These warm Castelvetrano olives are a hit to serve while entertaining guests. They’re easy to eat finger food and offer a surprising twist on typical olives.
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Castelvetrano Olives are grown in western Sicily and have an intense green coloring and sweet flavor. The flesh of the olive is more substantial than other olives, which makes it a perfect eating olive for appetizers or finger food at parties.
I got this recipe from a friend of mine, Marsi Buckmelter. She and her husband, Steve, ate these olives at Pizzeria Delfina in the Mission in San Francisco and fell in love with them. She’s been making them at home ever since.
The olives are so popular that they are still on the menu at Pizzeria Delfina. This isn’t the exact recipe they use for their olives, but it’s a very close representation.
Once you taste these warm olives, you’ll wonder why you’ve been eating olives cold all these years. The texture changes, the flavor is enhanced – they’re just better warm.
Where to Find Castelvetrano Olives
Castelvetrano olives can often be found either on a fresh olive bar – raw and unmarinated – or preserved in a jar. They must be unmarinated, but whether they’re fresh or not doesn’t make a huge difference.
You can’t really substitute any other olive. Olives are considered a ‘good fat’ and are a nutritious part of any diet, but as with anything – it is best to eat them in moderation. I say this because once you eat one, it’s really hard to stop eating them. They are also a great source of vitamin E.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Castelvetrano olives – Castelvetrano Olives are grown in western Sicily and have an intense green coloring and sweet flavor. The flesh of the olive is more substantial than other olives, which makes it a perfect eating olive. Make sure that they are unmarinated when you buy them.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Use a really good extra virgin olive oil since the oil is being used for more than just a cooking oil – it adds flavor and richness – I wouldn’t suggest substituting it for another oil.
- Orange peel – Be careful not to include the pith or white part between the peel and the fruit. It is bitter and could transfer that to the oil.
- Whole black peppercorns – Peppercorns are the dried berry from the Piper nigrum plant. When added whole to a recipe they add gentle heat and flavor. Look for them in the spice isle.
- Bay leaf – This aromatic leaf is used in cooking. It adds a distinctive flavor and fragrance. It is most commonly removed before eating and discarded.
How to Make Warm Citrus-Marinated Castelvetrano Olives
Add all of the ingredients to a medium sauce pan over low heat. Cook on the stove top for approximately 40 minutes. Do not let the oil boil or bubble.
Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve the olives warm.
That’s what makes them so delicious and unique. They can also be reheated either in the microwave or the stovetop, if you have leftover olives that don’t get eaten, though I doubt that will happen.
The recipe is really easy to make. You do need quite a bit of olive oil, but it can be reused up to 5 times, so you won’t be wasting it. Use it to make other foods, make salad dressing or reserve it to make these olives again.
Once it’s been used to cook the olives, with all the aromatics included, it will have a wonderful citrus and herb flavor that lends well to salad dressing. I like to use the left over oil to make basil pesto. The orange and peppercorn flavors blend really well with the basil and pine nuts. It’s delicious.
Serve them as part of a charcuterie board, warm with bread to soak up the delicious oil or just keep them in the refrigerator to eat as you pass by. Yes, they are that good! These olives will last up to a month in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Castelvetrano olives good for you?
Yes. These green gems are high in antioxidants and offer protection from inflammation. They contain healthy fat and are brain food that helps with memory.
Where can I find Castelvetrano olives?
Castelvetrano olives can often be found either on a fresh olive bar – raw and unmarinated – or preserved in a jar.
Can I reuse the oil?
Yes! It can be reused up to 5 times, so you won’t be wasting it. Use it to make other foods, like salad dressing or reserve it to make these olives again. I like to use the left over oil to make basil pesto. The orange and peppercorn flavors blend really well with the basil and pine nuts. It’s delicious.
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Warm Citrus-Marinated Castelvetrano Olives
- 16 ounces drained and rinsed Castelvetrano olives
- 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 strips orange peel be careful not to include the pith
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat olive oil and olives in a medium sauce pan over low heat on the stove top for approximately 40 minutes. Do not let the oil boil or bubble.
- Remove from heat a few min before serving to cool slightly.
- Serve warm in the olive oil.
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- Mini Taco Appetizers
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.