Cracked Green Olive and Armagnac Prune Relish - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Cracked Green Olive and Armagnac Prune Relish

Armagnac-poached prunes lend amazing richness to this relish.

Now and then, a condiment manages to steal the spotlight. Such is the case with this Cracked Green Olive and Armagnac Prune Relish from Naomi Pomeroy, the James Beard Award–winning
chef from Portland, Oregon. Pomeroy serves the hearty relish alongside duck confit and fennel-brined pork loin, but it’s also the perfect addition to a bread and cheese board.


Yield:2 cups
  • 1 1⁄2 cups Castelvetrano olives (Picholines may be substituted)
  • 1 cup Armagnac-poached prunes, quartered
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallot
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • Generous pinch of red chile flakes
  •  1⁄2 tsp. fennel pollen
  • 1 Tbsp. aged sherry vinegar


Crack and pit the olives by pressing firmly on each olive with the flat side of a knife until it breaks, without crushing the pit. Remove the pit and tear the olive in half, leaving it in large, rustic pieces. Place the olives in a bowl and add the prunes.

In a small sauté pan, warm 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, garlic and chile flakes, lower the heat to ensure nothing takes on color, and then add the fennel pollen and stir occasionally. As soon as the shallot and garlic are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the heat and add to the prunes and olives. Add the vinegar and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and stir to mix.

The relish will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.

Armagnac-Poached Prunes:
5 cups water
8 oz. prunes, pitted
1 cup Armagnac
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp. salt
Peel from 1 lemon

Cover the prunes with 3 cups boiling water in a small, heat-proof bowl and let sit for 20 minutes to begin to soften. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the Armagnac, the remaining 2 cups of water, the sugar, salt and lemon peel and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the burn is gone from the alcohol, about 5 minutes.

Remove the prunes from their pre-soak and add them to the Armagnac mixture. Bring back to a gentle simmer and cook until the prunes are just plumped, about 10 minutes. They should be soft to the touch but not falling apart. Turn off the heat and allow the prunes to cool in the liquid. Store the liquid and prunes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

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