Warmed Seasoned Olives
Warming olives is a simple way to make a classic appetizer a gourmet delight. Soaking the olives first mellows them and removes excess salt so the other flavors can be absorbed and marry beautifully.
Yields: 2 to 4 servings (about 1 cup)
1 cup olives with pits (assorted varieties and colors)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and quartered
1 chili, fresh or dried
3 springs fresh herbs, thyme, savory sprigs, or rosemary
2 strips of orange or lemon zest
Rinse olives in strainer under running water. Set aside to drain. Put small heavy pan over medium heat for a minute, then add olives and remaining ingredients.
Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until olives are warm all the way through. Turn off heat and leave in pan for a few minutes. Serve warm or reheated.
Instead of herbs, try using whole fennel, cumin, caraway or black mustard seeds
Serve warm in a small bowl with an additional bowl to discard pits.
Store in a sealed container or jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.