Jun 23

Roasted Olives—Quick & Easy Party Food

in Appetizers, Recipes by Type

A week and a half ago my youngest brother graduated from UCLA with a BA in Art.  This big sister couldn’t be prouder.  He is a very talented guy and I can’t wait to see where the future takes him.

My little brother, the college grad

It has been very strange for me to think of my little baby brother being a college grad.  I remember when he came home from the hospital—such a cute baby.  As he grew, he developed a wicked grin, a warm sense of humor, and a passion for life.  I guess he’s not so little any more, as he towers over me, and has for quite some time now.  It’s amazing how quickly time flies.  Before I know it, one of my little babies will be graduating.  It reminds me how much we need to savor and enjoy each passing day.

Bug giving us a glimpse of the future

To celebrate his graduation, my parents threw a graduation party at their house.

Chocolate graduation caps

I helped out by bringing some of the food.  (Are you surprised?)  When my mom asked me if I would make some things, I immediately thought of making roasted olives.

Graduation party food

I ate some wonderful roasted olives at Camp Blogaway provided by Lindsay Olives (one of the Camp Blogaway sponsors) and have been dying to make my own ever since.  The best thing about these roasted olives is how quick and easy they are to put together.  They make a wonderful party appetizer because they don’t require tons of time spent in the kitchen, which leaves you plenty of time to spend preparing everything else for the party.  All you have to do is spend a couple of minutes mixing the ingredients in a casserole dish (or a dutch oven like I did because I doubled the recipe), and roast them for 20 minutes and then they’re done!  We put them in a bowl with a little jar of toothpicks next to them, but they would be delicious with thin slices of toasted baguette or crackers and a selection of cheeses.

Olives mixed with spices ready to go into the oven

I’m a big fan of Lindsay Olives (I’m a proud Californian, what can I say?), so I used 3 of their varieties to make the olives.  Even Paula Wolfert, a highly respected expert on Mediterranean food, agrees.  In her book Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking, she wrote, “…I’d ordinarily recommend a Greek or Spanish olive, but lately I’ve been pleasantly surprised by…Lindsay.  I’ve found their products top-notch…”  (p.14)  I adapted my recipe from a roasted olive recipe on the Lindsay Olives website, using their suggestion to use black olives, Greek Kalamata olives, and garlic stuffed Spanish olives.  The roasting helps draw out some of the moisture in the olives, making them slightly more dense and even more delicious.  As the olives roast they also soak in the flavors from the aromatics, giving them a bright tangy garlicky flavor.  The lemon in this dish is like adding a cup of sunshine to the mix.  If you close your eyes as you put an olive in your mouth, you can almost believe that you are sitting on a sunny hillside in Tuscany.

Roasted Olives

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Roasted Olives

Adapted from Lindsay Roasted Olives Recipe

6 ounces black pitted olives, drained
6 ounces Greek Kalamata pitted olives, drained
4.5 ounces garlic stuffed Spanish olives, drained
6 large garlic cloves, minced
5 or 6 fresh thyme sprigs
zest of 1/2 lemon, finely shredded
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  Transfer the olive mixture to a 13×9-inch baking dish.

3. Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool in the baking dish.  Serve at room temperature alone, or with thin toasted slices of baguette or crackers.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria June 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

Congrats to the grad! Great party food!


Tracy June 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

Wow. I’m not even a huge fan of olives, and these look divine! I definitely want to give them a try.


Paula - bell'alimento June 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

Love roasted olives! So tasty! & A very Happy Graduation to Fuji Bro ; )


Jenny Flake June 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Mmmmm! Fabulous little olives :) What a fun graduation, love your bro’s shoes :)


jenjenk June 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

oh man…that’s just beautiful!!! i never would’ve guessed Lindsay!!!


scrapper al June 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Congrats to the grad and thanks for the recipe. I’ve never heard of roasting olives. This could be a great dish to take to my next potluck.


Daydreamer Desserts June 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Love the olives, they look fantastic! Not sure who made those chocolate Caps, but they are really sayin’ something!! Congrats to your little brother!!


Lyndsey June 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm

And they look pretty too! I love Lindsay Olives too and always try to look for them. This sounds so interesting I just have to try it! Congratulations to your brother, and don’t close your eyes too long. ..because you are right, your girls will be there before you know it!


Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker June 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Great recipe for roasted olives! And congratulations to your brother!!


MAC June 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Great idea for a gathering! Congratulations to your brother :-)


redkathy June 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Oooh I love olives and your look fabulous, of course! A big congrats to your baby brother. My son is preparing to finish his BA in arts now, in London. OMG what ever will I do without him for two more years. Get ready for your sweeties to hit the college road someday too!


Lori Lynn June 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Simply fabulous. I will definitely use this recipe.
Pics of your family are so precious.
Congrats to your brother. My dear friend’s daughter just graduated from UCLA with a BA in Theater. Their paths may have crossed…


Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle June 24, 2010 at 8:04 am

Congrats to your brother and your parents…your whole family on the new graduate.

These look so tasty and sound easier than I expected. Knowing you’re from California, I was concerned your recipe might start with:

Go into your backyard and pick a bunch of olives.

Whew…thank goodness it didn’t and your method is doable!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

What a great dish… I’m not always a big olive fan, but it looks wonderful!


Steve June 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm

You’re a rock star as usual.


ivoryhut June 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

Love that first photo. :) I’ve never had roasted olives before. Sounds like a great idea! And since my mom and my husband are huge olive fans, I’m sure they’ll love this. Thanks!


Jen @ How To: Simplify June 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Congrats to your brother! My mouth waters at the sight of olives and pickles. I’m in love with these roasted olives…the photos definitely made my mouth water! Now all I want is to be snacking on these tasty treats.


[email protected] June 29, 2010 at 3:39 am

Congrats to your little bro! These olives look perfect for summer entertaining!


Jennifer Cote July 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Loved those grad caps/reeses/chocolate things! What a great idea :)


Eloise December 31, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I did not add the salt since the kalamata olives are salty. They are wonderful and we all loved them. We are still eating them, and I just sent the recipe to a friend who will love them as well.


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