The flavor of olives is greatly enhanced by marinating them in olive oil with fresh herbs and citrus juices. For the best flavor, allow 2 days marinating. These are great with warm pita bread fingers.
Preparation time 10 minutes, plus 2 days marinating
Makes 3 ½ cups, to serve 8
1 1⁄4 cups (200 g) olives, preferably a mixture of black and green
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 thin-skinned orange, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into small chunks
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 fresh green chile, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small chunks
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into small chunks
125 g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1. Place the olives in a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, chunks of orange, rosemary sprigs and chile. Stir together, then cover (or transfer to a jar and seal). Place in the refrigerator.
2. For the next 2 days take the olive mixture from the refrigerator, uncover and stir gently, every 12 hours or so. Cover again and return to the refrigerator to continue marinating.
3. When ready to eat, tip the olives into a serving bowl, add the peppers and tomatoes, then stir well.
Some more ideas…
Add the marinated olives to salads, such as baby spinach leaves with chickpeas, or a tuna and cucumber salad.
Garlicky Marinated Olives With Feta: Instead of using orange, rosemary and chile, add 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves, 1⁄4 cup (40 g) chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a small handful of roughly torn fresh basil to the oil and lemon juice. Before serving the olives, toss them with 2⁄3 cup (100 g) cubed feta cheese, the peppers, 4 ounces halved grape or cherry tomatoes and some chopped fresh basil.
Olives are highly valued for their oil content, which is mostly the healthier mono-unsaturated type. Green olives provide more vitamin A than black olives.
Extra virgin olive oil is the premium of all the olive oils. It has a low level of acidity and a wonderful aroma and flavor. As it is produced with minimal heat and refining processes, it retains more of its essential fatty acids and phytochemicals.
The name rosemary comes from the Latin and means ‘sea dew’ – this strong, pungent herb was often found growing on the coast. In Roman times it was used mainly as a medicinal herb to soothe the digestive system.
Each serving (100 g) provides
Key nutrients: 85 calories, 1 g protein, 6 g fat (of which 1 g is saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate (of which 8 g are sugars), 2 g fiber, 249 mg sodium. GI estimate not able to be calculated because the carbohydrate content is minimal.