Marinated Olives

I was not always an olive fan but over the past year I have really developed a taste for olives…not just olives in a can but really meaty, vibrant, flavorful olives. This recipe hits all the right notes with olives, fennel, garlic, orange strips and full bodied olive oil. Marinating them for a day or two really melds all of the flavors and makes the overall taste that much more bold. My Dad made this recipe for me last February during a visit home and I have been in love with it ever since – another great addition to your party menu!

Marinated Olives
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound Nicoise olives (2½ cups)
  • 1 pound Picholine olives (2½ cups)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • Zest strips from 1 orange, cut into fine julienne
  • About 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Rinse the olives in a large strainer; drain well. Transfer the olives to a medium bowl. Stir in the toasted fennel seeds, garlic, crushed red pepper and orange zest and add enough olive oil to cover.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving. The olives can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 10 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.