I love olives. Black olives, green olives, olives with pits, olives stuffed with garlic, olives whole or chopped or ground into tapenade. Last year I marinated the best olives I could find (filled out with the only olives I could find in the grocery) using a recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. They were wonderful, and beautiful too, although drenched in olive oil, most of which was leftover when the olives were long gone.
Warm Marinated Olives
Based on this recipe: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/warm-marinated-olives.aspx
Yields 2 cups.
3 branches fresh rosemary leaves
A note about my zester: I had a zester. It's location and fate is still unknown. Enter a Superior Substitution.
While shopping at a nearby TJ Maxx (the source of much great cooking gear at reasonable prices, if you want what they have), I found this Microplane grater needing a good home. It's "for chocolate". I couldn't pass that up. There may be better graters out there, but I haven't found them. Microplane is a gold-grater-standard.
It's really for shaving anything you'd dream of - hard cheese, chocolate, and (YES!) it works fantastically for shaving lemon skin to make zest. I'd tried using my first-born Microplane for zest, but it's a fine grater - the yield was too high, more oily and fluffy, not substantial enough to be considered "zest". Perfect for fine-grated Parmesan cheese, but not so good for lemons. This younger, bolder sister, is my new zester. Hmm... zester/sister. Much in common.
Oh, and about the Turkish bay leaves. They are superior because they're softer and lend a better flavor faster in a saute or infusion like this marinade. With a week's notice, I can order them from Penzey's. If I think about it, I'll pick up some next time I'm in Richmond.
Today, though, I have standard dried bay leaves on hand. They're tough as leather (or magnolia leaves, for any of you, like me, who've dealt with a magnolia tree near the house) and release fanastic flavor when stewed or steeped. I threw a couple into this mix, then IMMEDIATELY thought I should have substituted a few fresh sage leaves from the plant still thriving in my kitchen garden. Perhaps I should have added the bay leaves when I added the garlic, giving it the maximum exposure to heat and liquid. Maybe the Food Muse will grace me and this two-day-to-one-week marinating time will allow the bay leaves to give up their earthy flavor.
We'll see. Taste testing begins with Friday Night Tapas. I'm confident.