Jimtown Marinated Olives
Carrie Brown, John Werner, and Michael McLaughlin's The Jimtown Store Cookbook, Harper Collins, 2002
Adapted by StarChefs

We cant imagine a world without olives. Our refrigerator case is always stocked with a bowl of these well-seasoned beauties, a small handful of which will transform a couple of sandwiches and a piece of cheese into a picnic of substance, or create an elegant tapa when served with a good glass of sherry. Simply put, we think olives are an essential part of the good life.

Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cups good-quality olives with pits (about 1/2 pound drained)*
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Sprigs of rosemary as garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped
  • Long thin strips of orange peel as garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, crushed
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf

In a bowl, combine the olives, oil, vinegar, chopped rosemary, coriander, fennel, red pepper, chopped orange zest, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 days for optimum flavor, stirring periodically. The olives will be good for at least 2 weeks.

To serve, return the olives to room temperature and garnish with rosemary sprigs and orange peel if desired. When serving a bowl of olives, set out a smaller bowl or plate for a pitoon.

*Note: For maximum fun, flavor, and olive know-how, choose a mixture of olives from different countries, cured in various ways. Almost all of the olives you find in clean, well-maintained crocks at good markets will benefit from our assertive marinade. (If youre in doubt about the quality or the flavor of what youre buying, ask for a taste honest merchants will be happy to let you sample).