Roasted Black Olives and Pearl Onions

READY IN: 9hrs
Recipe by bikerchick

This is from a Saveur, April 2005, article reviewing a book by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, 'Lidia's Family Table'. It's simple yet sublime. I served with cheese and smoked salmon as antipasto and I can't wait to make again to take to my friends' house when we get together for our wine-tasting and chit-chat. Prep time includes overnight marinade and bringing to room temperature.

Top Review by puppitypup

LOVED IT! The subtle orange flavoring compliments the olives and onions perfectly. This would be the perfect addition to any Italian meal. I used black olives for personal preference. Made for Please review tag game, please see my rating system.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb well-drained pitted oil-cured olives (kalamatas or Gaetas, etc)
  • 12 lb tiny white pearl onion (1/2", wide, or as small as possible)
  • 12 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, in fine threads or julienne slivers
  • For Dressing

  • 1 -2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 -2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Spread the olives on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until they have shriveled a bit and are slightly crunchy, but not crisped or burned.
  3. Let them cool in the pan (they'll dry more and become a bit crunchier).
  4. Meanwhile, cut off the root end of each onion, but don't peel them.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups water and the vinegar to a boil and drop in all the onions, cook for 5 - 10 minutes, depending on their size, until they feel soft all the way through when you squeeze them, but not mushy.
  6. Drain and let them cool.
  7. Remove the skin (or pop the onion out of the skin by squeezing at the top).
  8. If the onions are 3/4" or more, slice them open and flake them apart, separating the layers; tiny onions can be left whole.
  9. Toss the olives, onions, and orange zest in a bowl.
  10. Dress with the oil and juice to taste.
  11. Marinate briefly or overnight, refrigerated, if you want.
  12. Serve at room temperature in a shallow bowl with a serving spoon.

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