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Marinated Olives

Nothing could be simpler than mixing up a dish of these flavorful olives, whether you are serving them as part of an antipasto platter for a party or as a small bite with chilled white wine for an afternoon get-together in the garden.

Choose a mixture of colors and textures, such as green Cerignola or Picholine olives, black Gaetas or Kalamatas, purplish black niçoise olives and wrinkled Moroccan dry-cured black olives. These are just a few of the many choices now widely available at most supermarket olive bars.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed unpitted olives (see note above) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • Grated zest of 1 orange 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

Directions:

If the olives are in brine, drain them. In a nonreactive bowl, combine the olives, garlic, red pepper flakes, orange zest and olive oil and toss well.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the olives at room temperature for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours before serving. Store the olives in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).