One of the many tasty perks of being the specialty foods buyer for a gourmet grocery store is getting first dibs on trying all of the olives we sell.
So. Many. Options.
I’m buying in close to 50 varieties – from all of the classics like Kalamata, mixed Greek, and pepper-stuffed to more unique offerings like oil-cured Beldi, Castelvetrano, and cracked Giarraffa.
Whenever I’m rushing home in the afternoon to start Job #2, I try to remember to quickly grab a small container of them and a couple small wedges of cheese, for a salty snack I can nibble on while I start recipe-testing sweet desserts.
With all those cakes, cookies, and pies, my tired taste buds are screaming for salt!
Instead of my usual tradition of sporadically opening the fridge and picking through a couple of cold olives as I’m baking, I wanted to make a real recipe using my selection – fit for not just me, barefoot and pants-less, running though my house in need of a quick snack, but also for when I have company over (and when I’m appropriately dressed for a small gathering).
Since the backyard herb garden is singing its swan song before the cold weather hits, I wanted an easy recipe that could use a handful of fresh herbs. Use your favorite varieties, with the option of mixing a few different ones together. I will always adore the combo of rosemary and thyme.
When you have company already on their way, quickly make this recipe, throw it in the oven, put some pants on, and welcome your guests to the absolutely delicious scent of a warm, herb roasted appetizer!Print
Warm, roasted olives with garlic and fresh herbs are dressed to impress as a savory appetizer for any gathering.
- 3 cups assorted pitted olives
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped assorted fresh herbs*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix together olives, garlic, herbs, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
- Pour into a small baking dish or onto a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until warm and aromatic.
- Serve immediately, while still warm.
*Rosemary, thyme, and basil are all tasty options
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: olive, garlic, fresh herbs
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Measure out the remaining ingredients. For even more herbal flavor, try using an herb-infused oil!
Step 2 – Mix Together
Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl until everything is evenly coated with the oil, garlic, and herbs.
Use any variety of olives that you and your guests will enjoy. Your options are pretty much endless! You can use whole or pitted – I like using pre-pitted, to make it easier for my company (and myself!) to eat and enjoy them without having to deal with any pesky pits.
If you prefer to buy them whole to pit yourself, that is totally fine! Just get out your olive pitter and remove them before combining ingredients. Don’t have a pitting tool already? Read our review of the best models.
Step 3 – Roast
Pour into a small baking dish or onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned in some areas.
Step 4 – Serve
Serve and enjoy while they’re still warm and super aromatic!
How About Some Serving Suggestions?
I serve them in a bowl alongside crusty bread, crunchy crackers like buckwheat cheddar or parmesan rosemary, thinly sliced charcuterie, and two or three hearty cheeses that can stand up to the strong flavors. On my plate, I chose a 6-month aged Manchego and an 18-month aged Gouda.
And if you have about a cup of leftovers, save it for when you have a day off to make my homemade oregano olive bread!
What will be your signature blend? Let me know how you’ll flavor and serve them in the comment section below.
For more easy appetizers to serve your vegetarian guests, consider following:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 14, 2012. Last updated: October 4, 2022 at 12:32 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.