A fantastic and simple appetizer idea for a party or gift-giving!
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Marinated olives and feta with herbs is so simple to make but has a ton of robust flavor. You just need a few ingredients, and you’ll end up with a winning appetizer everyone will love. Olives and feta is one of my favorite combinations, and when you add the herbs and balsamic, the flavors infuse into a fantastic dish.
Where’s the best place to get olives?
Because there are just a few ingredients, try to get the best quality ingredients you can find. The best place to get quality olives is the olive bar at your supermarket, or there’s such a great variety of them at Mediterranean specialty food stores. Costco even has great olives sometimes. You can use a combination of different olives and change it up each time you make a batch.
How is this so flavorful?
Salty tender olives
Creamy, tangy feta
Herby olive oil
Rich, tart balsamic
Warm spicy heat
Here’s what you’ll need
High-quality Greek olive oil -I’ve tried a lot of olive oils in my life, and the one in our shop really is the best I’ve tasted. If you haven’t tried, you’ll be addicted after you do!
Garlic cloves -peeled and smashed to crush them open and release all the intense garlic flavor.
Thyme Sprigs -sweet and earthy herb flavor.
Rosemary sprig -peppery and woodsy aromatics.
Dried oregano -spicy and bold with a hint of sweetness.
Crushed red pepper flakes -this is optional but adds a surprisingly warm heat to the deliciousness. Add as much as you like.
Mixed olives -not only can you use different types of olives, but you can also use stuffed olives. There are a ton of varieties, so use your favorite.
Feta cheese -if you know me, this is a staple for me. Cube the feta instead of crumbling it so each cube is coated in the dressing, but it doesn’t melt into the dressing.
Balsamic vinegar -my favorite balsamic is the dark balsamic dressing in our shop. If you live in a place we can’t ship to, add a touch of honey to dark balsamic vinegar. You can even swap balsamic vinegar out and use red wine vinegar.
What can I add to make it my own?
Each batch of this is a little different depending on the olives and herbs I can find, and you can definitely add more things your family loves. You could add capers, your favorite herbs, and sun-dried tomatoes, which would add an even richer flavor. Let me know what your favorite additions are!
How do you make Marinated Olives and Feta with Herbs?
Place a skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil, garlic cloves, and herbs. Warm through for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the olives with red pepper flakes and warm through for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the feta cheese, oregano, and balsamic vinegar. Then, toss to coat and cool it to room temperature.
How do you store this appetizer?
Transfer the feta and olives to a couple of jars or one big container and refrigerate overnight before serving. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Actually, it’s best to make this ahead of time. I suggest you make it at least one day ahead to let it marinate overnight. The longer it sits in the herby juices and olive oil, the better it gets.
What’s the best way to serve these marinated olives?
This appetizer tastes best warm or at least at room temperature. So, let it sit on the counter for a while before serving, or warm it in a pan for just a little bit before serving. Put out some crusty bread or make homemade pita to soak up the herbed balsamic olive oil, and watch this appetizer disappear.
Perfect for gift-giving!
Because this appetizer keeps so long and is packed with flavor, it makes the perfect gift around the holidays. Try putting them in these cute jars with or without a bow and giving them as a hostess or thank-you gift. Your friends will feel the love!
What else can I make with olives and feta?
Greeks eat a lot of olives and feta and even serve them alongside dishes that don’t have them. If you love the combination as much as I do, try my orzo with olives and feta, Mediterranean chicken and olive skillet, or Greek stuffed peppers with cheese and olives. For another great appetizer with the combo, make my creamy whipped feta dip or baked feta and olives. I even make a savory cake with the two called Greek Elioti!
- 1/4-1/2 cup high quality Greek olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 oz (340g) mixed olives
- 4oz (115g) feta cheese, cubed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Place a skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil, garlic cloves, and herbs. Warm through for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the olives with the red pepper flakes and warm through. 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the feta cheese, oregano, and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat and cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the feta and olives to jars or to a container and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 weeks.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Kali Orexi!
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