i’m snacker. i can’t help it. i get an urge for something salty or something sweet and i have no control; i must feed that urge. so, i like to keep things on hand for snacking to avoid feeding my urges with snacks that are store bought and filled with preservatives. therefore, every couple of weeks i spend a day in my kitchen making snacks to have on hand so that i do not run to the store and buy a box of yankee doodles or a bag of pork rinds (cold yankee doodles are divinity as far as i am concerned! and if necessary i will drive all over town in search of a bag of pork rinds.).
one of my favorite snack staples is marinated olives. first off, i love, love, love olives– all that salty, cured goodness exploding in my mouth—there are no adequate words to describe what it does to me. my marinated olives take them to a level that should be illegal. they are salty and savory…they are just packed with immense flavor. sometimes i just take a fork and eat them right from the jar. other times, i throw some in my mini food processor and make a tapenade and spread it on a piece of a baguette. i also serve these olives during cocktail hour at my house. sure, you can buy a jar of olives and place them in a bowl for your guests, but serving these olives will have your guests believe that you spent more than the 10-15 minute it takes to make them; and your guests will feel pretty special that you put the effort in.
1 cup of Kalamata Olives, drained and rinsed
1 cup of Green Olives, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon of Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon of crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Dried Chilis
1 teaspoon of Fennel Seed
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
Zest of one Orange, removed in large strips with a vegetable peeler
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
place the olive oil in all of the ingredients EXCEPT the olives in a skillet over low heat. let the ingredients infuse into the olive oil for 8-10 minutes (be careful that the garlic does not burn!).
add the olives and allow the olives to steep over low heat for 10 minutes.
you can serve these right away and they are FABULOUS served warm. or, place in a sealed jar. i prefer letting the olives sit for several days. the longer you let the olives sit, the deeper the flavor.