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almond-stuffed marinated olives

i have a wonderful traveling memory that takes place in the south of spain, probably around 2001. my parents + i are sitting at a gorgeous outdoor cafe’, having a midafternoon snack, surrounded by beautiful buildings, interesting people, delicious food. we’re not paying attention to any of that, however, as my father + i are in the midst of a competition, counting olive pits to see who has eaten more. if i remember correctly, we were both in the double digits just a few minutes in, although he eventually won.

two things that this story shows: 1) i love olives + 2) i attribute my wonderfully insane appetite for them to my dad. it’s no surprise that some of my favorite recipes involve olives – manzanilla, nicoise, kalamata, greek – i can go on + on. today’s recipe, thus, is for almond stuffed marinated olives, a great appetizer to have out at a cocktail party or before a sit-down dinner party. try ’em, but be warned, they are addictive.

almond-and-garlic stuffed olives

makes about 2 dozen olives, adapted from gourmet

ingredients

10 oz. bottle of large green olives, either pitted or pimientos removed – drained + rinsed
ΒΌ cup blanched slivered almonds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

directions

toast almonds in a dry pan over medium heat until they reach a golden color. allow the almonds to cool.

stuff each olive with the cooled almonds + put into wide shallow bowl. when all of the olives are stuffed, add the olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper, + any remaining almonds, then fold to combine.

marinate olives, covered + chilled, at least 3 days + up to one week. allow olives to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.