When I entertain I like to have some things out to snack on when guests arrive. I am always on the lookout for something new and ran across this recipe for herbed olives as I am reading through “Around My French Table.” Yes, it’s true, I read cookbooks like many people read novels. I really like olives but sometimes they can be a bit harsh. A marinade is a great way to mellow them out and add more dimensions to to the flavor. I’ve tried a few recipes for this before but this one really does the trick for me.
Herbed Olive Guidelines (inspired by “around My French Table”)
2 c olives
extra virgin olive oil
several rosemary sprigs
several thyme sprigs
1/4 tsp fennel seeds (or your spice of choice)
1/4 tsp peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
several strips lemon zest
Toast the spices in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Set aside. Heat 1/4 – 1/3 c olive oil in the pan over med-low heat with all the ingredients until warm (you will see some bubbles at the edges of the garlic). Put the olives in a heat proof container, preferably something taller and narrower. Pour the olive oil mixture over and then add more oil to cover the olives. It is best to let this marinate overnight but at least try to give it a few hours.