Lemon & Garlic Marinated Olives

Lemon & Garlic Marinated Olives

I tend to serve way too many appetizers when we have guests for dinner. I remember a Barefoot Contessa show where she said to only serve 2-3 starters and her examples were really simple.  A little cheese and crackers, some olives, maybe some mixed nuts… to me it didn’t seem like enough. We recently had 16 guests for dinner and in usual form I had lots of things to nibble on before dinner. With that many people I think you need to offer an assortment and this time I think my quantities we pretty good. My gauge is whether they eat their dinner… too many starters equals no room for the main course. I made these marinated olives as part of my spread and everyone enjoyed them. It’s an easy recipe that you need to make the day before. That’s one less thing for you to do the day your guests arrive. They look beautiful, too!


  • 4 cups of mixed olives (nicoise, kalamata, greek olives – you pick, just make sure they aren’t already seasoned)
  • 10 strips lemon peel from one lemon (removed using vegetable peeler)
  • Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 long sprigs fresh rosemary cut in half
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic – sliced
  • Red pepper flakes – a healthy pinch
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Fresh cracked pepper – very coarse ground

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Put in the refrigerator overnight to marinate. I find it’s helpful to put them in a container with a lid so you can periodically shake the container around. Serve in a pretty dish. Delicious when served alone, with cheese and crackers or even as part of a Greek meal.

* You could easily cut this recipe in half. It makes a fairly large quantity… nice for a holiday party.


8 Comments to “Lemon & Garlic Marinated Olives”

  1. I always over do it on the noshy food. I had a huge spread for my birthday and about an hour into it I asked everyone if they were ready for dinner and they looked at me like I was crazy. I had to put all the apps away and give everyone time to recover so I could serve dinner. My feeling is better to have too much food than not enough.

    I will have to try out this recipe, it looks delish and I LOVE olives. I snack on them all the time.


    • Thanks Nancy! I agree too much is better than not enough! I bet your dinner party didn’t end until midnight by the time every finished eating! Not the worst thing to have happen.

  2. I love this dish Nance….I loved it when you did it with the Feta cheese. I have made it a few times for my family Sunday get togethers at my mom’s or my Aunt’s….always GONE. It also look so beautiful and fresh….DEEEE-lish!

  3. Very nice food blog. I found your blog today when reading a forum. The olive recipe looks delicious!

    • Thank you! I’m glad you found me. The olives are delicious. I hope you give them a try. Lots more recipes coming soon! Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

  4. Nancy, this is my new “go to” bring a long to parties, etc. It makes the most beautiful presentation and people think you slaved. It is just FANTASTIC! I took your suggestion of adding the feta and I made a white bean puree at Christmas time. A huge hit!

  5. It is a good one! I love it with the white bean dip and feta… the combination makes a whole spread and looks so impressive – but it’s so easy. So glad you love it too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: