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 our favorite appetizer 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 from Mediterranean Organic 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 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.