Citrus Olives

Makes 2-1/2 cups and marinates for 1-2 days    This is an easy appetizer and always a big hit. Hardest part is remembering to make it 1-2 days ahead of time. I’m not even a big olive fan but I love these. I usually visit the olive bar at Whole Foods or Bristol Farms and select 2 or 3 varieties rather than using the standard black olives in a can.



2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp cumin sees

2-1/2 cups mixed pitted olives – drain well

2 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp orange zest

3 shallots – finely chopped (or use a sweet onion)

pinch cinnamon

4 Tbsp white wine *vinegar

5 Tbsp garlic olive oil or regular olive oil

2 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp sherry or sweet dessert wine

2 tsp dried mint

2 tsp dried parsley



Dry roast the fennel and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat – shaking frequently – until the seeds start to pop and become fragrant. Let them cool.


In a bowl, mix together the olives, zest, shallots/onion, cinnamon and seeds.


In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sherry, orange juice, mint and parsley. Pour over the olives and stir/toss to mix.  Cover the bowl (or place the mixture in an airtight container) and refrigerate for 1 – 2 days before serving. Stir the mixture two or three times during this period.


Serve at room temperature.


NOTE: *I like to use the Grapefruit infused balsamic vinegar from 41 Olive at the Spectrum in this recipe. It really brightens it up.