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Olive Marinate

Olive Marinate Recipe (Italian marinated olives appetizer)

(Italian marinated olive appetizer)

Image Creative Commons by prakhar

Average: 3.9 (24 votes)

Marinated olives are a popular snack and antipasto in Italy. Olives are popular all around the Mediterranean coast. They make a great addition to any Spanish, Italian, North African, Greek or Provençal meal.

Makes about 4 cups


  • Cracked green olives -- 2 cups
  • Black olives -- 2 cups
  • Olive oil -- 1/2 cup
  • Red wine vinegar -- 1/4 cup
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 tablespoons
  • Herbs and seasonings (see variations)


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.
  2. Serve chilled or at room temperature as an appetizer or accompaniment to cocktails.


  • French (Olives marinées): use black niçoise olives, thyme and a little lavender.
  • Greek: use black Kalamata olives and dried oregano and thyme.
  • Italian (Olive marinata): use chopped rosemary, thyme and peppercorns.
  • North African (Mslalla): use oil-cured black olives and substitute lemon juice for the red wine vinegar. Stir in cumin seeds, coriander seeds, lemon and orange zest and crushed red pepper.
  • Spanish (Aceitunas aliñadas): use paprika, cumin seeds and peppercorns.
  • If you like, you can use all green or all black olives.
  • Here is a list of the most popular herbs and seasonings mixed with marinated olives. Mix and match to suit your own taste.
    • Bay leaves
    • Cardamom seed
    • Cracked black pepper
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Cumin seed
    • Fennel seed
    • Lavender
    • Lemon, lime or orange zest
    • Oregano
    • Paprika
    • Rosemary
    • Sun-dried tomatoes
    • Thyme


  • Do not used canned olives for this recipe! (Unless you have no shame.)
  • Marinated olives will stay fresh for 1-2 months if stored in the refrigerator.


How much of the different herbs should you use?

The amount really depends on your taste, but I would say 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herbs or spices and around 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs would be a good start.

are you allowed to use olives from a jar? if not, where do get your olives from/where do you think olives come from?

Good question. I was thinking on that same line. In my area there are only canned olives. Am I allowed to use them? Sure, who's going to stop me? Besides they do say to use canned ones only if you have no shame. I have no shame. Besides, I can't get any other kind.

Olives in a jar are just fine. Black olives from a can are just too processed and taste like metal. I can't recommend them in good conscience.

If you can only find canned olives in your area, and you still really want marinated olive, order them online. Here's a good variety of olives you can buy through Amazon. Some of the items are large bags, but page through and you'll find some nice little jars to try.