A super easy holiday appetizer recipe made with briny olives warmed with fresh tangerine slices, arbol chiles, and black pepper and shaped into a wreath with fresh rosemary. Very impressive indeed!
Even though we won’t be having a big Christmas party or any Las Posadas festivities this year, one of my favorite holiday meals is a whole bunch of holiday appetizer nibbles by the Christmas tree with a glass of wine and a Christmas movie marathon.
What are your favorite holiday party appetizers? Is it baked brie? Shrimp cocktail? There are so many bites that remind me of the Christmas parties my parents would throw growing up. My grandma’s famous contribution was ABC dip, which sounds terribly weird but was actually really good. It was chopped almonds (the A), crisp bacon (the B), and grated cheddar cheese (the C) all mixed together.
In that spirit of simplicity, I came up with this effortless recipe. Don’t you love an appetizer recipe where the prep is almost zero?! These marinated olives are it! All they require is bit of warming in a pan and then you can take a minute or two to arrange them in a festive wreath shape—really that’s it!
Let’s take a look at how to make it!
what you’ll need to make this holiday appetizer
There are two steps to making this marinated olive wreath. The first is the olive part and the second is to make the wreath. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Dried arbol chiles
- Your favorite olives ( I used pimento-stuffed green Manzanilla olives)
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Mexican oregano sprigs
- Basil leaves
- Cracked black pepper
- A large board or platter to serve it on
how to make it!
The first step is to warm the olives with citrus and chiles.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat until it is just warm. Add the chiles and toast for a minute until the color has changed. Then add the drained olives, tangerine slices, and lots of fresh herbs like Mexican oregano, basil, and rosemary.
Toss everything until the olives are sizzling and heated through, don’t cook too long, you just want everything to be nice and warm. Season with a few grinds of black pepper and remove from the heat.
The second step is to form into a wreath shape.
First arrange the fresh rosemary sprigs into a wreath shape, tucking in the cut edges as you go. Then top with the warmed olive mixture and serve!
This is a super basic recipe but you could take it in lots of different directions.
- Take this idea a step further and make it into an antipasto wreath by adding your favorite cheeses, cured meats, cream cheese-stuffed red peppers, nuts, crackers, and bread sticks.
- Instead of serving it as a wreath, mix the olive ingredients together in the slow cooker to keep it warm all night long.
- Cut a piece of puff pastry into squares, top with the olive mixture (minus the whole chiles and tangerine slices), fold in half and bake to make olive turnovers.
more holiday appetizer recipes to try!
For a really fun Christmas dinner idea, set up a table in front of the fire with these olives and a few more appetizers and side dishes to make it a meal. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Manchego Chipotle Cheese Ball
- Guacamole Deviled Eggs
- Take these Oven-Roasted Jalapeño Poppers to the next level and make them BACON WRAPPED!
- Store bought tortilla chips with Charred Tomatillo Salsa
- Sweet and Spicy Honey-Mustard Snack Mix
- Honey Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs
- Veggies with Harissa Goat Cheese Dip
holiday appetizers ARE the meal!
Because it just doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this! Surprise your family with the gorgeous marinated olive wreath and a few other apps for a fun and festive meal, and let me know how you like it, OK? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) !
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