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Recipe for marinated olives with garlic, pepper, orange and mint {vegan, gluten-free}

Marinated olives with garlic, pepper, orange and hint of mint.

No matter the occasion, be it holiday or a weekend dinner with friends, I plan my entertaining menu from the bottom up. First, I decide on dessert (in other words, what form will the chocolate take -- cake, brownies, ice cream, cookies?), then the main course. Appetizers I leave for last, even though they come first in the meal and set the tone for the evening. Often I serve the apps right on the kitchen counter where I'm finishing cooking or plating the rest of the meal. Everyone congregates there, and I set out several appetizers to nibble before we sit down to dinner. These marinated olives can -- in fact, they should -- be made in advance; the longer they languish in the marinade, the more flavorful they become. Use your favorite green olives, with the pits in (I found Castelverano in the deli section at my regular grocery store), and be sure to rinse off the brine so it doesn't overwhelm the fresh Provencal seasonings. Serve alongside cheese, hummus, and crackers.

Marinated olives, a great make-ahead appetizer for holiday entertaining.

Marinated olives with garlic, pepper, orange and mint

From the pantry, you'll need: dried red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mild red pepper flakes, black (or mixed) peppercorns.

Makes 2 cups.


2/3 lb green olives (I like Castelverano)
1 whole dried red pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp mild red pepper flakes
1/4 dried mint
1/4 tsp black (or mixed) peppercorns
1 2-inch piece of orange peel


Wash the olives under cold water; rinse and drain. Place them in a quart-size jar, along with the whole pepper.

In a small sauce pan, combine the olive oil, garlic, red pepper, mint and peppercorns over low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until you see tiny bubbles coming from the garlic. Don't let the garlic begin to brown.

Carefully pour the hot oil over the olives. Gently stir to distribute the spices throughout the jar. Add the orange peel. Cover, and set aside to cool.

When the jar is cool, refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to one month. The oil will congeal, so let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Moroccan cucumber salad with herbs and olives
Whole wheat orzo with cucumber, mint, feta, olives and zahtar vinaigrette
Pasta puttanesca
Chicken with preserved lemon tagine

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Fresh roasted pepper and olive bruschetta, from Sass & Veracity
Crockpot beef stew with olives, garlic, capers, and tomatoes, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Quinoa salad with chickpeas, kalamata olives and mint, from Cookin' Canuck
Roasted mahi mahi with fennel, olives and oranges, from The Kitchn
Beet and orange salad with feta and mint, from From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours

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I've never made marinated olives before - but it would be a nice nosh to have while guests are waiting around, especially during the holiday season.

Perfect for the holidays or anytime Lydia.

Jeanette, marinated olives are so easy, and they're great to have on the kitchen counter while your friends and family are helping you cook.

Bellini, I'm an anytime olive lover!

is it possible to reuse the marinade after the olives are gone? Maybe in a pasta?

Candy, absolutely! Wouldn't this be great cooking oil for pasta with some fresh mozzarella?

Love this pantry item. Just love it especially around the holidays I like to stock up on Moroccan preserves, jams and such. I think prep in advance such as this jar pays off later on. Makes holiday entertaining the more special.

Foodwanderings, olives are a necessity in my house, too, and especially fun at the holidays.

Wow - I am thinking the bit of mint and orange give these a nice holiday brightness!!

Ha, "first I decide what form will the chocolate take-"...doesn't everyone? I love olives as an app. I'll try these asap.

We are such an olive family and bring home plastic baggies of different flavors every time we go to the market (great olive stands!). I've never made my own but yours are not only so lovely but the flavors intrigue!

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