Zesty citrus olives

I love olives. And I love it when you’re in a bar and they bring you a bowl of olives with your drink. Specially if I’m with my husband as he hates them (too salty) and I can scoff the whole bowl myself. It’s allowed, they’re delicious and good for you.

Olives come in many different shapes and forms, colours and flavours. I started experimenting with marinating my own when I realised how expensive the marinated ones are in the supermarkets (or anywhere for that matter). After a bit of experimentation, this is what I came up with. I like to make these when I’m having guests round for dinner or to give as gifts when I go to visit. They are really nice and citrussy but you can add more orange or lemon zest if you want to up the flavour a bit. And of course the same applies to all the other ingredients. It’s good to try them out yourself and come up with the personal concoction that suits you best.

Packed with citrussy flavours, these olives make a tasty gift

Lemon zest from 2 lemons

Orange zest from 2 oranges

600ml olive oil

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

6 sprigs fresh thyme

6 bay leaves (fresh)

6 cloves garlic

2 tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp ground black pepper

400g green brined stoneless olives, drained weight

Peel off the lemon and orange zest and add to a medium sized saucepan.

Add the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, pepper and chilli.

Heat the mixture over low-medium heat for 6 mins just until the oil is hot.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool to room temperature.

Place the olives in 2 large jars and pour the mixture over them.

Make sure the lid is tight.

Store in the fridge for at least 24 hours – turning the jars over at least twice.

They will last for two to three weeks and will taste better if you turn the jars every day for the first week.

And remember that after you’ve made these you will have two lemons and two oranges without any peel! Put them in the fridge overnight as they will transform it into a heavenly fragrant zone! And eat the oranges for breakfast the next day. As for the lemons, they work just as well in gin and tonics without peel, just add two slices and a squeeze of juice.

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