I love the lemon olives I can buy at Central Market in Shoreline, just north of Seattle. This recipe from Fine Cooking, #55 has more flavors involved but looks quite similar. Use oil- or brine-packed olives. (The lemons are for zest only, so after zesting, juice the lemons and save the juice for another use.)
- 1 pint good green olives (or both mixed) or 1 pint black olives (or both mixed)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 medium lemons
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- If using brine-packed olives, drain them.
- If you wish, you may whack them with a (clean) hammer or rolling pin to "crack" them so the seasonings penetrate further.
- In a medium bowl, combine the olives, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, herb sprigs, fennel seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Zest the lemons in whatever size zest you like: a mix of finely grated zest for the brightest flavor and larger strips for color is nice.
- Add the zest and oil to the olives and mix well. Pour and scrape into a covered jar and refrigerate for 12-24 hours to let the flavors mingle.