Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Homemade Herb-marinated Olives

herb marinated olives

Before I found out how to make my own marinated olives I lost count of the number of times I'd open a jar of olives, use half a dozen in a recipe then put the jar with the leftovers at the back of the fridge and forget about them. More often than not, the jar would sit for so long that by the time I needed olives for something else the contents would be fit for nothing! So they'd go in the bin and off I'd go to the shop to buy some more, only for the whole cycle to start again. 

Now, if I've got half a jar of olives left I like to marinate them in a mixture of herbs, spices, garlic, oil and vinegar and, as they're so delicious, they get eaten quickly and don't get the chance to go off! 

This recipe works well with all kinds of olives - green, black, pitted, whole, stuffed, kalamata. I think it's best with those that have been packed in brine but if they've been canned or jarred in oil they are great too - just use some of the oil from the jar in place of the olive oil in the recipe.

Homemade Herb-marinated Olives

olives with herbs and garlic

Notes: What I've outlined below really is just a suggestion. The oil and vinegar are essential but beyond that there are no rules. You could add a little bit of chopped chilli or some rosemary in place of the thyme, sprinkle in some dried herbs if you don't have any fresh ones or omit the garlic if you'd rather. The quantities are based on a 340g jar, including brine, so just adjust the amount of ingredients based on the amount of olives you are using. Don't worry too much about being precise.

¼ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 340g jar of olives in brine

1. Drain the olives and place in a bowl.

2. Crush the coriander and fennel seeds to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the herbs, garlic, vinegar and oil and mix together. 

3. Pour the marinade over the olives and stir to ensure the olives are well coated.

 4. Cover, or put in a jar, and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

The olives will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week.


  1. A wonderful marinade and home-made are JUST so much better than shop bought too! Is that a piece of "Cyprus Lace" I spy underneath your plate of lush olives? I lived in Cyprus for several years and have seen the ladies making this in Lefkara and other places in Cyprus.

    1. We'll spotted Karen! It is from Cyprus but alas it was a gift - unfortunately I haven't visited Cyprus - yet!


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