Spanish-inspired olive and cheese dip

Bring the taste of Europe to your table!

I was excited recently to receive a cute “Europe at your table” gift pack, as part of a promotion encouraging me to celebrate springtime and renew my appreciation for olives from Spain. I have always adored olives so I couldn’t wait to dive in. Considered a staple of virtually every Mediterranean cuisine, olives have been cultivated for over 8000 years, making them one of the oldest trees ever harvested by humans. On a trip many years ago, I learned that Spain is the main producer of table olives in the world and, contrary to what you might think, all olives start out green and the darker the olive, the riper it was when it was plucked from the tree. Although its main use is the production of extra virgin olive oil, the Hojiblanca olive used in this recipe, adapted from the Europe at your table booklet, is also a popular table (eating) olive. It has a deep black colour and a slightly sweet flavour, with peppery and pleasant bitter notes too. This dip can be prepared and refrigerated up to 24 hours before serving. Please note you can click here for more recipes and additional information on the ‘Europe at your table with olives from Spain’ campaign.


  • 1 cup (227 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) crème fraiche or whipping cream
  • 1 cup (235 g) grated Manchego cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) capers, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (7.6 g) minced parsley
  • 1 cup (130 g) sliced Hojiblanca olives, divided


  • Place the softened cream cheese, crème fraiche, grated cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and capers in a bowl. Stir vigorously until well blended.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste then sprinkle parsley and all but a tablespoon of the sliced olives over top; stir to blend.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining sliced olives. Serve with crackers or crudités for dipping.

Makes approximately 3 cups (750 g) of dip.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

7 thoughts

  1. This sounds really good, the combo of cheese and olives is great, and sounds like the lemon juice that is incorporated will cut the thick and rich character of this. I really would like to try this one, might make it at home, thank you for sharing.

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