Marinated Olives is a great item to prepare in advance, and keep on hand all the time. It’s the" ace up your sleeve" for any last minute drop-in, entertaining, or a quick upgrade to any salad, wrap, sandwich, pasta, rice or grain pilaf, or stew. Basically, can’t ever go wrong with this. Make this part of your “Smart Pantry” and add some nuts, some dried or fresh fruit, some hummus and crackers, and in all of 3 seconds, you are auto-magically “da host with da most”.
Strips of Citrus Peel (Any Variety: Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangelo, Tangerine, Pomelo)
Cracked Peppercorns (Any Variety: Black, White, Pink, Green)
Peeled Garlic Cloves
Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano - those left whole on a stalk work best)
Dried Hot Pepper (Korean, Mexican, Jamaican)
Hot Pepper Flakes
Start with your preferred selection of olives, any will do, so long as they are the kinds you like. Some like the green varieties, some like the black, purple, small or large, dark or bright, wrinkled or fresh ones. The only thing I don’t recommend, is mixing together olives that are and aren’t pitted, or you risk an unexpected visit to the dentist!
Don’t do that, and after that rule, anything goes :-)
Drain them of whatever brine they’re packed in, if any. Place all your selected olives a bowl, and add a few pinches or fingers worth of anything off of the "optional aromatics” list.
I’ll suggest a few winning combinations below if you’d like to create your own signature infusions. Drizzle a little olive oil over and toss till well blended. Pack them into a glass jar that has a an airtight fitting lid, and slowly add in enough oil to cover everything in the jar. Leave jar closed, at room temperature, in a pantry or cupboard away from heat and sun, for all the flavors to blend well and lift out the olives as you need them.
Orange Peel, Garlic & Rosemary
Orange Peel & Cinnamon Stick
Grapefruit Peel, Bay Leaf, and Thyme
Lemon Peel & Peppercorns, and Oregano
Garlic, Peppercorns, One Korean Dry Pepper.
Go on, get creative!
NOTE: You want to ensure that everything is always submerged in oil. Air getting into anything is an invite to breed bacteria. Just keep everything always submerged, and you’re fine. Best of all, you can keep adding newer olives to the mix, or replenish the oil if it threatens to get low and expose any of the contents. If you wish to drizzle any of this aromatic, infused oil, it’s divine as a garnish on salad or veggies. Just remember the liquid oil you add, often winds up as fat you wear, so using this fragrant oil is recommended as an occasional treat.