Cured olives are a ubiquitous accompaniment at Middle Eastern meals; they are frequently marinated in various aromatics to acquire layers of flavor. These olives are spiced in a traditional Moroccan style, with a kick from hot chilies. Mediterraneans believe that excess brine hides the true flavor of olives, so they usually soak or blanch olives in water before marinating them. Serve at room temperature as an appetizer or as a salad (if serving as a salad, pit the olives before blanching).
Moroccan Fiery Olives (Zeitoon Al Had)
- Cooking and Prep: 20 m
- Serves: 12
Prepare the Olives
Place the olives in a medium saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, then drain.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, then the tomato paste and sauté until the paste begins to darken, two to three minutes.
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, water, lemon slices, cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates, about five minutes.
Stir in the olives. Discard the lemon slices and let cool.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.