This one’s a keeper, for sure. A few extra ingredients along with a quick tour of duty on the stove turn plain old olives into something special. The transformation is impressive.
The recipe comes from Ina Garten’s newest book, Cook Like A Pro. Be sure to use high-quality olives here …the ones with pits rather than the canned pitted type. It’s all about the flavor and texture of the olives.
Don’t be tempted to substitute dried herbs. There are so few ingredients in this dish that each one shines through …the flavor of the fresh thyme leaves is an important element.
What I’ve presented to you here is what Ina has suggested …combining all ingredients in a bowl, then transferring the mixture to a skillet to then sauté on the stove. If you want to save time (and clean up) you can skip that step and mix it all up in your skillet. Your choice.
After just five-minutes – yes that was five-minutes – these beauties are ready to enjoy. Just enough time for the olives to heat through and the garlic, thyme and orange zest to become fragrant. Serve them warm for the best flavor. They can be prepared ahead of time, then quickly reheated on the stovetop. They are especially delicious when offered as part of a cheese spread.
ina garten's warm marinated olives
Recipe from Ina Garten's book, Cook Like A Pro
- 2 cups large green olives with pits, such as Cerignola (about 11 ounces)
- 2 cups large black olives with pits, such as Kalamata (about 11 ounces)
- zest of 1 orange, peeled into large strips
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
- 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup good quality olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Drain the green and black olives from the brine or oil that they're packed in and place them in a medium bowl. Add the orange zest, garlic, fennel seeds, thyme leaves, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Pour the olive oil over the mixture, add the thyme sprigs and toss to combine.
Transfer the mixture, including the olive oil, to a medium (10-inch) sauté pan. Heat over medium heat until the oil begins to sizzle. Lower the heat and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the olives and garlic are heated through and fragrant. Serve warm right from the pan or transfer to a serving dish. Offer a small dish for the pits.
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