Olives warmed up with herbs and spices!
We have a difficult time understanding people who don’t care for olives; a challenge because one of us is married to one of those people. It’s hard to wrap our head around why anyone would turn their nose on fruit (yes, olives are fruit!) that comes in so many wonderful varieties, colours and flavours. We’ve come to accept that perhaps the tartness, bitterness and occasional spiciness of olives is an acquired taste, and growing up in a Greek household, it was a taste that we acquired quite young.
Olives have always been a dietary staple; dinner tables, party buffet spreads and quick lunches were never complete without a bowl of olives, usually Kalamata. We have always found olives pretty addictive, and their easy accessibility has caused some trouble…of the tummy kind. When one of us was little, and unsupervised during a family gathering, she helped herself to the bowl of olives sitting on the table between the egg-stuffed meatloaf and the spanakopita. It was a large family gathering, hence the very large bowl of olives. Do you know what happens when a little girl eats about 60 olives on an empty stomach in the span of about 5 minutes? Bad things.
It actually took a few years before that little girl could tolerate the sight of olives again, and a few years after that before our mother would let this girl out of her sight at a party. But all’s well that ends well and now both of us enjoy olives, in moderation, all of the time…usually every day actually. We love them in our Greek-style Cobb salad, served with baked feta, and alongside meals like our green bean and potato stew. We also love them warmed up, with spices and herbs, the way that we present them here. This simple recipe elevates already wonderful olives to something really extraordinary. We hope you give them a try…but please, keep an eye on your children.
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- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir them together. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of your bowl into a frying pan and heat over medium heat, stirring regularly. Continue until you see the oil start to sizzle.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the olives and all of the herbs and oil into a bowl. Serve warm.