Olives 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.
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.