Olives: In a large, two-handled Lodge cast-iron skillet or paella pan, spread a layer of oil-cured black olives (the shriveled ones). Place in a wood oven at pizza-cooking temperature for about 90 seconds. The olives will puff up, dry out slightly, and release a wonderfully intense perfume. Voila!

Let the revels begin!


Optional. Drizzle with a little really good red wine before roasting.

Cheese: Arrange brined grape leaves in a large circle, overlapping, to form a wrapper. Trim the rind from a large (4 to 6-ounce) wedge of Manchego or other semi-soft sheep’s cheese, such as a young tomme. Place in the center of the leaves and wrap the leaves up around the cheese. In a Lodge cast-iron skillet or paella pan, place the cheese seam-side-up. Roast in the wood oven until the package is slightly softened to the touch. Serve with crusty bread and a knife for spreading the softened cheese. Charred remains of the grape leaves may be discarded, or eaten. Or a little of both.