Olive Rarebit

Olive Rarebit on Toast

Welsh Rarebit over toast is one of my comfort foods, so I was intrigued when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Olive Rarebit. This recipe is nice variation on the classic. It contains chopped olives embedded in a savory cheese sauce.

Here’s the original recipe:

Olive Rarebit Recipe
Source: American Cookery (January,1920)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Olive Rarebit

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup milk, water, or apple cider – If desired, olive brine from the jar may be substituted for part of the liquidΒ  (I used milk – and no olive brine.)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash paprika

6 olives, coarsely chopped (I used pimento stuffed green olives.)

Put butter in a saucepan; melt using medium-low heat. Stir in the cheddar cheese; continue stirring until the cheese is partially melted. Then add the milk and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. While continuing to stir, add the egg, mustard, salt, and paprika. Heat until hot, then stir in olives. Remove from heat. Serve over toast, English muffins, or other bread.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

35 thoughts on “Olive Rarebit

  1. I grew up eating Welsh Rarebit.
    WELSH RAREBIT

    2 TBLS BUTTER 1 TSP MUSTARD
    1-1/2 TBLS CHOPPED ONION 1 CUP TOMATO JUICE
    2 TBLS FLOUR 1-1/2 CUP GRATED CHEESE
    1 TSP SALT 1 WELL BEATEN EGG
    1/2 TSP CAYENNE 1/2 CUP CREAM
    WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE GARLIC
    CRAB MEAT OR SHRIMP

    1. mmm. . . your Welsh Rarebit recipe sounds wonderful. I never would have thought about adding crab meat or shrimp, but now I want to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mmmmm! Can’t wait to try this soon. I think I will also use the milk in place of the suggested alternatives. The olives are a great idea as they provide a nice boost to the cheesy flavor. I use finely chopped olives in deviled eggs and refer to them as my “secret ingredient”. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. I think that you’ll like this recipe. I thought that was interesting that the old recipe listed cider as a possible alternative to milk. It seems like it would have a distinctively different flavor.

    1. It’s fascinating how there are several spelling variations. In my 1970s Betty Crocker Cookbook, the description above the Welch Rabbit recipe says:

      “The story goes that long ago in Wales the peasants, not allowed to hunt on the estates of noblemen, served melted cheese as a substitute for rabbit, popular prize of the hunt.”

      Yet, whenever I’ve seen is type of recipe in hundred-year-old cookbooks or magazines, it is always spelled “rarebit.” So it is a bit of a mystery to me.

  3. So interesting! Old recipes are magical, aren’t they? I have seen many TV chefs do this and have always been interested in trying. Thank you for the delicious reminder, Sheryl!

  4. I can agree to the olives, but I cannot abide the thought of cider being used as the liquid in the cheese sauce when you’re going to add salty olives. Those flavors don’t go together in my palate.

    1. That’s why I went with the milk option – though I must admit that I am tempted to make it again using cider just to see how it tastes. It seems like such an improbable combination.

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