This Hack Gives You Perfectly Marinated Olives In Under 5 Minutes

Marinated olives in wooden dish
Marinated olives in wooden dish - Serge_bertasius/Getty Images

Although marinades are commonly associated with hearty proteins like beef and chicken, they're just as useful for infusing fruits and vegetables with bright, bold flavors. If you've ever dined at a Mediterranean restaurant or perused the tapas offerings at a wine bar, you're probably familiar with one of the most commonly enjoyed marinated fruits: olives. Although it's a sophisticated hors d'oeuvre, you can make marinated olives in a flash by adding the necessary ingredients straight to your olive jar.

If you're new to the kitchen or just enjoy easy dinners on busy weeknights and convenient kitchen hacks, this tasty olive tip requires little effort and time. Marinades are typically made with acid, oil, herbs, and spices, and adding them directly to an olive jar is as convenient as it gets. Simply shake up the ingredients, let the blend sit for a few minutes, unscrew the lid, and enjoy!

Making the marinade in your olive jar limits the dishes and utensils required to make it, and as soon as you're finished, you can screw the lid back on and save the rest for later -- a one-jar recipe, if you will. And because you can shake it until the marinade is evenly dispersed throughout the container, the jar itself facilitates easy mixing.

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Jazzing Up Olive Marinade

Person chopping herbs
Person chopping herbs - Fotostorm/Getty Images

Despite their bold flavor, olives pair well with the full spectrum of marinade ingredients, ensuring that your flavor combinations are never limited. But before you make your selection, consider what your olives are stored in. Jarred olives are typically cured in a saltwater brine, lye-water solution, or olive oil. If they're already equipped with some of the necessary marinade ingredients, omit them.

Use fresh herbs to imbue the olives with a garden-fresh flavor and aroma. The piney taste of rosemary adds a robust edge to the olives that distracts from its brackish flavor. To develop earthy flavors, infuse the marinade with the vegetal bravado of oregano. Sweet, peppery basil is another excellent option, as it balances the richness of the marinade and imparts the olives with complex yet familiar flavors. For spices and seasonings, you can never go wrong with garlic to develop a savory, satisfying taste that complements the grassy flavors of the herbs and olives. To fashion a layer of peppery heat, infuse a garlicky marinade with red pepper flakes.

Achieve total olive saturation by using a classic or flavor-infused EVOO, or shake things up with avocado oil or a fiery chili crisp oil for an extra bold flavor. But don't forget the acid; lemon or lime is a timeless choice, but grapefruit juice or white wine vinegar is a delicious departure from the classics. Pro tip: Citrus zest provides a bright, zippy flavor that's as visually appealing as it is tasty.

Uses For Marinated Olives

Charcuterie board with olives and wine
Charcuterie board with olives and wine - Plateresca/Shutterstock

Marinated olives are delicious on their own, and we wouldn't judge you for eating them straight out of the jar. However, if you want to introduce them to entrees and snack platters, there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into your meals. As a Mediterranean staple, pairing flash-marinated jarred olives with other quintessential Mediterranean fare is a guaranteed hit. Grilled white fish nestled atop a bed of marinated olive-infused Greek yogurt is a nutrient-dense, oceanic meal that's refreshing and satiating in equal parts. Before you serve the entree, craft some creamy homemade hummus in a food processor, pulsing your marinated olives into the dip to develop a salty, rich flavor that's freckled with marinated olive pieces.

Want to turn a spread of snacks into a sharing platter? Use the marinated olives to complete a charcuterie board. Their zesty, salty, and bright flavors complement the meaty machismo of cured meats and add dimension to the board's rich cheeses. Just don't forget a glass of wine on the side! Add the silky olives to a deli sandwich to add bright, acidic flavors and a lush, velvety texture that complements the deli meat, crunchy lettuce, and creamy condiments. Dare we suggest grilling the marinated olives to bring a smoky dimension into your favorite hoagie?

Don't limit yourself, either. Whether enjoying them by the spoonful or adding them to your favorite entrees, this time-friendly marinated olive hack is as versatile as it is luxurious.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal