Friday, November 23, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie - Herbed Olives

Today the recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group are Herbed Olives. A wonderful Mediterranean “Starter  and Nibbler”!

Olives are the small oval fruit of the olive tree, widely cultivated in Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece. Olives are harvested and preserved in oil or brine at various stages of their development. The early olives are green, while the later, more mature olives are black, but there are hundreds of varieties and more shades of color in between.

The Kalamata olives are rich purple, almond-shaped olives grown in southern Greece. Spanish green olives, on the other hand,  have a milder flavor but because of their large size, they are often stuffed with anchovies or almonds. The whole fruit is available in a variety of guises, they can be flavored, stuffed, stoned or with stones, in oil or in brine, sliced or whole. You should always try to experiment with different varieties until you find a favorite.

The fleshy pulp of the fruit is also the source of olive oil. They are used a great deal in Mediterranean cuisine, as hors d’oeuvres, in salads, stuffings, sauces or dips such as “Tapenade” and as an ingredient in main dishes.  Salads typically made with Olives are “Salade Nicoise” and “Greek Salad”.

Today´s recipe calls for adding wonderful herbs and lightly toasted spices to a really good-quality extra virgin olive oil together with the best olives that you can find (I chose dark purple Kalamata and big green Spanish olives).

The list of  herbs calls for rosemary, thyme and bay leaves (all three herbs are still growing strong in the garden)…

…and dried red chilies….

Then for the spices there is black peppercorns and whole coriander

…and whole fennel seeds.

You will also have to add some salt to the dressing (I used coarse French sea salt) before you pour it over the olives and leave to marinate.

In addition to the Herbed Olives I decided to prepare another one of Dorie´s recipes from "Around my French Table" , namely, Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts. I used skin-on whole almonds and added some more of the fresh rosemary and the thyme. And just like the Herbed Olives, the Cocktail Nuts were very well received and simply delicious!

So go ahead and try this recipe for Herbed Olives (and the Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts) and serve them in the nicest dish that you can find - you will not regret it!

The longer you leave the Herbed Olives in the mediterranean marinade, the better they will taste, so you can prepare this "Starter & Nibbler" well in advance and keep the marinated olives in a Weck jar or other type of canning jar.

To see how the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group prepared the Herbed Olives, please click here.


  1. What a lovely idea to serve them alongside the nuts.
    Olives are one of my favorite snacking foods and these were a real treat!
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. For years I had olives out for every party but never ate them myself. Then, BAM, I started loving them. Weird. I love going to buy them too so I doubt I will make this again unless I'm stranded where they don't have any good olives....but where is that these days?

  3. Perfect for drinks along with those nuts. Looks delicious. We enjoyed this and I want to try it with other olives for
    a variation. Have a great weekend.

  4. The sweet and salty nuts are a favourite party treat - perfect for serving alongside the olives! I think I'm going to follow your lead at Christmastime. Have a great weekend, Andrea.

  5. I enjoyed these. Those cocktail nuts are a favorite at my house. I like that you paired them with the olives! Your multi-compartment dish is perfect for the snack assortment. Have a wonderful weekend, Andrea!

  6. Beautiful photos! I love your presentation of the nuts and olives, very appealing!

  7. These olives and spiced nuts are the best appetizer. Your dish is lovely Andrea! And all that info as usual. Have a great weekend my friend!

  8. Who could resist the lovely combination of marinated olives and sweet and spicy nuts.

  9. I want to come to a party at your house!!! Beautifully done, my friend~

  10. Wonderful idea to serve them with the nuts! Your dishes look fantastic. We really enjoyed these too. So easy and delicious!

  11. The spicy nuts and pungent olives seem to play well together. A nice combo and thank you for picking something out of Dorie's cookbook. Your tip about serving these nibblers in the prettiest dishes we have is an excellent one. Good, well-made food deserves to be presented well. You always serve your dishes, not matter what they are, in such a lovely fashion. Part of the reason I enjoy your Post so much is your presentations which you photograph like a professional.

  12. Lovely appetizers with nuts and herbed olives! Besides olives that are in food, I rarely eat olives by themselves. It's something I'm not used to but I started to enjoy it occasionally. :)

  13. Loved these olives…they were so lovely as part of our appetizer table! Love your presentation!!