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Lemon-Fennel Olives

This preparation is a great way to enhance any type of olive. Choose from a variety of types of olives, such as Gaeta, Kalamata, Ligurian, Niçoise, Nyons or Picholine. The olives are layered with fennel and lemon slices, and fruity olive oil is poured over them. They're just the thing for a special party, and can be made up to a month ahead of time.

Yield: two 1-pint jars

  • 1 1/2 pounds olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • Tablespoon fennel seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to cover

Put a layer of olives in the bottom of a 1-pint glass jar. Add several slices of the lemon, fennel and garlic, and sprinkle with some of the peppercorns and fennel seeds. Continue layering until the jar is full. Cover the olives with olive oil and seal the jar tightly. Repeat this process with the second 1-pint jar.

Refrigerate the olives for 24 hours before serving. They may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

About Olives

There are dozens of varieties of olives which differ in size, color and flavor. Use any combination of them when making Lemon-Fennel Olives. Here are some suggestions:

  • Gaeta (Italian): Black or brown, small, and wrinkled.
  • Kalamata (Greek): Purple-black, almond shaped, and shiny. They are available in a variety of sizes.
  • Ligurian (Italian): Black or brown. The black ones are very flavorful.
  • Niçoise (French): Very small and dark brown or black, with a large pit.
  • Nyons (French): Small and well known for their reddish-brown color.
  • Picholine (French): Small and medium green in color.

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