Fried olives may have originated in the Le Marche region of eastern Italy. There, they take pancetta, ground meats, cheese, herbs and spices and stuff large green olives, breading them and then deep-frying them to a golden crisp. Olive all’Ascolana is the name of the dish.

I felt a slightly North African take on this tradition would be delicious. I stuffed them with a spicy, harissa cream cheese before rolling them in breadcrumbs laced with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. A bit of tang from the cream cheese, some fiery heat from harissa, a touch of sweetness from honey — the briny olives become even more complex and with a deeply satisfying, deep-fried crunch. If you have never tried fried olives, now is your chance. They are incredibly easy to make and work for everything from a movie night to an elegant hors d’oeuvres for a dinner party. Enjoy!

Aliya LeeKong is Culinary Creative Director and Chef at Junoon in NYC.