I had my doubts about these. Olives are not a food item that I get excited about. I never eat them just by themselves. I don’t mind them on pizzas or Tex-Mex meals or Italian pasta dishes. But a little goes a long way. I was worried about what I would do with a quart of them sitting in my fridge.

Fortunately, they’ll last for a couple of months in there. It will probably take me that long to eat them, because Geordie has opted out of this one. He’s even less impressed with olives than I am.

It’s a simple recipe – though it’s really more of a method. Olives + herbs & spices + olive oil = herbed olives. They should marinate at least 8 hours, but Dorie suggests letting them sit at least a week before digging into them. I took this advice, and I’m glad I did. I noticed a distinct hint of the various flavorings when biting into one of these olives after they marinated for a week. Also, I bit down into a coriander seed. Big explosion of flavor there. Maybe more than necessary.

But, wait. Let’s start from the beginning.

I used just regular black and green olives. Because I wasn’t sure how I would feel about these, I just bought canned olives. I didn’t see the point of spending any more money than that.

Rosemary and thyme hanging out together. A variety of herbs and spices went into this: rosemary, thyme, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves. They all got heated with some olive oil and then poured over the olives.

I put them in two pint jars, because that’s what I had. They look pretty snug and comfy in there, don’t they? After this, the lids got screwed on, and into the fridge they went.

That’s it. You gotta love simplicity.

I worried about one thing: what would happen in the fridge. I know from experience that the olive oil I buy will turn solid in the fridge. I’ve stopped dousing my hummus with it when I put it fresh in the fridge. It was unpleasant. This meant I couldn’t just pop into the jar of olives whenever I felt like it. I’d have to plan to eat them so I could set them out to let the olive oil de-solidify. Luckily, this doesn’t take long to do. And nothing is lost in the flavor department.

But it’s not so much marination as it is suspended animation. I do wonder if my olives would be even more flavorful if I had an olive oil that didn’t solidify. But I like my olive oil, and I’m sticking with it, and that’s that.

Absolutely solid. But kinda pretty.

For the full jar, it took about an hour to turn to liquid again. Not too long, but a little long if you’re having a snack attack and want one immediately.

As I mentioned, I don’t eat olives by themselves, not even these, flavorful as they are. I debated on what to do with them. I considered them as an accompaniment to a spanikopita pie, but then that dinner plan got delayed (next week, filo dough, I promise!), and my olives were left untasted. And Geordie remained reluctant to try them and was not at all happy about the idea of having to eat them with dinner. I decided lunch would be a better use of them.

A bed of feta topped with chopped tomatoes and herbed olives, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with pepper.

This was tasty. Feta and tomato and olive oil make a good combination. The olives went quite well with them. I should have had some spinach with them, but that would have required work, and I don’t like having to work for my lunch. Cutting up the tomato was bad enough. But I bet it would be tasty. Maybe next time.

Because, yes, I’ll be eating this for lunch again. I enjoyed it greatly. I also did munch on the olives for Thanksgiving day brunch, with a little goat cheese. Some crackers would have been nice, but I don’t usually have any in the house. Something to consider for the next jar of olives. I’ve made it about halfway through the first jar, so I’ve got to think of interesting ways to consume the second one.

Oooh! Brainstorm: olive hummus. Making hummus has become a hobby of mine, apparently. For December, I’m making a small batch of pumpkin hummus and a small batch of lemon hummus. I’m totally slating olive hummus for January.

Also, I think my mother would enjoy these a great deal. If I don’t have any left by the time my family arrives for Christmas, I might just have to make another batch of them for her to try.

I have to admit, this one surprised me a little. I really thought I might not like it. But these olives are definitely growing on me. I probably wouldn’t have these olives in my fridge all year long, but I could see making a batch of them every once in a while. Oddly enough for a French recipe, they make a nice accompaniment to a Greek-style meal. Go figure.

To see how the other Doristas liked these olives (and how they used them!), check out the French Fridays with Dorie links. And, as always, if you’re interested in this recipe, check out Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, which continues to surprise and amuse me! Happy cooking!

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