Spiced Olives from a Provence Culinary Vacation

December 11, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
Filed Under

Olives overlooking the sea on the Amalfi CoastA culinary visit from Madelaine Bullwinkel to the office of The International Kitchen left us satisfied, happy and curious to learn her fabulous recipes — so we’ve decided to share some of her secrets! Madelaine’s love for French cuisine has heavily influenced her fantastic creations.

France is full of amazing culinary ingredients from north to south. One of our favorites from southern France and the Provence region is the mighty olive. It is used not only for oil and in recipes, but also as a tasty snack dish in and of itself. Whether you like your olive large or small, briny or fermented, purple or green, Provence has plenty of delicious olives to explore on a cooking vacation in Provence. This recipe calls for Picholine olives, but you could really substitute any variety you choose!

Try a recipe for Provencal tapenade.

Spiced Green OlivesA bin of green olives at the market in France.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Cook method: Macerate


  • 7 ounces (2 cups) Picholine olives
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 strips orange zest
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions:Marinated spiced olives served as an appetizer.

1. Drain and rinse off the olives.

2. Prick each one with tines of a fork.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients, pour over the olives in a container and stir well to coat all the olives.

4. Tightly cover and refrigerate the olives for at least 3 days, taking them out to shake occasionally.

5. Bring them to room temperature and toss or shake again before serving.

Olives marinating with spices at the market in France.You can also mix up the flavors of your spices if you prefer. Try fresh herbs, for instance, or red pepper and paprika for a more Spanish flair!

Learn more about olives, including how to pair olives with wine.

Try other recipes featuring olives, including these from our culinary travels:

By Peg Kern

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