It's hard to believe there was a time not so very long ago when I would turn my nose up at the mere mention of olives. What was I thinking? I'm obsessed with them now. I love them in a tapenade, or marinated like this in a citrus, garlic, and herb infused olive oil with a sprinkling of roasted almonds. These olives are simple to prepare and make a nice nibble with wine or cocktails.
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 T. for the almonds
- 3/4 cup blanched almonds
- 1 whole garlic, peeled
- small lemon
- small orange
- 2 branches fresh rosemary
- 2- 3 inch sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 black peppercorns
- kosher salt
- 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 cups assorted olives
Preheat the oven to 325F. Toss almonds with 2 T. olive oil to coat and sprinkle with kosher salt. Spread on a cookie sheet and roast until light brown, 12-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan, add 1 cup oil and the peeled garlic cloves. Over medium heat, toast the cloves in the oil for about 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn them or the oil will be bitter. Strain and reserve the oil. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Using a vegetable peeler, slice off a long strip (about 4 inches) of the colored part of the lemon and orange. Add to the reserved oil. Add the garlic cloves, herbs, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and olives to the oil. Allow to sit and marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Before serving, transfer the olive mixture and some of the olive oil to a bowl and scatter the almonds over the top. Sprinkle with additional salt and serve.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
Recipe adapted from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book
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