Warm Olives with Herbs: First courses are meant to stimulate the appetite, not satiate it. The host often prepares them ahead of time to avoid being trapped in the kitchen and missing all the fun. I also love to entertain by making an entire meal out of small plates, so my guests get to taste a variety of different flavors, inspired by one country or perhaps the entire Mediterranean.
Olives Tiedes Aux Herbs Sauvages (Warm Olives with Herbs)
4 Ounces Small Black Nicoise Olives
4 Ounces Green Picholine Olives with Pits
4 Ounces Casalvetrano Olives with Pits
4 Ounces Kalamata Olives with Pits
3 Ounces Roasted Garlic Cloves
½ Cup First Cold Press extra Virgin Olive Oil
Several Sprigs of Fresh Rosemay, Thyme and Oregano
Small Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
Place peeled garlic cloves in a covered garlic roaster and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (shake roaster every 10 minutes). Turn off oven. Add garlic to olives and heat place in the warm oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Before serving discard any herbs that have turned brown and replenish with fresh herbs. Reheat olives to serve.
As a variation you can use roasted and ground fennel seeds, orange zest instead of lemon, and cracked black pepper.
Makes about 1 ½ cups.