spicy-citrus marinated olives

(Makes 8 - pint or 1/2 litre jars)

olive on spoon

It’s harvest time in many regions of the world that grow olives, so it seems an appropriate time to mix up a batch of tasty marinated olives. I know an olive branch is the traditional peace offering but a bowl of rich and fruity olives is a much tastier way to bring people together.

Recently olives and olive oil have gained great popularity as nutritional experts claim olives are high in antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (the heart healthy kind) and vitamin E. Also olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. (That said, one should consume olives with moderation as they are also high in sodium.)

My love of olives began at an early age. I would put those California pitted olives on the tips of my fingers and admire them briefly before noshing them off each digit. Usually there is no harm in playing with your olives, but one should exercise a bit of caution as this Greek gentleman (or maybe not such a gentleman) learned.


So while many olive growing countries are shaking their trees and hauling in their harvest, take pleasure in the sun kissed flavours of this spicy, citrusy, jumble of olives. Opa!


  • 1 1/2 litres (6 generous cups) of cracked green olives
  • 1 1/2 litres (6 generous cups) of Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 kilogram (just over 1 lb.) / 2 cups of Moroccan or Turkish olives
  • 3 hot peppers, chopped finely
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 7 cloves of garlic, lightly "smashed"
  • 2 tsp. dried chili peppers
  • 2 tbsp. whole peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp. pickled thyme
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • zest of 3 organic lemons
  • zest of 2 organic oranges
  • 2/3 cups of extra virgin olive oil (best quality possible)
  • 1/3 cup of grapeseed oil

olives and thyme

I am lucky to have a wonderful Mediterranean specialty foods store in my area that supplied me with all my olives, olive oil and pickled thyme. If you don’t have a great deli nearby you will likely find a good selection of olives in your grocery store’s deli section or in the condiments aisle. Any high quality mixture of olives will do, these are just some of my favorites!

olive ingredients


Toss all the ingredients gently together in a big bowl, being careful to coat all the olives.

Spoon olives into glass jars, then store in the fridge. Let the mixture marinate for at least 48 hours shaking the jar to meld the flavours whenever you think of it.

Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. The olives will last in the fridge for about a month.

olives in jars