Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Randy Mon

Olives with Orange and Fennel

We serve these warm olives--a specialty of Sunset Test Kitchen recipe retester Paula Freschet--throughout the holiday season. Warming the olives makes them especially tender and succulent. Bonus: They make an excellent gift (let cool completely, then pack into airtight jars).

Sunset DECEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)
  • Total:12 Minutes


  • 1 small orange
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups assorted brine-cured unpitted olives, such as Niçoise, Picholine, Kalamata, and Castelvetrano, drained
  • Leaves and tender stems from 5 to 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar


1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel a 2 1/2-in. by 1-in. strip of zest from orange; save fruit for another use. Cut zest strip crosswise into very fine (1/16 in.) slivers; set aside.

2. Heat oil and garlic in a 10-in. frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add olives, orange zest, thyme, chile flakes, and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warm, about 2 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar, and transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve warm.

Make ahead: Up to 2 weeks, chilled. Rewarm to serve.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 116
  • Calories from fat: 82%
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 2.9g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 348mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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Olives with Orange and Fennel recipe