At this time of year, fast and easy recipes for hors d-oeuvres come in handy. This recipe for marinated olives from the November 1994 issue of Bon Appetit is both those things, and it’s also better made a few days before serving. I put out a bowl of these before a girls’ night dinner last week to celebrate the November birthdays of my friends Lesley and Diane. Lesley asked me to post the recipe, so here it is!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

It can be difficult to find olives with no preservatives, but it is possible. If you are buying them from an olive bar, ask to see the ingredient label. I have been able to find all-natural black and green olives, made by Pilaros, at Costco. I also use President’s Choice green olives stuffed with garlic and PC black label Niçoise olives. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice, as concentrates contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Wash the orange with warm water before zesting, and make sure the fennel seeds and red pepper don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Olives with fennel seeds and orange peel


6 cups assorted black and green olives

2 tbsp minced orange peel

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup fresh orange juice

1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed

½ tsp dried crushed red pepper


Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Cover and chill overnight, stirring occasionally. Can be prepared 5 days ahead. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes six cups.

From the November 1994 issue of Bon Appetit