There’s a running joke in the movie “Mermaids” about how Cher’s character, a busy, half crazed mother of two girls (Hmmm…that sounds familiar), only feeds her girls appetizers for dinner. The only cookbook she’s ever opened is called Fun Finger Food. As a teenager, I thought that was hilarious. Who would do that? As an adult, I totally appreciate it. I love when I’m at a party or get together and there’s just a spread of appetizers to munch on! I think this is one reason why I love holiday parties and open houses so much. Munchies are often the main course!
My app appreciation/obsession has led me to a lot of wonderful recipes. This is one of them. A friend of mine made these olives for me once and I quickly jumped on the chance to make them myself. I’ve served them on numerous occasions and they’re always a hit. They’re different…not your every day pig in a blanket. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a good ol’ pig in a blanket!) I’ve even converted many non-olive eaters with this dish. It’s good stuff!
I started with a couple of cups of mixed olives. I use pitted Kalamata olives and usually change up my green olive selection depending on what’s available. This time, not much was available, so I just used larger green olives stuffed with pimento. Nothing fancy, but they worked well.
Next, I took two large strips of zest from both a lemon and an orange and then juiced them. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of juice from each fruit.
After that, I placed some coriander seeds in a sandwich bag and crushed them…with my meat mallet. You’ve got to love multipurpose tools! Crushing the coriander helps release the flavor and the oils.
Then, it’s just a matter of mixing together all of the olives with the juices, zest, spices, some fresh garlic and thyme, and some olive oil.
Stir it all up and then let the olives marinate for a couple of hours.
About ten minutes before you’re ready to serve them, bake the olives, and the marinade, in a 350* oven. You just want to warm the olives and marinade up, which will bring out all of the flavor of those spices and garlic. You’re not trying to cook them, so you don’t need more than ten minutes in the oven.
I serve the olives with sliced, crusty French baguette. The bread is great for dipping in the marinade, too! These olives are the perfect thing to serve with a cheese platter, or they are great on their own. They’ll even work well next to a plate of Pigs in a Blanket.
BAKED GREEK OLIVES
Adapted from Best American Recipes 2001-2002
- 4-5 oz. pitted Kalamata olives
- 4-5 oz. pitted green olives
- 1½ Tbsp. coriander seeds, crushed
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 2 strips orange zest
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Mix all ingredients together and let marinate for two hours.
- Preheat an oven to 350*. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until warm. Serve with crusty bread.