My Italian Mum loves to tell the story of how when I was toddler and all of the other little kids around me where eating dried fruit or granola bars, my favorite snack was (pitted!) olives.
To this day, I still love them, and love experimenting with different flavourings. Every time we have guests around we always have olives with a cheese or two to start, and we order them to graze on before our meals when dining out.
The simple keto recipe below is one of my favorite ways to serve them either as a snack or when entertaining. If eating them alone I eat them at room temperature (or straight out of the fridge, depending on how patient/hungry Im feeling at the time), but when entertaining I always heat them in the oven first: it’s a bit more special and a great way to draw out the flavours in this healthy low-carb appetizer. And it’s a great travel-friendly snack too!
Nutritional values (per serving, 1/4 cup/ 34 g/ 1.2 oz)
Net carbs0.7 grams
Calories from carbs 2%, protein 2%, fat 96%
Total carbs1.9 gramsFiber1.2 gramsSugars0.2 gramsSaturated fat1.9 gramsSodium573 mg(25% RDA)Magnesium4 mg(1% RDA)Potassium35 mg(2% EMR)
Ingredients (makes about 6 servings)
- 1 1/2 cups drained mixed olives in brine (200 g/ 7.1 oz)
- 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 3–4 strips lemon zest
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Note: Nutrition facts are estimated as the vast majority of ingredients are used only for marinating. Don’t waste the marinating liquid! It can be reused for another batch or simply drizzle over salads!
- Zest the lemon using a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips. Then cut the lemon in half and juice.
- Drain and rinse the olives and add to a bowl or jar with the herbs, garlic and lemon zest. We used a combination of green Italian Nocellara olives and black Greek kalamata olives.
- Measure out 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and combine with the oil and salt. Stir well until the salt dissolves.
- Pour over the olives. Marinate at least four hours before serving, ideally overnight. The flavours will intensify the longer the olives are left to marinate.
- To serve, simply strain the liquids and serve at room temperature, or add to a preheated oven for 5 minutes to warm them slightly — this will help bring out their flavourings.
The olives will last up to a month in a sealed container in the fridge, as long as they are completely submerged in the marinating liquid. The olive oil will solidify in the fridge which creates a barrier and helps to preserve the olives longer.
Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1/4 cup/ 34 g/ 1.2 oz)
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