I'd been to Holy Land before, years ago, and remembered that my favorite thing about the store was the olive and pickle counter. Guess what? Not much has changed. Of course that was still my favorite thing!
Just look at all of these olives! This is Liz heaven right here. I sampled pretty much everything in the case and somehow settled on three items. That is restraint, people.
From the counter I got mixed pickled vegetables (I love a good mixed pickle), pickled turnips and spicy olive salad. I'm a big fan of the pickled turnips- they're tart and salty, of course, but still fairly turnip-y and slightly alcoholic tasting. And hot pink from beet juice! You gotta love that.
Something new in my basket was the lemon pistachios. Catherine recommended these and WOW! They are fantastic! I'm a little scared that there's no ingredient list, but comforted by the fact that they taste simply lemony, salty and pistachio-y. If you've ever had the flavored pistachios or cashews at Trader Joe's and been disappointed by the quality of the nuts (old, stale oil flavor), try these . They clearly use freshly roasted pistachios here and sell them quickly enough that they stay very fresh.
I also scored some organic olive oil for only $7.99 for a quart and a big ol' jar of grape leaves in brine. I definitely see some dolmas in my future! I'll be following a new (to me) recipe from an coworker from Iran who brought in his cookbook of classic Persian recipes to share. Or at least loosely following the recipe... I won't be using the ground beef!
Only one more store left to visit, folks. Then it's back to cooking as usual.