Dressed-up Olives


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Forest Feast Mediterranean: Simple Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by My Travels

The Forest Feast Mediterranean

By Erin Gleeson

Published 2019

  • About

In each country we visited, our meals often started with a bowl of olives. The olives were usually local and quite fresh. Restaurants seemed to have their own unique way of curing them, so that the taste was just slightly different in each place. During our first meal in Lisbon, we were served a bowl of olives that had fresh garlic slices mixed in, and I loved the simple, flavor-packed combination, perfect with a cocktail. Restaurants in Barcelona added citrus, peppers, or herbs. One restaurant in France served theirs mixed with a basil oil they made themselves. I kept seeing special olive serving bowls in Portuguese restaurants with a separate compartment for the pits, and I was happy to pick this one (at right) up at a little shop in Sintra. Alternatively, you can set out a small ramekin for the pits.


  1. Buy 1 c (225 g) of olives. I find the best ones are in the deli section of my grocery store. You can buy mixed olives or just one type, but choose ones that contain pits. I like a mix of green & purple olives in my bowl.
  2. Mix the olives in a shallow bowl with 2 chopped cloves garlic & a drizzle of olive oil. Grate some orange zest over the top of the bowl & sprinkle on a few fresh thyme leaves. Serve with drinks before dinner.