Tri-Color Olives with Orange and Spice

Maybe it's taking things for granted, but Alexander the Great would have liked these olives. The seasonings are straight from his place and time - Greece at about 320 BC. Besides being classic finger food, these are a good foil for the cheese and tomatoes, coarse bread and cool wine. Since the olives keep about two weeks in a refrigerator and leftovers will be welcome, it is a generous recipe.

  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound each greek "purple" royal olives, Nicoise or Italian black olives or wrinkly oil cured ones, and large green olives
  • Shredded zest of 1 orange and its juice
  • 1/2 cup good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Black pepper to taste

1. Rinse olives, then toss them with all the ingredients and refrigerate, covered, for at least three days.

2. To serve, drain and set out in small bowls.

Recipe by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Copyright © 2012. From the An Early Summer Picnic menu.

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4 to 6 generous servings

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