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Hot Olives

Gorgeous and delicious, this appetizer only takes a few minutes and one pan to prepare. Heating the olives in a spicy mixture of garlic, herbs and dried chilies brings olives to a new level. Play around with the herbs - use oregano for a Greek dinner, mixed Italian seasoning for an Italian meal - and cheeses. Use a firm, fleshy olive. I especially like using the whole Kalamata olives in this recipe.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon dried herbs
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
8 oz. whole Kalamata olives, rinsed and dried
(Cubed or crumbled feta cheese, and sliced French bread as accompaniment, optional)
Heat the olive oil in a small non-stick skillet. Add the garlic, herbs, chili flakes, and olives to the skillet and stir, over medium heat, until the garlic begins to brown - about 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Spoon olives and garlic/herb mixture onto a small plate. Serve right away.
Serves 4-6, as an appetizer.

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