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.
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.
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.
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.
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Warm Citrus-Marinated Castelvetrano Olives
- 16 oz drained and rinsed Castelvetrano olives
- 2 cups 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 wide strips of orange peel be careful not to include the pith
- 1/2 tsp 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.