Marinated Mixed Olives with Fresh Herbs and Vermouth
Olives are delicious eaten exactly as they are, but they can also be turned into creative tapas or plates by dressing them in endless combinations of flavours.
• 1 cup pimiento-stuffed green Olives
• 1 cup green Olives
• 1 cup black ripe Olives
• 1 cup Queen Olives
• 4-5 cloves garlic
• 1 lemon
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 bay leaves, fresh or dry
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 2 tablespoons Marcona almonds
• 1 cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup sweet or red vermouth
• 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (optional)
• 1 pinch flaked sea salt, or to taste
Lightly smash the cloves of garlic placing them under the bottom of glass or any other flat surface and press gently to release their juice and aroma. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, remove long strips of zest from the lemon, being careful to not remove any of the white pith underneath, as it is very bitter.
Combine the olives, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and half the almonds in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vermouth, juice of half a lemon and black peppercorns, if using. Mix well to completely coat the olives. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This can also be done overnight. Before serving, bring the olives back to room temperature and add the remaining Marcona almonds. Add a final pinch of flaked sea salt which adds a delicate crunch and heightens all the flavors.