Warm marinated olives are a truly spectacular appetizer despite their seeming simplicity. If you like olives, you will love these. Gentle heat makes the olives intoxicatingly fragrant with the scent of spices and herbs and citrus peel adds bright, fresh notes to really elevate them.
Canadian Made Mediterranean Food
I've partnered up with Canadian Sardo Foods once again to give you some awesome and easy holiday dishes.
I truly love Sardo's olives and antipasti because they process their Mediterranean style products here in Canada. They are awesome, high quality pantry staples that last a long time in cupboard or fridge making it quick and easy to throw dinner together.
For more Italian favorites, check out my Ooni Pizza Dough Recipe, Sorrel Pesto, and Chicken and Sundried Tomato pasta. For some Mediteranean seafood dishes, try Pasta Alla Salmone, Salmon Crudo and Easy Seafood Alfredo- all quick and easy recipes that make a special dinner.
Make Ahead Appetizer
I first tried warm olives in a lovely little Italian deli style restaurant and I was hooked. I was so surprised how something so simple could taste so complex and exciting. Even more exciting is that these are really easy and fast to prep ahead of time and simply warm for a few minutes right before serving.
Trending: Grazing Boards
Warm olives are a simple but sophisticated hors d'oeuvres. These can stand alone with an apertif or bubbly or you can make them part of something bigger. A little crusty bread, a little feta cheese or charcuterie and you have a snacking platter worthy of hosting anyone. Go even bigger and you have a grazing board.
(Looking for more Mediterranean appetizer ideas? Check out 75 Easy + Delicious Appetizers For Pizza Night.)
Grazing boards are so popular now and for obvious reasons. They are simply charcuterie and/or cheese plates on steroids. Add in fruit, crackers, jam, mustard, nuts...but these olives will be the star of the show! Or why not try a middle Eastern inspired olive and hummus grazing board. Check out this round up of creative hummus recipes.
Warm Marinated Olive Variations
I've used my favourite Italian influenced flavours but there are so many ways you can change this up. In addition to whole olives, you can add cocktail onions, capers, caper berries, or Marcona almonds. Try different spices and herbs too, like cumin, herbs de Provence blend, warming Mexican or African spices and of course any fresh herbs go well. Think of lemon and dill or sage with toasted garlic or parsley with mint.
Use good quality, whole olives for this recipe. I used Sardo's party mix olives because I like the different flavours and textures but their Kalamata, Calabrese or Sicilian olives all work well too.
To keep the olives warm, I suggest pre warming a stoneware bowl or other heavy serving bowl that will hold the heat for awhile.
Cheers friends! Sabrina
Warm Marinated Olives
- ⅓ c Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Anise seed (or fennel seed)
- 1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Sprig of Rosemary about 3-4" long
- ½ teaspoon Chili Flakes (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Each, orange and lemon zest
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 c Olives-(500ml container) Party Mix, Kalamata, Calabrese or Sicilienne, drained
- Wedge of ¼ lemon or orange to squeeze over at the end (optional)
- Preheat an oven safe bowl in the oven set to warm.Heat small sauce pan on low and gently toast anise seed until fragrant. Add olive oil and garlic, warming until fragrant and garlic is translucent but not coloring.
- Add remaining ingredients including drained olives and continue to warm on low approximately 3-5 minutes or until warmed through. Be careful not to let it get too hot, you do not want to cook the olives at all, only warm them. Squeeze the juice of ⅛-1/4 orange or lemon over and transfer to pre warmed bowl right away and serve warm.Put a small dish out for pits.