Marinated Olives – A Bowl of Goodness
These marinated olives take less than 15 minutes prep and are an easy and delicious snack to enjoy on lazy summer days in the company of friends. They’re a great addition to a graze board – and come with a host of health benefits!
Time After Thyme
Olives are terrific on their own, but this recipe includes bay leaves, lemon zest, fresh thyme, garlic, chilli flakes and toasted fennel. And with a little time, these flavours become more robust, so it’s best to let the olives marinade for at least an hour before serving – which gives you plenty of time to assemble your other snacks.
For The Love of Olives
Olives are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, with its origins dating back to at least 7,000 years ago. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region, and it is believed that the first olive trees were domesticated in what is now modern-day Turkey.
Interestingly, olives were actually first cultivated for their oil, which was used for cooking, lighting, and as a medicine. It was only much later that people began to eat olives as food. Just imagine what our ancestors missed out on!
Peace & Prosperity
Olives were an important part of the diet of many ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The Greeks and Romans believed that olives were a symbol of peace and prosperity, and they were often used as offerings to the gods. The Egyptians used olives for their medicinal properties, and they also used them to make perfume and cosmetics.
Nowadays, there are some who still see olives as a sacred addition to the diet. Think martinis, for example.
Marinated Olives for Glowing Good Health
Today, olives are grown in over 30 countries around the world. The largest producers of olives are Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Amazingly, almost half the world’s olives are grown in Spain – not a bad reason to book a holiday, maybe? Olives are a popular food in many cultures, and are used in a variety of dishes, including salads, pizzas, and dips.
Olives are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and monounsaturated fat. So, including olives regularly as part of your diet comes with a number of seriously impressive health benefits.
Health Benefits of Olives
- Olives reduce the risk of heart disease. Their high monounsaturated fat content can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, which significantly reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Olives reduce the risk of stroke. Olives contain oleocanthal, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Inflammation and oxidative stress are two factors that can contribute to stroke, so eating olives may help to protect against this condition.
- Olives reduce the risk of cancer. Olives contain Oleuropein, a compound that has been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Oleuropein can help to not only kill cancerous cells, but also prevent cancer cells from growing.
- Olives reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Olives contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect brain cells from damage. It also contains polyphenols which reduce stress in the brain. Both of these are incredibly important for brain health.
Apart from their – admittedly stunning – health benefits, olives make for easy casual snacking, and it’s hard to fault them when it comes to flavour and the magic they bring to even basic meals. Try to imagine a Spanish Tapas, or your own favourite charcuterie board, laden with cold cuts and cheeses and chunks of fresh artisanal bread – but bereft of olives.
Marinated Olives Serving Suggestions
So, these particularly delicious marinated olives make an excellent snack – but they taste even better when served as part of a grazing board. It’s super simple to put one together and you get to decide what to include. Here are a couple of suggestions
Crusty fresh bread: Olives are a classic accompaniment to simple rustic crusty loaf of bread. The bread can be used to mop up the deliciously flavoured olive oil – making for a totally yum, satisfying snack.
Soft cheeses: These marinated olives also pair beautifully with soft cheeses like feta, goat cheese, Roquefort, Camembert and Brie.
Crisp white wine: A crisp white wine also pairs exceedingly well with marinated green olives. The acidity of the wine helps to cleanse the palate between bites, and the flavors of the wine complement the flavors of the olives. But if you’re avoiding alcohol, a citrusy kombucha is a brilliant alternative.
Rate My Marinated Olives
Did you try my marinated olives? Did you love the dish as much as I do? Please leave a comment, give this recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo#theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.
Can I make this gluten-free?
This dish is gluten free! Enjoy!
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, it is – enjoy!
Can I swap out any of the ingredients?
Sure, fennel can be swapped for toasted coriander seeds. You could use orange zest instead of the lemon too. Feel free to experiment with what you have on hand.