Marinated Olives

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”.

Course Appetizer, Snack, topping
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Chef Nina Kauder


  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 Rubber Spatula, to toss
  • 1 Cup Preferred Olives
  • 1 Sterilized, Clean Glass Jar
  • Olive Oil, to fill


  1. Optional Aromatics:

    Strips of Citrus Peel (Any Variety: Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangelo, Tangerine, Pomelo)

    Cracked Peppercorns (Any Variety: Black, White, Pink, Green)

    Peeled Garlic Cloves

    Cinnamon Sticks

    Bay Leaves

    Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano - those left whole on a stalk work best)

    Dried Hot Pepper (Korean, Mexican, Jamaican)

    Hot Pepper Flakes

  2. Instructions:

    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.

  3. Winning Combinations:

    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!

Recipe Notes

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.