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Zingy + Zesty Marinated Olives

I realize that olives are a divisive food, but even people who are on the “no” side of the fence try these and love them! There is something about the combination of garlic, lemon, and chilli, with the surprise hit of fennel seeds, that makes these so very special – despite their simplicity. I often add olives to my lunch plates for a whole-food fat source, not to mention for flavour and a burst of umami!

If you’re making these olives for the Late Summer Rollover Menu, try using just kalamata olives and swapping the fennel seeds for 1½ tsp dried oregano. Feel free to keep or omit the chilli depending on your preference!

Once made, these marinated olives keep for a few weeks in the fridge (just make sure to use a clean utensil to pick out your olives at each serving), and I like to shake the jar from time to time to make sure that everything is getting mixed around. The flavours will keep developing and getting deeper each day, so keep that in mind when adding chilli flakes (as in, don’t overdo it!). If you really want to knock someone’s socks off, serve these olives warm, either straight after making, or gently re-heated on the stove once you’ve taken them out of the fridge. You won’t believe how tasty they are!

Make them with me in real time on the How to Build the Perfect Lunch live session!

Zingy + Zesty Marinated Olives


  • 14 oz. / 400g drained olives preferably with pits
  • cup / 85ml cold-pressed olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes or more, as desired


  • In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over low heat.
  • Finely mince the garlic (I like to use a microplane right over the pot) and add it to the oil. Once you see teeny bubbles forming around the garlic, immediately add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and turn off the heat.
  • Add the olives and fold them to coat well. You can enjoy them straight away, or place them in an airtight glass container and place in the fridge where they will keep for about 2-3 weeks. Say thank you and enjoy!


14oz / 400g marinated olives