Olives are a ubiquitous sight at Middle Eastern tables, served as a side dish at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cooked in dishes. Cured olives are frequently marinated in various aromatics to create new layers of flavor. These spicy olives are a popular part of many Middle Eastern mezes. Residents of the Mediterranean believe that the brine hides the true flavor of olives. Therefore, they are generally rinsed (and sometimes soaked), then dressed to enhance their appeal. The older the olives, the more porous they become and the more flavors they absorb.
Middle Eastern Marinated Olives
- Cooking and Prep: 4 h
- Serves: 10
Prepare the Olives
Rinse the olives, then soak in cold water for at least four hours. Drain.
Combine the olives with the remaining ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one day and up to one week.
Serve at room temperature.
Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and ½ teaspoon dried thyme.