Olives soaking up herbal flavor while resting in extra-virgin olive oil is this week’s assigned recipe from Around My French Table and it came at the perfect time to enjoy for a pre Thanksgiving meal nibble. I found the Sicilian Castelverano olives at Whole Foods the day before Thanksgiving. The parking lot was so busy I had to valet my car to run in and buy 2 cups of olives! The store was packed before 9am, I think everyone had the same idea for an early start to their day. I had bought olives the day before when I went to pick up my bird but decided to make a second batch using different olives to create a sort of olive bar to go with the chunk of Manchego cheese I bought to go with the homemade quince jelly I made from a huge bag of quinces that I received from my son-in-law week last week. Once I get an idea about how I want to serve an olive or a cheese, no crowded grocery store can keep me from executing my plan!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day and is able to enjoy a relaxing weekend with their friends and loved ones. I bought tickets for an African Safari in the hills of Sonoma County, at Safari West. My husband and I are bringing our ‘littles’ on safari while their parents enjoy a weekend off. I’ll try to take some photos to share, should be pretty wild.
These herbed olives are easy to make and lend themselves to all kinds of flavor combinations, I’ve included the recipe exactly as I made it but the possibilities are endless. As I mentioned above , I served my olives with slices of Manchego cheese, quince jelly (recipe coming soon) and crackers for a light but flavorful appetizer. Please check out the other contributors to French Fridays with Dorie and have a wonderful weekend.
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
- 2 cups Castelverano Olives
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
- 2 bay leaves, split in half
- 1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
- 2 strips orange zest
- Sea salt to taste
- Place the olives in a clean 1 quart canning jar.
- Remove the leaves from 2 of the rosemary and thyme sprigs-finely chop the leaves.
- Place a skillet over medium heat- when it's hot add the coriander seeds, peppercorns and fennel seeds, gently shake the pan until you smell their spicy fragrance and remove to a small bowl.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for several minutes, then put it back over a low heat.
- Pour in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and add the remaining ingredients.
- Heat the mixture for a few minutes, until it's warm and fragrant.
- Pour the herbed olive oil mixture over the olives, adding enough of the extra olive oil to cover them.
- Let the jar of olives come to room temperature, giving a few stirs while waiting.
- The olives can be served now but the flavors will intensify if you seal the jar and hold it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or up to a few weeks.