I love olives. Love. A local market has an extensive olive bar, but they are $10 a pound and not always fresh. When my Food Network magazine came in, it included a recipe for marinated olives. I didn’t want to pilfer someone else’s recipe. So, as usual, I did quite a bit of research, by reading and eating and eating some more, and came up with this. Sooooo good.
Choose a large variety of olives. Your dish will be prettier and taste better. You can also use different herbs and different citrus fruit. You can also omit the pepper or use more and hotter peppers. This needs to rest for at least 2 hours but will be better overnight. These need to be stored in the fridge, but served at room temperature or even warmed a little. The longer you keep the olives, the better they taste. They will last up to 2 weeks.
Servings: I had enough to fill 5-16 ounce jars
Hardware: Sharing jars, cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a glass juicer, a large heavy bottomed skillet, a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, food safe gloves, a sauce pot, a wooden spoon, tongs, a large funnel
Active time: 20 minutes; Cook: 10 minutes; marinate 2 hours to overnight-olives in 3 hours
- 3 pounds of olives (use a variety) drained and rinsed
- 3 lemons-juice and peel
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- A bunch of thyme
- 10 + 5 garlic cloves
- 2 Serrano peppers
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon of mixed peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves per jar
- 2-3 ounce jars of cocktail onions, drained and rinsed
- 2 ½ cups robust olive oil
- Heat the fennel seeds and peppercorns over high in the skillet until they become very fragrant. Use the mortar or grinder to coarsely crush the warmed spices.
- Juice the lemons. Scrape the lemons peels to remove all the lemon and white pith. Slice the peel into long thin strips. Wearing the gloves, slice the peppers into long thin strips, discarding the seeds and white ribs. Set aside.
- Roughly chop 5 of the garlic cloves and place them in the sauce pan over medium heat until the garlic begins to lightly brown. Add the juice, vinegar, thyme, sugar and remaining garlic to the pan and bring to a rapid boil. Stir until the sugar melts. Add the peel and pepper and remove from the heat.
- Divide the olives, onions and ground spices among the jars. Place 2 bay leaves into each jar. Remove the thyme twigs from the liquid and discard. Use the tongs to evenly distribute the lemon peel, pepper and whole garlic into the containers. Divide the liquid evenly. Add ½ cup robust oil to each mixture.
- Tightly screw on the lids and shake to mix. Store upside down in the fridge. Turn the jars over to serve. By storing upside down, you keep the spices from settling.