Roasted Olive Appetizer

EZ Roasted Olives (Thanks, Costco)

This EZ party appetizer was the hit of the Labor Day wine club party.  Roasting really mellows the astringency/bitterness of olives.  This makes A LOT of olives, but you will find that they all manage to disappear.

1 21-ounce jar of stuffed queen olives (Costco sells these in 2 packs)
2 C. Kalamata Olives (I ALWAYS have the big Costco jar in my kitchen)
2 T. Chopped fresh rosemary
1 lemon
1/4 C. Olive Oil (yep, I use the big Costco bottle – you want good olive oil, but it doesn’t have to be artisan/expensive)
1 bulb of garlic (*see note below), cloves separated and peeled in whichever way you find fun (I like the smash-em-good-with-the-flat-of-your-knife-method)
4 cranks of freshly ground pepper (let’s call it 1/4 teaspoon)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Pour the big jar of olives and the 2 C of Kalamata olives into a strainer to drain, pat them dry with paper towels.  Put them into a large baking dish or roasting pan.  You want them in a single layer if possible.  Sprinkle the chopped rosemary on top of the olives.  Use your microplane grater to grate the lemon peel over the olives (don’t have a microplane grater – YIKES they are the best kitchen tool ever!).  Halve the lemons and squeeze the lemon juice over the olives.  Scatter the whole garlic cloves among the olives*.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle the pepper.  Mix it with a spoon to make sure the olives are coated with olive oil.

Place the baking dish in the oven and let the olives roast for about 30 – 40 minutes (oooohhhhh, your house is going to smell good).  Stir the olives a few times to make sure they cook evenly.  You can tell you are there when the olives soften and wrinkle a bit and the garlic is a bit golden/brown around the edges. Roasting really tames the astringency/bitterness in the olives and makes the flavors sooooooo mellow. This makes A LOT of olives.  The good news is that they will hold for a week in the fridge.  Great all by themselves or make a salad plate with a couple of slices of goat cheese, a few olives and a couple of thin slices of baquette.  Be aware that these things are addictive.

NOTE:  When I made these in the tasting room for our pick up party, I actually used an amazing product called Majestic Garlic, Raw Pickled Garlic with Cayenne instead of fresh garlic cloves.  This is a great raw foods product that someone gifts us with.  I think you can get it at Whole Foods or other gourmet specialty markets.  If you find this, use 1/2 jar, drain them before adding to the olives and omit the black pepper.

You’ve gotta love any recipe that is drain, stir, bake, stir, eat.

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  1. #1 by Debra Elliott on January 12, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Yummo! I can’t wait to try this. Think I’ll make it for Superbowl Sunday Party!

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