Impress your guests with these very easy, homemade marinated rich and glossy olives. Keep a big jar in your pantry for 6 months or more: just keep adding more olives in to marinate in the herby olive oil.
Have you ever wondered how to marinate olives? Perhaps not… we are so used to buying jarred olives then putting them out directly on our cheese and appetizer platters for guests to nibble on. I started noticing how yucky the brine is that comes in jarred olives – incredibly salty, bitter, funky juice. Whereas for example, when you buy amazing olives from a gourmet deli, or when you get a little bowl of olives at a nice bar or restaurant, they are beautifully shiny and glossy and taste amazing. That’s probably because they’ve been taken out of the yucky brine and re-marinated. It’s so easy and you probably have everything you need in your pantry at home already. Let me show you how!
So, firstly go out and buy a big mixture of olives. You want some nice-ish ones in there – as in, not from a fancy deli nice, but a relatively nice jar of olives, such as queen green olives with the stone still in. Then, go ahead and buy a big tub of pretty cheap olives. I got a massive 4KG tub of black Kalamata olives on offer at Aldi. Score! The reason for getting a variety is that we are going to create our own beautiful marinade – so it’s ok if they aren’t the best quality as over time they will soak up our yummy oils and herbs. I don’t recommend the green olives stuffed with pimento, as these just scream 1970s.
Take about 2 1/2 cup fulls of olives and place in a colander, draining off the brine. You can keep any remaining olives still in their jar/tub and keep in your pantry or fridge. Rinse the olives under running water. Then fill a big jar about half-way up with olive oil. To this oil, we are going to add some flavouring. I like to add a touch of vinegar to offset all that oil, some peels of fresh orange zest, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and coriander seeds. By the way, you don’t need to add any or all of that! The olives will be very tasty as they are in the jar of olive oil. Do pick from my list, or add other flavourings that you might like.
I know I harp on about this all the time, but I just love having easy homemade staples lying around like this. It means that you always have a little something special you can bring out when you have guests over. So much nicer than the shop bought straight out of a jar – your guests will definitely be able to tell that you have marinated your own olives. And as a result they will think you are one of those crafty impressive types, as long as you remember to throw all the dirty clothes and toys strung out everywhere into the back room and lock the door.
How to Marinate Olives? Here is the Recipe:
- 2½ Cups Mixed Olives in Brine
- 2½ Cups (500ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Orange
- 4 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Rosemary
- ¼ Cup Mixed Whole Spices (Caraway, Fennel, Coriander, Cumin, Nigella Seeds, Peppercorns etc)
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Drain the olives from their brine and rinse well under running water.
- Using a vegetable peeler, take strips of zest from the orange and set aside.
- Pour the olive oil into a clean and sterilised large jar. Add the orange zest, herbs and spices and drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
- Add the mixed olives to the oil mixture. Make sure the oil is covering the olives. Add more oil or olives if needed. Screw on the lid and turn upside down a few times to mix well.
- Keep in the pantry (not the fridge) for up to 6 months or more. Add more olives and replace herbs/orange zest occasionally.