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5 Mar

Marinated Olives and Nuts

Olives & Nuts 2Olives and nuts marinated in extra virgin olive oil with rosemary, lemon zest, fennel seeds and hot pepper, is a savory, salty snack swirling with healthy fat, antioxidants, fiber, iron and copper. Plus, it’s a two-for-one recipe, in that you can eat the olives and nuts and then use the flavored olive oil for cooking or making salad dressing.

Walnuts taste great with olives, but, for this recipe, any type of nut will work, so take your pick. Same goes for olives. Buy black and green olives with pits, of any variety and size. Give them a few days to soak up the flavors in the spicy, herbal, citrusy marinade then serve the olives and nuts as an appetizer, bring them as a hostess gift, or use them as a garnish for roasted vegetables and meat, a whole chicken, or fish.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes, plus at least 24 hours to marinate


  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (10 ml)
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil (475 ml)
  • 1 or 2 hot dried red peppers or 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) red pepper flakes
  • 3 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup olives (nicoise, picholone, luques, etc.) (150 g)
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts (or other nut) (150 g)


Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan until the seeds are aromatic and lightly toasted, 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Immediately add the olive oil, hot pepper, rosemary and lemon zest to the pan.


Put the olives and nuts in a large glass jar. Pour the warm oil and seasonings on top. When the oil is cool, cover and refrigerate. For the best flavor, marinate the olives and nuts at least 24 to 48 hours before eating (they will stay fresh for several weeks in the refrigerator). Bring up to room temperature before serving.

Olives & Nuts 1

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Stupid question, for toasting seeds, should I use a medium heat? I ask as I have failed at that task several times.

    For the recipe, seems pretty good, very simple and I suspect will pack some flavor.

    Keith wrote on March 5th, 2016
    • I’d say low to medium heat, but stand right there and stir frequently. Seeds are small and can burn quickly.

      I don’t know that I would use this by itself as a snack, but I can definitely see scooping out some of the well-marinated nuts, olives, etc., into a mixed salad, along with some of the oil for dressing.

      Shary wrote on March 5th, 2016
    • Med to high, all stove burners are different. Be sure to keep action in the pan like a saute and use your nose

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on March 5th, 2016
      • Thank you.

        Keith wrote on March 5th, 2016
    • I use cast iron to toast seeds. I put on low and wait to put in the seeds in until a drop of water beads on the surface. Then I dry fry them and keep them moving until fragrant. if you see smoke you went to far and the seeds may be bitter.

      Jack Lea Mason wrote on March 5th, 2016
      • Awesome, I think I can manage that technique.

        Keith wrote on March 5th, 2016
  2. Can’t wait to try this! I have everything on hand except for the olives. Sounds great!

    Elizabeth wrote on March 5th, 2016
  3. If you have money and access to Gaeta olives, I highly recommend them. I lived over in Gaeta (Italy) for 4 years, and couldn’t get enough of them!

    Wenchypoo wrote on March 5th, 2016
  4. You could slso run the nuts and oli ves through the blender to make a tapenade

    Julie wrote on March 5th, 2016
    • True but then it won’t be a snack ; unless you scoop it up with a spoon (-:

      by the way, the tastiest olives are the oil cured one, or those minimally cured in order to remain true to their taste which is slightly bitter (more antioxidants)

      Time Traveler wrote on March 5th, 2016
      • Yes you can have it for a snack spread on flackers. Or as filling for deviled eggs

        Julie wrote on March 5th, 2016
  5. YUM!

    Jessica wrote on March 5th, 2016
  6. Mmm…I can taste it now with some crusty bread – oh wait…

    Grace wrote on March 5th, 2016
  7. hmmm….an interesting recipe – i’ve got to try this one!

    omlet wrote on March 6th, 2016
  8. Would this recipe reduce the phytic acid in the walnuts? I have been looking for a way to make nuts more digestible without taking the time to soak and dehydrate them.

    Shane wrote on March 8th, 2016

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