Serves 8 to 10 | Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes, plus 4 hours marinating
1 cup brine-cured green olives with pits
1 cup brine-cured black olives with pits
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon table salt
Head Start
Refrigerate marinated olives for up to 4 days. Let olives sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving or oil will look cloudy and congealed.
Finish Line
Next to olives, place toothpicks for guests to pick up olives with and a small empty bowl to discard pits.
Perfect Pair
Serve these olives on a cheese or charcuterie board or pair with Turkish Stuffed Apricots with Rose Water and Pistachios  or Moroccan-Style Carrot Salad .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Why make your own marinated olives when you can buy a wide variety of prepared olive products at the supermarket? Because with just a little effort, you can put together a snack with way more flavor and freshness than anything store-bought. The most important step is to start with good olives and good olive oil. We use olives with pits (pitted olives tend to have less flavor), packed in brine, not oil. To give the dish more variety, we like a combination of green and black olives. Along with the usual aromatics—garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes—we use shallot, fresh oregano, and grated lemon zest for a bright citrus note.
Pat olives dry with paper towels. Toss with oil, shallot, lemon zest, thyme, oregano, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt in bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Marinated Olives with Baby Mozzarella
Reduce amount of black and green olives to ½ cup each. Substitute 1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil for oregano. Add 8 ounces fresh baby mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups), to olive mixture.
Marinated Green Olives with Feta
Omit black olives and fresh thyme. Substitute orange zest for lemon zest. Add 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (2 cups), to olive mixture.