Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Zesty Lemon Olives

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 1 pint

Lemon and herbs turn ordinary olives into something special. These are great to keep on hand for when guests drop by; pair them with an aromatic, fresh Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas White to cut through the briny richness, and you have an instant party.


  • 1 pint oil- or brine-packed olives, green or black or a mix
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Several sprigs of rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • Big pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 12 g. (2-3 olives)
  • Calories (kcal) : 30
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 25
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 150
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • If using brine-packed olives, drain them. In a medium bowl, combine the olives, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, herb sprigs, fennel seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using. Zest the lemons in whatever size zest you like: a mix of finely grated zest for the brightest flavor and larger strips for color is nice. Add the zest and oil to the olives and mix well. Pour and scrape into a covered jar and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors mingle before serving.


Wine Pick: Pair with a Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas White.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • debjeske | 12/31/2008

    These were a cinch to do & my party guests loved them!

  • puddinhead | 12/09/2008

    This is a wonderful recipe for holiday gift giving. I made it last year and the few olives left in the bottom of the jar were still delicious one year later. Yum!! A wonderful blend of tangy, salty, hot, and tart!

  • carolyn807 | 06/16/2008

    This is a fantastic recipe - I used an italian green olive (Cerignolas I think) that were super fresh and tasty to begin with but this put them over the top! I served them in a swing top jar for a nice presentation and they were the first thing to run out at my party!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial