Cooking with Spices For Dummies
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In the Mediterranean, olives are oven marinated with spices for extra flavor. In this recipe, they’re steeped with garlic, cumin, fennel, chile, and lemon, all of which are traditional Mediterranean flavors. These olives are marvelous on their own or in salads. Keep them on hand to use in place of ordinary olives.


Yield: 10 to 14 servings, about 1-1/2 quarts

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 1 week standing time

Spice meter: Moderately spiced

1 pound unpitted kalamata, niçoise, or Italian black olives, drained well

1 lemon, washed and thinly sliced

4 whole cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, mustard seeds, or black peppercorns

1 to 2 jalapenos or serranos, minced, or 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

6 sprigs fresh thyme or lemon thyme

2 to 3 cups olive oil

  1. In a 1-1/2-quart jar or container, put a layer of one-third of the olives, lemon, and garlic. Add one-third of the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, jalapeno, and thyme.

  2. Repeat the layering twice more. Pour in the olive oil, making sure that it covers the olives and spices by approximately two inches.

  3. Cover the jar and refrigerate. Let it stand for one week before opening. The olives last for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

After opening the jar, make sure that there’s always enough olive oil in it to completely cover the olives; otherwise, the olives can go bad.

Per serving: Calories 265 (From Fat 236); Fat 26g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 146mg; Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 3g.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Jenna Holst is the author of Stews, (Hungry Minds, 1998) and Cooking Soups for Dummies, (Hungry Minds, 2001). Her work has been featured in many national magazines, including Food & Wine, Weight Watchers, and Reedbook. She has worked for many years as a food writer, culinary instructor, and consultant. Her clients have included several book publishers as well as PBS and cable television programs. Formerly a resident of New Jersey, she currently lives in South Africa.

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