Trio of Spanish Nibbles: Olives, Almonds & Chickpeas

"I saw this on a holiday episode of 30-Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, and it looked like the most absolutely easiest and elegant nibbles to set out for your holiday guests. Will definitely not ruin their appetites."
photo by KateL photo by KateL
photo by KateL
photo by Debber photo by Debber
photo by Debber photo by Debber
photo by Debber photo by Debber
Ready In:


  • 4 cups mixed good-quality olives
  • 3 -4 slices orange peel
  • 3 -4 slices lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed (1/3 palm full)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups marcona almonds or 2 cups toasted peeled whole almonds
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Make a double layer pouch of foil for the olives. Add citrus peel, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds to olives, then top with olive oil. Seal the pouch and shake it to distribute the spices and oil. Place in hot oven at any temperature or on outdoor grill to heat them through.
  • Place the almonds in a small decorative serving dish.
  • Place chick peas in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook 15 minutes until crisp and dry. In the last 5 minutes, season the chick peas with paprika, salt, and pepper. (If you season them up too soon, the paprika will blacken and become bitter.).
  • Place the chick peas in a small serving bowl.
  • Place the olives on a platter and cut the pouch open to expose them. Place the small serving dishes for nuts and chick peas on the platter alongside olives. Place a ramekin or other small cup out to collect olive pits.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Wow! This is great. I made the recipe for one person as this was just for me as my dinner. I love the chickpeas. Crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle. The olives were wonderful warm. And they had a little kick to them. I am enjoying this with a glass of wine and wandering around Zaar! Made for ZWT5. Thanks JackieOhNo! this is great!
  2. Great appetizer idea. I made 1/4 the recipe because there are just 2 of us and only one eats chickpeas. I sought but could not find the classic Spanish mixed-olive mix of manzanilla, arbequina, and empeltre olives, so I selected olives from Wegman's olive bar that most closely resembled the Spanish classics. I made the aluminum foil packet, but I thought it crazy to put an opened aluminum foil pouch between 2 decorative bowls, so I found another bowl. I love chickpeas, but these did not inspire me; I added the smoked paprika with 3 minutes left, but it seemed to turn to gray immediately. They were okay. The olives tasted fine. I had never had Marcona almonds before, and they were perfect. Made for The Wild Bunch of ZWT8 during its tour of Spain.
  3. These are really, really good. Everything went together very quickly. We eat chickpeas frequently, and it's always good to have something a little different this time. Thnx, JackieOhNo, for posting the recipe. Made for ZWT5
  4. Okay, I must confess to total gnomish I "thought" I had chickpeas and was well into the making of the olives before I realized the last can had been--ach, what is this?--consumed! So, having morels on hand instead, that is what I made...and we enjoyed them just as well (or even better). review is limited in scope to the OLIVES....and may I add here, that I LOVE olives, so this recipe could only be GOOD! I believe I will begin using this recipe for future holiday buffets, as it is so clever and works perfectly with this little (lovely, and un-gnomishly beautiful) three-part dish from MIL. My DH who rarely comments on his food thought these olives were very good! That is high compliment from him--believe me! *ZWT 5 Spanish region Kid Friendly Challenge*


I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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