To license this image please contact me at email@example.com.
Good friends of ours with excellent taste buds took us to a fantastic restaurant the other day that served us the best olives I had ever eaten. Naturally I tried to replicate the recipe and this is the result: olives marinated in garlic and fennel seed-infused olive oil. Delicious! My starting point was this Bon Appetit video and, following BA’s lead, I made my first batch with oranges, but I thought the orange flavor was in the way so I left them out in the final recipe and I liked that better.
This was the first time I used castelvetrano olives and I was blown away by how good they tasted. Until now they had always looked like poison to me with their Granny Smith color so I was surprised by how mild and pleasant they were. I added liguria and kalamata as well and my suggestion is to keep the kalamata to a minimum because too many of them will overpower the garlic and fennel in the oil. The whole recipe is easy to do and even though it takes a bit of (mostly passive) time it’s well worth it. :)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- ½ tablespoon crushed fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 2 cups brined olives (I used kalamata, castelvetrano and liguria)
- Add oil, garlic and fennel seeds to a sauce pan and heat until the seeds start to sizzle.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook until the garlic starts to brown (about 20 minutes).
- Turn the heat off, put on a lid and let the oil sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Drain the olives from their liquids and put in a bowl.
- Pour the oil over the olives and let the mix sit for 3 hours at room temperature.
- Chill in the fridge overnight.
Food Photography and Styling: I find it very hard to photograph olives in a rustic setting so I went for smooth and elegant here. (No need to make life harder than it is). I used natural light from a south-facing window to the left of the set to light the olives and I liked the overall look of that. The “tablecloth” is a piece of linen fabric and I got the cute little bowl from a local shop recently, I thought it worked perfectly with the olives.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/4, 1/30 sec., ISO 400. Natural Light.