To make this savory Mediterranean treat for snacking and sharing, toss in your favourite black, green, or purple olives. For best results, choose whole, unpitted olives when available, and then smash and pit them yourself. That way the olives will soak up your marinade instead of the briny solution they were packed in. Feel free to substitute pitted olives if whole olives are not available.
Makes 3 cups:
- 3 cups whole, unpitted olives, such as black, green, Castelvetrano, Manzanilla, Kalamata, Nicoise, or Picholine
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice(from 1 medium lemon)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried culinary
- L. angustifolia lavender buds
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, slivered or thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, bruised
- To remove the pits, place the olives on a cutting board. Use the flat side of a large knife to firmly press down on each olive just until it splits and the pit can be easily pulled out.
- In a medium bowl or 1-quart jar, combine the olives, lemon juice, and vinegar. Set aside.
- Using a spice grinder, coarsely grind the lavender and pepper. In a small saucepan over the lowest heat, warm the oil. Add the lavender blend, garlic, and sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Pour the oil mixture over the olives. Stir gently to combine.
- Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for 1 week before serving.
- To serve, bring to room temperature. Stir gently and remove herb stems. Drain off excess marinade. Serve with chunks of feta cheese if desired.
Photo by Charity Burggraaf© 2021 by Bonnie Louise Gillis. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Lavender by permission of Sasquatch Books.