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
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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 liquid  (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.


Old Tomato Rarebit Recipe

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, July 17, 1911: It rained real hard this morning. I don’t know whether that kept me from doing anything of any account or something else—any way it isn’t here to read.Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t have much to say a hundred years ago today, I flipped through the July 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. It contained a recipe for Tomato Rarebit.  A rarebit is a cheese sauce that is served over toast or other similar foods.  I like Welsh Rarebit so thought that I’d give this recipe a try.

Tomato Rarebit

Cook one tablespoon chopped onion in one tablespoon butter five minutes. Add one cup tomatoes, cook two minutes, and strain. In a saucepan, or the blazer of the chafing dish, melt two tablespoons butter, add two tablespoons flour, and three-fourths of a cup of thin cream. Cook until thickened, then add two cups cheese cut in dice or thinly shaved, the tomato, and one-half teaspoon each mustard and salt, and one-fourth teaspoon paprika. Stir until cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Serve on toast or heated crackers.

The Tomato Rarebit had a zestier taste than Welsh Rarebit, and was excellent.  The recipe is a keeper.