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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 10:16 am

Fennel and Orange Marinated Olives


Outdoor markets throughout the Mediterranean have stalls with a staggering, even bewildering, variety of olives – different types, sizes, cures and marinades. This is a favorite.     

  • 3 c. olives: Kalamata, other black olives
  • 1 1/2 c.0 thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked peppercorns, or more to taste 2 large oranges
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sugar

If the olives have pits, crush them very lightly with your palm to absorb the marinade. It’s not necessary if the olives are pitted.

Put the sliced onion in a saucepan, add a teaspoon of salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, for 1 minute, then drain.

Peel the oranges in large strips with a peeler. Remove any white pith by slicing it off horizontally with a sharp knife. Juice the oranges.

Return the onion to the pan and add peels, the remaining ½ tsp. salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, sliced garlic, vinegar and sugar. Add just enough orange juice to barely cover the onions, reserving the rest for another use. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for four minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Let come to room temperature, then refrigerate in a non-corrosive container. The olives should marinate for at least 24 hours before serving. They will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks.

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