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Warm Black Olives (Olives Sautées)

Only occasionally are olives served warm, but this quick method of heating them to transform their flavor results in an ideal appetizer.


  • 1 lb. large, fleshy black olives
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 slices air-cured ham, torn into
     bite-size pieces
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 bay leaves, broken up if large
  • 2 red bird’s-eye chilies, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. sea salt


Drain the olives, rinse and pat dry. In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the olives and fry, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the ham, sage and bay leaves, then the chilies. Mix briefly, add the salt and stir to mix evenly without dissolving the salt.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Provence, by Diane Holuigue (Time-Life Books, 2002).