These olives are my go-to easy appetizer when I don’t have a lot of time to prepare for guests. Cerignola olives are a staple in my fridge and pantry. By adding a few ingredients, they can be elevated from simple to sublime. Cerignola olives are normally stored in a salty brine, and they are large, meaty and firm (don’t go there!). I’ve found them at our local Upper Village Market in glass jars, and at Whole Foods at their olive bar (but as much as I love that olive bar, I do prefer to marinate my own). Basically, these taste like the best, most “olive-y” olive you could ever put in your mouth.
To assemble, I grab some fresh herbs and garlic from the garden along with a good sprinkling of sea salt, black and red pepper. Then, I drizzle some good olive oil over it all and give it a toss. Don’t be frightened by this photo, I know the red flakes seem really abundant, but there were actually a ton of olives in that bowl and I had yet to mix the ingredients together. Serve them in a beautiful bowl while you are sipping a crisp white wine or add them to a collection of tasty offerings on a mezze plate. P.S. Don’t forget the pit pot!
2 cups large green olives — I like Cerignola
1 clove of garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 thyme or oregano sprigs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of crushed black pepper
Remove the leaves of the herbs and slice the garlic in thin slices. Combine all of the ingredients at room temperature and taste for seasoning. Serve or let sit at room temp for up to three hours.
Here are some of my other favorite appetizers for Memorial Day that are seasonal, fresh, and delicious:
Squash Fritters (I would make these with zucchini since it’s majorly in season right now)