A dish of marinated olives always gives off an air of luxury even though they are easily made with a handful of pantry ingredients dutifully waiting to brighten cocktail hour any given night.
We use the allure of olives to our advantage and create an ever so simple appetizer of Bistro-style whole mixed olives with pan-roasted cloves of garlic, fiery arbol chiles and handfuls of herbs.
What Kind Of Olives To Use
Really any type of cured olive benefits from being combined with sweet roasted garlic and herbs. You can use black olives, green olives, olives that have been in brine.
The best olive recipes use a mixture of different kinds of olives for the best color, texture, and flavor.
The only ones I wouldn’t recommend are olives that are already marinated. You want to start with a blank slate.
One last note on olives before we move on. This is not a marinade for curing your own olives. If you have an olive tree and are looking for how to preserve them, Sylvia has a step-by-step guide you may want to check out.
Olive Marinade Ingredients
This one firmly lands in the category of easy olive recipes. There are only four ingredients to the marinade and they are totally adaptable to whatever you have in your pantry and fridge.
- Dried Chiles. For these spicy black olives (or green, whatever you prefer) I like to use small dried arbol chiles. To control the spice level you can add fewer chiles, use a more mild variety, like Cascabel or Mulato chiles. To make spicier, use more chiles or break the chiles into smaller pieces before frying.
- Garlic. Whole, peeled cloves of fresh garlic are key. This method quickly roasts them in the pan instead of slow roasting in the oven.
- Fresh Herbs. This can be super versatile. Use your favorites or whatever you have on hand. A good mix is rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil.
- Black Pepper. Freshly ground is best.
How To Serve Marinated Olives
These can be served warm or room temperature. It’s really up to you.
I like them best warm, but you do have to eat them pretty quickly to enjoy the olives this way.
If you’d rather make them a bit in advance, they are fine to sit at room temperature for an hour or so.
I don’t recommend serving them cold. The olive oil will harden and get gloppy.
How Long Do They Last
If you want to make these in advance and have them on hand for snacking or for an upcoming get together you can certainly do that up to three days in advance. They actually get tastier if they have a chance to hang out in the marinade for a bit. They’re not that great cold however, so I suggest reheating before serving.
If you have any leftover, they will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. The olives themselves don’t “go bad”, but the roasted garlic and herbs will start to get moldy.
One way you can preserve them longer is to cover the mixture in olive oil. Then seal and refrigerate. The olive oil acts like a heavy blanket that suffocates any oxygen that might reach the olives and grow bacteria.
Another way would be to freeze the marinated olives. They will be a bit spongy however when they defrost. If you do freeze them I suggest reheating and serving them warm to plump the skins a bit.
What To Serve With Them
I even made a beautiful wreath out of the rosemary and served the marinated olives on top for a festive holiday hors d’oeuvres.
Here are a few of our other favorite nibbles that, combined together, would make a delicious spread!
- Spanish Tortilla with Green Romesco Sauce
- Salsa de Cacahuate (Peanut and Chile Salsa)
- Doritos-Flavored Duros de Harina
And here are a few cocktail ideas that are good partners with these spicy olives:
Get Classy With ItPrint
Spicy Marinated Olives with Roasted Garlic & Herbs
This quick recipe for Spicy Marinated Olives is an easy appetizer with pan-roasted garlic, arbol chiles, and fresh herbs. Serve warm or room temperature.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 Servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
3 tablespoons olive oil
5–6 cloves garlic, peeled
12 ounces olives, drained of any liquid (any kind works use your favorite kind)
handful fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, and/or rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
toasted baguette, sliced
Roast the Chiles and Garlic: Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add chiles and garlic cloves and toss in the warm oil until just starting to brown.
Warm Olives and Herbs: Add olives and herbs and stir in the oil until warmed. Season with freshly ground black pepper and transfer to a serving dish.
Serve: Serve with toasted, sliced baguette.
Keywords: marinated olives
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