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Warm Olives with Thyme, Orange and Garlic Confit

I cannot think of a better way to whet my appetite than to nibble on some olives and saucisson with a glass of wine. I started life as an olive purist demanding they were served simply brined and nothing else. Then I tried these. The marriage of flavors combined with the warmed aromatics make these olives irresistible. The flavors will literally jump out and seduce your palate. Change the herb combinations to suit your palate. . . . . .

Servings 4

Ingredients

Garlic Confit

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 each dried hot pepper
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic peeled

Olives

  • 1 cup Picholine olives
  • 1 cup Ni├žoise olives
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 orange zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Instructions

Garlic Confit

  1. Put olive oil, thyme, hot pepper, bay leaf and garlic into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and slowly cook garlic till very soft and tender, about 30 minutes. Let garlic infuse in the oil overnight.

Olives

  1. Pour two tablespoons of the infused garlic oil in a saute pan and heat with olives, fennel, orange zest and vinegar. The idea is just to warm the olives and release the fragrant flavors of fennel and orange.