These addictive and simple citrus-marinated olives are a delicious appetizer or snack made with just a few simple ingredients in less than 15 minutes. Plump, juicy Castelvetrano olives are steeped in a flavorful olive oil made with lots of tangy citrus and red chiles to become the best Mediterranean Citrus Olives For Charcuterie Boards.
I love olives and who wouldn't? Creamy, tangy, and briny, these olives have a rich flavor that stands up to a simple charcuterie board and lots of fresh cheeses. Enjoy these as a quick snack and pair them with a glass of wine for the perfect way to wind down your day.
When entertaining, it's important to have a few simple dishes available to your guests when they arrive. Whether they're gathering for a simple cocktail hour or a dinner party, your guests will love having a little something for them to snack on.
Enter your new favorite appetizer: warm citrus marinated olives. Sure, you can just put out a bowl of olives that you grabbed at the grocery store, but why not transform those olives into delicious marinated olives instead? It's an effortless and quick appetizer that easily turns boring olives into the perfect olives that can easily be served alongside your next classic charcuterie board.
Use a different kind of olive or several olive varieties. Add aromatic herbs or a few more chilies for an extra spicy kick. There's no need to wait for a special occasion to serve these personal favorites. They will quickly become the focal point of your appetizer spread.
- Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Recipe Ingredients
- What are Castelvetrano Olives and where are they from?
- How to make Olives For Charcuterie Boards: Step-By-Step
- Recipe Tips
- Confidence Tip
- Storage And Reheating
- Additions & Substitutions
- Helpful Equipment
- Serving Suggestions
- Your Questions Answered
- The Best Mediterranean Citrus Olives For Charcuterie Boards
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Restaurant-worthy - this can be prepared in advance and looks and tastes just as good as a restaurant would make.
- Easy recipe - only a handful of simple ingredients are required.
- Customizable - adjust the flavors by adding or taking away a few ingredients.
- A quick snack or last-minute entertaining
- Hostess gift - can be placed in a decorative jar and given out as a beautiful gift.
You will need the following ingredients to make these amazing marinated olives:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Crushed red pepper or chiles de arbol
- Castelvetrano olives
See the recipe card for quantities.
What are Castelvetrano Olives and where are they from?
Castelvetrano olives are a type of green olive. They are known for their vibrant green color, a mild sweet buttery flavor, and a meaty texture. Originating from the town of Castelvetrano in Sicily, Italy, they are also referred to as Nocellara del Belice olives, named after the Belice Valley where they are cultivated. You can find these olives jarred or canned in the olive section of your grocery store. If you cannot find them, you can substitute Greek green olives.
How to make Olives For Charcuterie Boards: Step-By-Step
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with the exact ingredients are in the printable recipe card:
Step 1: Halve and thinly slice one-half of both the lemon and the orange. Save the other halves for juicing.
Step 2: Warm the olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the red pepper, lemon, and orange slices along with the grapefruit peel. Let sizzle a minute or two before adding the olives.
Step 3: Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let the olives simmer for 10 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. If your stove doesn't go extremely low, then do not heat for more than 30 minutes.
Step 4: Let the olives cool to room temperature in the pot and then squeeze the lemon and orange juice from the remaining halves. Serve with the citrus peels for decoration.
- Be careful when removing the grapefruit peel. The white pith just beneath the skin can make the marinade bitter, so try to avoid it as much as you can. I use a vegetable peeler so I am only grabbing the surface of the grapefruit.
- The olives become more flavorful the longer they are steeped in the marinade. Let them marinate for at least an hour for the best results.
- Stir the olives before serving to evenly distribute the marinade.
Serve the marinated olives warmed at room temperature to best enjoy their flavor. You can gently warm them on the stovetop or let them sit out on the countertop until they are warm to the touch.
Storage And Reheating
- Storage - store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The marinated olives will last for up to a month if stored correctly.
- Reheating - gently reheat on the stovetop or let them sit out on the countertop.
- Freezing - this recipe is best not frozen.
Additions & Substitutions
Though this lemon and olives recipe is simple, it is also easy to vary if you want to switch it up.
- Fresh Herbs - you can use fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary or dried bay leaves for an earthy aromatic flavor. You can use only one herb or a different combination if you prefer.
- Smashed garlic cloves -if you love garlic like I do, adding smashed garlic cloves will also be delicious but may take away from the citrus flavor.
- Olive oil - use high-quality extra virgin olive oil - the taste makes a difference.
- Olives - I like to use different types of olives, usually a combination of Kalamata olives, cerignola olives, gaeta olives, or large green olives. You can use jarred olives or find them at the deli counter or in the olive bar at the grocery store. Use whatever kind of olives you prefer - black olives or green olives - just make sure they're good quality and served with their brine. Avoid olives that are already seasoned or stored in oil. You can use pitted or unpitted olives. I still love the Castelvetrano olives and believe they are the best olives for this recipe.
- Citrus - if you can find Meyer lemons those make a great substitute for the lemon in this recipe. They add a lovely tart and zesty flavor. You can use any type of orange depending on what you can find but remember that you want to also use the juice so any orange you select should make a good juicing orange.
- Red pepper flakes - you can also use 4 whole chiles de arbol or leave out the red pepper flakes altogether. Note that the amount of red pepper flakes in this recipe does not make the olives spicy. They just add depth of flavor. Add more if you would like it spicy.
- Vegetable Peeler - you will need this to get the lemon and orange peels.
- Small Saucepan - use a thick-bottomed pan to prevent the marinade from burning.
- A Lidded Jar - have one ready if you plan to store the marinated olives for later.
- There are so many different ways to serve this marinated olives recipe, but my favorite is as a snack, served in small bowls, with cocktails, beer, or wine.
- They're great added to your cheese board recipe, or antipasto boards. They pair especially well with both hard cheeses and soft cheeses along with spicy salami and dried fruits.
- You can also use them on salads, or just place them on the dinner table for a little something extra to nibble on.
- These marinated olives make a nice hostess gift! Place them in a mason jar or decorative container, tie them with a ribbon and you have an amazing edible homemade gift!
Your Questions Answered
You can serve these olives as part of a Mediterranean charcuterie board. They are the perfect accompaniments to great cheeses, meats, and other wonderful snacks.
Yes. Gently heat the fruit and oil in a pan over low heat for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Add the olives, toss gently to coat, and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm through. Serve warm.
Yes. But, if you want to impress your guests and bring out the flavor of the olives, warm the olives up just before serving. Warming your olives before setting them out is a very simple, very quick extra step that will delight your guests.
Yes. You can store the olives in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
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I hope you love this recipe for Blistered Green Beans With A Lemon Tahini Dressing. If you make this recipe please be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it!
The Best Mediterranean Citrus Olives For Charcuterie Boards
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 grapefruit peel only
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or 4 whole chiles de arbol
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb Castelvetrano olives
- Halve and thinly slice one half of the lemon and of the orange. Set aside the other halves for juicing.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the grapefruit and set the grapefruit aside for another use. If the peels are too long, cut shorter.
- Warm the extra virgin olive oil in a small pot over medium heat.
- Add the crushed red pepper, lemon slices, orange slices, and the grapefruit peel.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the olives.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting on your stove.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes up to an hour. If your stove cannot go low, only cook for up to 30 minutes.
- Let the olives cool to room temperature in the pot.
- Squeeze the juice of the reserved lemon half and the orange half into the pot. Stir.
- Serve warm with the peels.