From the Zinfandel chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2010)
It’s no coincidence that many great wine bars offer bowls of marinated olives to munch on—salty, creamy, meaty, and slightly fruity without being sweet, marinated olives complement a host of wines.
This particular concoction is ideal for fruity but tannic Zinfandel, and you can throw it together in about ten minutes. Just remember to do it a few days before you plan to serve the olives, so that they have a chance to absorb the flavors of the marinade.
Makes about 4 cups
- 1 small orange
- 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cups drained assorted brine-cured black olives (see note)
Use a vegetable peeler to cut the colored part of the peel from half of the orange and half of the lemon. Cut the peel into thin slices (save the remaining fruit for another use).
In a large bowl, combine the citrus peel, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper. Add the olives, tossing to combine. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 days, stirring occasionally. (You can refrigerate the olive mixture for up to a week or two, stirring occasionally.)
Let the olives come to room temperature before serving.
NOTE You probably won’t find an assortment of olives all in one jar, but you can buy different kinds and combine them, or put together your own assortment if your supermarket has an olive bar.
FOOD + WINE TIP The bright yet rich nature of these olives also makes them a great match for Chardonnay.