Olives are an acquired taste. One I took a few years to acquire. But now I love them and recently got chided for eating almost an entire jar of garlic stuffed olives my mom was saving for a special occasion. Oops! This hors d'oeuvre is especially Mediterranean and was a perfect snack for my Christmas dinner last year. It would be equally divine at a holiday cocktail party. Play around with the olive varieties according to availability at your market; just make sure you have different colors and sizes for visual appeal!
1/2 cup Picholine olives
1/2 cup Moroccan olives
1/2 cup Nicoise olives
leaves from 2 springs fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Rinse the olives under cold water to remove any brine. Pat dry.
Remove half of the orange's zest in long strips. Do the same with the lemon's zest.
In a bowl, toss the olives with the zests, thyme, garlic, and olive oil. Just before serving, heat the olives in a medium saute pan over low heat just long enough to bring out their flavors and gently warm them.
Serve in an earthenware crock or dish with small ramekin for discarded pits.
Recipe adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook, by Gayle Pirie & John Clark.