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Picholine�s Marinated Olives

Just as Artisanal restaurant's name has a meaning near and dear to my heart, so does Picholine's. The restaurant takes its moniker from one variety of green olives, which are one of the most emblematic ingredients in all Mediterranean cuisine. Not only do they turn up in dish after dish in that region, but they also suggest the golden oil so closely associated with it. These are wonderful with cocktails, or on their own for snacking. They can last for several weeks in the refrigerator, so I recommend keeping them on hand for unexpected or last-minute guests.

1 1/2 cups olives, preferably Picholine olives, strained of juice OR oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
2 bay leaves

Put olives in a heatproof container and set aside. Put fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in an 8-inch sauté pan and toast over medium heat, shaking constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add to container with olives. Add oil, lemon zest, pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and toss well to incorporate. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 24 hours so the flavors can develop. The olives can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

VARIATIONS : Use different olives, or an assortment, if you prefer.

EMBELLISHMENT : If you will be consuming the olives within 3 days, add 3 crushed garlic cloves along with the olives. (The garlic will take on an off flavor after 3 days.)

Makes about 2 cups

From �Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home,� by Terrance Brennan and Andrew Friedman.


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