Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fancy Marinated Olives

I, to put it quite simply, love (and adore) olives. If I go to a restaurant and they have marinated olives on their menu, I will order them ...every ...single ...time. If you put them out as a snack or appetizer at your home, I will, most likely, eat all of them. I try and keep a big jar of them in my fridge for entertaining last minute guests or to enjoy with some cheese and a big glass of vino on an average Wednesday evening but at the rate I eat them, they are never around long enough.  

Use this extremely simple recipe to marinate your favorite store-bought olives - Spanish or Italian - it doesn't matter, any good quality olives will do!

Fancy Marinated Olives

2 pounds olives (pick a selection of sizes & colors)
1 quart olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh  marjoram
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 head of garlic
2 dried De Arbol Chilis (or 1t dried chili flake)
1 t whole pink peppercorns
1 bay leaf
pinch of sea salt

1. Using a colander, drain olives from their juices.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel large strips of zest from your lemons and oranges
3. Pull apart your head of garlic, peel cloves, and cut them in half lengthwise
4. In a large pot or saucepan add all ingredients except the olives. Bring to a soft boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and carefully add the olives into the mixture. Stir and then let it set until everything cools to room temperature.
5. Cover and store olives submerged in the oil mixture in fridge (I use a big glass jar to hold them) for 3-5 days before enjoying. When you are ready to eat them, bring to room temperature before digging in!

Note: You can save your flavored oil (just strain it when you are done) and reuse again.

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