This hors d'oeuvre is best when made with a mix of two or three types of whole, unpitted olives, especially Kalamata, Niçoise, and Picholine.
Put the olives in a 1 qt. jar. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, thyme, rosemary, fennel seeds, zest, pepper flakes, bay leaf, and garlic. Heat on very low for 10 minutes. Pour the oil and seasonings over the olives. Add the lemon juice and close the jar. Turn a few times to distribute the seasonings; let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for no longer than four days. Before serving, bring the olives to room temperature, drain off most of the oil, and discard the bay leaf and herb sprigs.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/4 cup;
Photo: Scott Phillips