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Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives for #SundaySupper

Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives | Magnolia Days

The table had stacks of little plates in the middle. Beside them was a container filled with flatware. We knew something was different about this place. We just didn’t know what it was at first. One look at the extensive menu gave a clue to a new dining experience ahead. Everything that was offered came in small servings. A conversation with the waiter revealed we were about to have Tapas for the first time. This was many years ago at a restaurant we happened upon while on vacation. Since then we have enjoyed Tapas often. The one that I start with each time is citrus and herb marinated olives.

What are Tapas? The word comes from the Spanish verb “tapar” which means to cover. There is quite a history of it in Spain including how meat and bread was used to cover glasses of sherry to keep fruit flies from flying into them. Brilliant restaurant and bar owners expanded on it and started serving little plates of food to go with wine and cocktails. It was a trend that took off and is popular around the world.

Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives | Magnolia Days

Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives are hard to resist. At least they are for me. It bumps up the glorious salty goodness of mixed Greek olives with citrus brightness and herbal earthiness. Which herbs to use? The ones you like or have on hand. I used parsley, rosemary, and thyme because it is what I have growing around my house this time of year. In the summer I might switch out or add oregano, mint, chervil, and more.

Do you enjoy Tapas or want to see more? You are in luck! Sunday Supper contributors have put together a fabulous array of recipes to share. I can’t wait to see each one. Scroll down to find the list with links that will take you to them with a simple click. Special thanks to the lovely Constance of The Foodie Army Wife for hosting this event. Also take a look at Shrimp Arnean which is a great appetizer that can also be served as Tapas.

Herb and Citrus Marinated Olives

A recipe for herb and citrus marinated olives. Greek olives are marinated with fresh herbs in citrus juices and white wine. They are great for tapas or as an appetizer.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Renee


  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 cups pitted mixed Greek olives rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, etc.
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup canola or light olive oil*
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cumin


  1. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently, until the seeds begin to pop and give off their aroma. Remove from the heat and transfer seeds to a plate to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place the olives, fennel seeds, herbs, zests, shallot, and garlic in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together wine, oil, juices, cinnamon, and cumin. Pour over the olives.
  4. Toss well then cover and place in refrigerator to marinate 1 to 2 days before serving. Stir or toss olives occasionally while marinating.

Recipe Notes

*It is best to use an oil that will not solidify when chilled. Time stated does not include marinating time in the refrigerator.

It’s Tapas time! Check out these fantastic recipes by Sunday Supper contributors:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 22nd of January 2014

I agree, I can't resist marinated olives and they are the perfect start to any tapas meal.


Saturday 25th of January 2014

I have such a love for olives too. They do start out tapas or any meal wonderfully.


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

Ok I love that photo of the close up (you should hang that in your kitchen!) and I love olives.


Saturday 25th of January 2014

Thanks Carla and what a great suggestion to print that photo and hang it in the kitchen.

Lane @ Supper for a Steal

Tuesday 21st of January 2014

I have been obsessed with olives since all those Mario packets at F&W conf. I can't wait to try these.


Saturday 25th of January 2014

Those Mario packets are fabulous! I use them for snacks and to go on salads.


Tuesday 21st of January 2014

Ooh such delicious flavors going on in these olives! I love the citrus with herbs and cannot wait to try :)


Saturday 25th of January 2014

Thanks Soni and the citrus really does have a nice balance with the salty/brine of the olives.

Cindys Recipes and Writings

Monday 20th of January 2014

I like the idea of citrus and olives, sounds too good to pass up, Renee!


Saturday 25th of January 2014

Thanks Cindy and it is too good for me to pass up. I've been eating them for days.