Green Olives Sevilla-Style

From Penelope Casas TAPAS cookbook, comes this typically Andalusian riff on olives. One whiff of these spicy tidbits erases any doubt of their Arab origins. Dried or fresh herbs, or a combination of the two bring on the magic.

With an upcoming holiday finger food party on the horizon, we thought they’d make a wonderful accompaniment to the other appetizers being served. Keep in mind, these olives need several days to marinate, so it is nice to prepare one of the dishes ahead of time, then just plate them as the hot recipes come out of the oven.

Don’t be alarmed if the garlic cloves turn blue. It startled us at first until The Hubs googled the reason and found out they weren’t going bad, it was just a reaction caused between enzymes and sulfur-containing amino acids in the garlic. They are perfectly safe to consume and taste just fine.

The compound responsible for this reaction, isoalliin, is formed when garlic is stored at a cool temperature for several weeks, typically in the winter, when pantries are colder.

Green Olives Sevilla-Style

  • Servings: 1 Pound
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb. pitted Spanish green olives, drained and lightly crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
  • 8 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 8 anchovy fillets (optional)


  1. Place the olives in a glass jar in which they just fit.
  2. Add all other ingredients, then fill the jar with water.
  3. Shake well and marinate at room temperature for several days, then refrigerate if necessary.
  4. They will keep in the refrigerator, but do bring them to room temperature before serving.
  5. Strain, discard the anchovies, bay leaves and garlic if desired, and serve in an olive boat with toothpicks.

Recipe from cookbook Tapas by Penelope Casas

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