
CourseAppetizers
CuisinePortuguese
Servings12 servings | 1 1/2 cups
Calories140 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes

Equipment

  • A small mini chop or hand blender

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy filets
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Leaves and tender stems of 6 cilantro sprigs
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup pitted green olives such as Manzanilla, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, roughly chopped

Instructions 

  • In a blender, pulse to combine the 1/3 cup milk, anchovies, garlic, 2/3 of the cilantro, and the pepper.
  • With the motor running, pour the oil in what the Portuguese call a fio, or fine thread. Keep whirring until the oil is incorporated and the mixture thickens, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes, depending on your equipment.
  • Scrape the dip into a bowl and stir in the olives. Mince the remaining cilantro, sprinkle on top, and serve. If the dip thickens, you can always simply stir in a tablespoon or two of milk.
The New Portuguese Table by

Adapted From

The New Portuguese Table

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Nutrition

Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 140 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 1 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 3 mgSodium: 193 mgFiber: 0.3 gSugar: 0.4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 David Leite. Photo © 2009 Nuno Correla. All rights reserved.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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59 Comments

  1. I’m planning to make this for a dinner party on Friday (in two days), and I’m wondering if I can do step 1 in advance, say in the morning, or whether the whole thing needs to be made last-minute. I’m guessing I can do step 1 in advance, but a confirmation would be lovely. 🙂

    Thank you! So excited about using one of your recipes finally!

    1. Kristin, yes you can make the ahead of time. Just make sure to mix in the olives right before serving. Have a great party!

  2. Sounds amazing! I have to make an appetizer for a party in 2 weeks and the folks are on a low-carb diet. Could I use heavy cream instead of milk? This sounds so tasty I wouldn’t mind eating any mistakes that result!